I don’t exactly want to die right now.
It’s peaceful here: the sun setting over the ocean’s ripples, a mountainous cliff hanging over the scene, less obstructive and more endearing, filling the landscape with pretty shadows, the delicate sand crumbling below my worn feet.
My mind doesn’t swirl with nearly as many thoughts.
But I still want to jump.
It’s less for the end result and more for the feeling of air rushing past my ears. It’s for the feeling that you can only get when falling without anything holding you back – giving yourself over to something so completely that the choice becomes irreversible.
I don’t want to die. But I do want to fall.
It’s silly, I know. It’s foolish to think about these things when I don’t have the resolve to jump and I don’t have the commitment to fall. It’s dumb and a waste of time.
But it’s better here than it is there. I know there is a honey trap, if the honey was subbed with money that only desperation can breed a need for. He doesn’t want me, and I don’t want him, but somehow we both need each other and neither of us can leave the other.
I still hold onto a false hope that he’ll love me back. He still holds onto the illusion of the girl I was when we first met: a bright-eyed virgin with an unwavering allegiance to any person who promised her she was more than she was. She was easy to appease. I am not.
But I stay.
Why? That’s not an easy question to answer. The truth is, I don’t know the answer myself. I’m scared, I tell myself. I know the consequences of his wrath, and I don’t think it’s something I can handle myself. I need him, I tell myself. My jobs aren’t enough to keep me alive; his money is something I need for survival. I love him, I tell myself. I love him enough to not want to give up on him, like everyone did on me.
So I stay.
Maybe, just maybe, if I jumped, I’d hit my head on a rock – just right – and forget everything that makes me me and would be able to start my life all over again. Or maybe, I would just die, and drift off into an afterlife without worry and without him.
But, just like I’m scared of leaving, I’m scared of jumping. I’ll never do anything good for myself if it means putting myself in danger. And that’s a hypocritical sense of logic, but it’s the only logic I’ve got.
I’ll stay here a little longer: perched up on the edge of a cliff, pretending like my life isn’t a porcelain bowl, teetering at the precipice of a wooden dinner table. I’ll feel the salted air tangle through my fading brown locks and pretend to lose myself to the sea-wind whispering for me to stay. I’ll let the promises of a different life imprison me for a moment longer, while I find the right words to say goodbye.
In another world, he would have come and wrapped his arms around me at this moment. In another world, I would have fallen into his embrace with a smile tugging at the corners of my lips.
But this wasn’t another world, and he wasn’t who I wanted him to be. I wasn’t who I wanted me to be. And I had to be back to our house in the next ten minutes, otherwise he would notice my existence just long enough to notice that I was gone.
I got up, then, and made my way back to the rusted car. My steps were a slow trudge, even as I knew I didn’t have much time left to get back to the house. I couldn’t beckon my feet to move any faster and I couldn’t beckon my thoughts to move any quicker.
Keys in the ignition. I hear the engine rumble. That’s a good sign. Isn’t it? The car lurches forward. Five miles per hour. Ten. Thirty. Forty.
I’ll be back to our house soon enough. I’ll be back to the house just in time.