Once again #ThrowdownThursday comes from /r/WritingPrompts. The writing prompt today was pulled from the top of the reddit feed.
She was standing out on the balcony when I came in. I could feel the cold air as it swept through the apartment and follow it to her. She stood in her favorite red dress staring up at the night sky. The moon caused her skin to glow pale white, and the dress made her hair burn. Her lips, as she turned to me, were the color of fresh cherries, and her eyes shimmered beneath her long painted eyelashes. A single tear escaped as she spoke.
“What am I going to do?” She hugged a piece of paper to her chest as more tears followed. Her breathing caught in a self-deprecating laugh as she attempted to smile. “You’re early.”
“I was too worried to wait,” I replied, and she let out a short hysterical burst of laughter.
“I guess I should have known.” She sighed and held the paper out where she could see it. For a long moment she just stared at it, and I stared at her as my apprehension began to rise.
“What does the paper say?” I finally asked.
She answered by offering it to me. I took a cautious step towards her, and then berated myself. As if anything I did now could make it worse. I closed the gap more confidently and retrieved the paper from her outstretched hand.
At first my brain refused to comprehend the words, as if a sudden lack of understanding could make them untrue. Then everything began to make sense.
My head snapped up to find her face, but instead met with her vibrant hair. She had returned to the balcony and climbed over the rail. Her form stood hanging over the ten-story drop calmly.
She turned to look at me one last time, and brought one hand to her lips to blow me a kiss. “Good-bye, my love. I didn’t want you here for this.” Her other hand loosened, and I felt the world stop.
In that instant I could see my whole life shattering around me, and my mind violently rejected it. As my body ran to try and stop the inevitable, my mind mirrored it, reaching out to hers.
“No! Don’t let go.” I screamed, and her hand tightened. I reached the balcony and pulled her back over. She didn’t fight. Instead, she spoke.
I have to go. Her voice reverberated through my mind.
“We can work through this.” I pleaded.
It’s terminal. Her tone was soft and sympathetic, but I could feel the steel underneath. She had made her decision.
“I’m not ready for you to go.” I could feel the river of tears running down my face. I rubbed my eyes to clear them. I needed to see her face.
This isn’t about you. I’m in pain. Let me go.
“Then why did you hold on? You have to want to keep living. Otherwise you wouldn’t have listened to me. You never listen to me.” I placed my hand over hers in emphasis where she still held the railing.
Because you made me, Roger.
It was only then that I noticed her lips didn’t move, and she hung limp in my arms. Her hand beneath mine was in a death grip on the railing. Even her eyes seemed hollow.
But I could feel her in my mind, and that’s where her voice was coming from.
Don’t take this away from me too. She begged. My chest tightened, and so did my arm around her. I buried my face in her neck, and a few more tears rolled down my checks.
“That’s not fair. God, that’s a dirty trick.” Because that was the one thing I had promised I’d never do to her. That I’d never control her.
But even as I told myself that I should let her go, plead with her while she was free to choose, another part of me gripped mentally tighter. I could keep her here, force her to stay until she changed her mind, until the doctors figured out how to fix it.
Please. I want to go out while I’m still beautiful.
It was those quiet words, echoing in my mind, that finally made me release her. I closed my eyes, and tried to withdraw whatever mysterious hold my brain seemed to have on her. I felt the rigidity come back into her body, and then her arms wrapped around my neck.
“I’m sorry.” She whispered, and then kissed my check. I could still feel the warmth of her lips as she slid out of my reach. I didn’t look up again. Not until I heard the screams from the sidewalk beneath the balcony. Then I looked towards the moon that mimicked the pale color of her skin. The moon that had been the only other witness to our farewell.
I would never look at the moon the same again.