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Beginning at the End

The tears that she had been too dazed and numb to shed earlier sprung to the ready as
she mounted the flight of stairs to her second floor apartment. As she opened the door she heard
a strange, very female, very surprised voice state. “What the hell? Who‟s coming in?”
Oh this can‟t be good. Nicole thought dumbly.
A strong metallic taste rose in the back of her mouth as Jason came out of the bedroom
pulling a shirt over his head, followed by a woman Nicole didn‟t get a good look at but who at
least had the decency to get out of the apartment quickly without trying to say anything to either
of them.
Again her hearing seemed to be impeded by that strange buzzing noise so she could
only catch snippets of Jason‟s words like “you weren‟t there for me sexually” then there would be
this huge gap where his mouth was obviously moving but her ears weren‟t catching his words so
that when she did start processing again the words “I want this to work…” could have meant
anything.
Nicole‟s mouth thawed quickly causing both of them to jump at her sudden yelling. She
shouted things at him that she would never have said before but that at the time she felt were
entirely justified. She was so caught up in her verbal assault of him that she didn‟t notice what
was about to happen. Suddenly a bright light burst into her line of vision and her next realization
was that she was inexplicably on the floor, nose deep in carpet. Jason was standing over her
screaming but she couldn‟t make out the words. She new he had gone back into the bedroom
because her eyes were able to follow the heels of his feet until they disappeared through the
doorframe.
“You can cry all you god damn well want too, I‟m leaving; sick of this shit.” Jason yelled,
stepping over her and toting two garbage bags, presumably full of his clothes. “I‟ll be back for the
rest of my stuff later.”
It was dark when she finally got up off the floor; a good three hours having passed since
she first wound up there. Nicole knew that she had probably just suffered a nervous breakdown of
some kind but she didn‟t care. Her brain was numb; she didn‟t want to be around anyone, she
didn‟t want to think. She wanted the rest of her body to become numb too so she wouldn‟t have to
feel anything. No pain, no sadness. She just wanted to be numb.
She drove around for a while not knowing where she was going and with no agenda until
she came across the park and decided she was safer not driving. Nicole sat on the park bench for
hours, not crying, not thinking. It wasn‟t until the sun began to peek over the horizon that the first
cognitive thought she‟d had in hours entered her mind: She enjoyed this cold, this unfeeling; it
didn‟t feel bad or good; actually it didn‟t feel at all. She wanted this. She stood up slowly, feeling
her bones and muscles protest at having to move after they had been immobile for so long in the
cold. Nicole didn‟t care. This would be the last time. She stood and walked over to the guardrail of
the bridge and climbed onto the bottom rung. Her hands ran over the roughened paint which had
bubbled and peeled after years of weathering and vandalism. She knew she would be hurting a
lot of people, or at the very least pissing them off but she didn‟t care. She knew it was selfish and
cruel, especially since her father had just died but at least she wasn‟t fooling herself into thinking
she was doing the world a favor. A tear rolled down her cheek, stinging the already tender and
bruised skin, burning it back to life after it was chilled by the long hours of night air. The wind
picked up again, causing dried leaves to skitter across the pavement and the water‟s glassy
surface to ripple with tiny waves. Nicole looked up to the sky and spoke a few words out loud to
the world she was about to leave, a few birds and a passing airplane her only witness.
Vapor Trail, that what that white trail is behind the airplane. I wonder if everyone is
sleeping, probably not the flight attendants. I wonder where it‟s been, where it‟s going. Maybe it‟s
going to Europe; I always wanted to go to England. I‟ve never even flown before.
Suddenly it hit her: She wanted something more then this. She looked down and nearly
fell over the rail. Shaking and crying and colder then she‟d ever been in her entire life and more
afraid then she had ever felt she stumbled back to her car, realizing the only reason why she was
alive was because of an airplane full of strangers.
If you are wondering it was a flight from Idaho to Wisconsin.
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