It’s the same day after day. I walk to work ignoring the sounds of people screaming as they jump off the rooftops. The worst part is hearing the bones of the people who can’t fly shatter as they hit the ground. Lately, my nerves have been a complete mess. I’m coming up on my twenty-fifth birthday and I have yet to jump off the roof. The truth is… I’m terrified.
Half the world is born with the ability to fly, and the other half isn’t. The problem is that the only way to find out whether or not you can fly is to jump off the highest buildings. There have been rumors that some people who have died could have stayed alive if they just would have waited a little while longer. I guess for some people you can’t fly until you hit a certain age.
I lost my sister last year, and my parents the year prior. My parents jumped together, and honestly, I don’t think they were going to live without each other. So even if one could fly, if the other looked like they couldn’t… well, they are no longer here. All I have now is my brother who can actually fly.
“Sasha!” Deric calls from behind pulling me to a halt. I turn to find him smiling holding two cups of coffee as he walks towards me. “Hey, baby! Is today the day?” I roll my eyes and shake my head as he hands me a cup. “Come on baby. I want you to fly with me. I’ll hold your hand. If you can’t fly I’ll catch you.”
My heart skips. He loves me so much. We have been together for five years this week and I can’t imagine my life without him. But I don’t want to risk him getting hurt just in case I can’t fly. “I don’t know Deric. I-”
His hand caresses my cheek. “Baby, I won’t let you get hurt. Please.” His eyes plead with mine. My stomach turns at the thought of us jumping together. Even my brother hasn’t offered to jump with me. I think we are both afraid of leaving each other alone.
“I have to talk to Erik first. He will want to be there for sure.”
He sighs shaking his head. “Yeah, alright. He will try to talk you out of it though.”
We walk the rest of the way to work in silence. Visions of watching my sister jump off the roof and the horror in her eyes as she came closer and closer to the ground plagues my mind. She was terrified. Her boyfriend was supposed to jump with her but chickened out in the end. He wouldn’t talk to me or Erik, and we later heard that he was so overcome with grief that he jumped a few days later.
“Alright baby, talk to you in a bit. Let me know what Erik says when you see him.” He kisses me goodbye and heads to the building a few blocks up from mine.
I head to work running into Erik on the elevator. ” Deric wants me to jump after work. Want to come with?”
“I thought you were going to break up with him?”
“No. You wanted me to break up with him.” I snap rolling my eyes.
“Sasha, you are all I have left in this world. What will happen if I lose you too?”
“Deric said he would jump with me. He doesn’t want to lose me either.”
“That’s against the rules.”
“No it isn’t… maybe your rules. Why haven’t you ever offered?”
He presses the emergency stop button, turns to me, then leans against the wall. “Sasha, I don’t want to lose you, and I can’t guarantee I or even Deric could catch you.”
“Why don’t you stay at the bottom, and if it looks like I can’t then you can fly up and catch me?”
We stare at each other, his eyes full of worry and sadness. My pulse is erratic. I want to do this and I want him there. I want them both there. This whole thing is terrifying. If he says no, or he won’t go, I don’t know how I will react. “Fine. After work though.” My heart flips, my stomach churns, a million to one emotion fill my body. The elevator returns to its normal thing and we head up to work.
The day flies by. Deric promises to meet Erik and me in Erik’s office after work. Erik decided that his office building was as good as any to jump off of. It’s a quarter to six as Erik and I sit together holding hands waiting for Deric to arrive. The elevator chimes right at 6 delivering Deric to us.
He should be excited but I can feel the tension from both of them. This isn’t an exciting feat. In a matter of a few seconds, I could be dead, or hopefully in the arms of my boyfriend or my brother. On the other hand, I could be flying and enjoying life from a new perspective.
We head up to the roof in silence. Erik walks to the edge, looks back with sad filled eyes, then falls back off the ledge. “Are you ready for this?” Deric asks pulling my attention. I nod slowly taking in the view around us. The sun is setting igniting the sky on fire with colors of orange, red, purple and pink.
“Hey, at least if I die… it’s an incredible night.”
“We won’t let that happen.” He grabs my hand and walks us over and up on to the edge. I look down and just barely make out my brother waiting for me at the bottom. “I won’t let you go.”
The wind is hard and heavy up here, the sounds of birds are faint in my ears. Holding hands, we lean over and fall off the edge. The air is ripped from my lungs in seconds. I can feel the panic consuming me. I can’t breathe, I can’t see, I feel like I am being crushed. Am I going to die? What id they can’t catch me?
Pinching my eyes closed, I grip Deric’s hand. Knowing he is still falling with me is comforting. I relax, imagine myself flying, hovering in the air, and let go all of my fear. Time seems to slow and the air stills. I open my eyes and find both Erik and Deric staring at me stunned. “Did I-”
“Sasha: are you ready for a long flight?” Erik asks holding his hand out to me. I look at Deric who’s eyes sparkle and Erik grins from ear to ear. “Let’s fly together.”
Taking both of their hands, I smile, and we take off towards the sunset.