They had made it to the top, together.
Holding her hand he inhaled savouring the moment for what it was. The journey to the summit had drained him of his normal physical capacities, rendering him fatigued mentally as well as physically. Yet, here they were. The view from above was beyond majestic. The grey clouds in the distance seemed far in the distance as the stark blue sky contrasted aesthetically with the rich greenness of the natures garden below.
She took the first step towards the edge of their vantage point. He shifted uncomfortably. He hated heights but not her. She was sitting crossed legged when he sat next to her, tenderly flicking the dirt accumulation from her thighs. He removed his backpack, unzipping it in front of him. He was thirsty and was relieved after taking the first swig.
Extending his right arm towards her, he offered the water.
She looked at him, her blue eyes shining as the midday sun focused on them and gently refused. She didn’t need anymore. They smiled at each other. He held her gaze for a moment as they both smiled at each other. She was the first to break the moment, laughing as she did so.
He glanced at the view once more. The scenery had become louder now with the hum of nature’s life seemingly erupting out of nowhere. The whitewater rapids from the extensive body of water directly below surged viciously. Yet, these noises were serene. He was becoming used to the view, in large part thanks to the calming sound of the wildlife.
He shifted his body slightly so that he was now directly in front of her. She had her face down at this point, avoiding his gaze. He gently caressed her right cheek with his left hand and smiled.
She kissed him.
He held her tightly, gently tracing his index finger around her ear. In that instance, nothing else mattered. The sounds of the birds, insects and water below died down. His eyes shut now made him temporarily forget the hue of the sky and vibrant green tones from below.
Pulling away, he realized the sun had faded as dusk seemed to approach. Exhaling deeply once more, he lingered towards the edge. More cautiously this time, he gazed below smiling at his new-found sense of confidence. He felt he had finally conquered this annoying fear.
He heard footsteps from behind, coolly beginning to turn a sudden force physically knocked him back. He was falling.
Gravity was now in motion as he sailed through the air, his hair blowing out, and his shorts inflated and deflated as the forced air entered the ends of his shorts. He hurtled towards the water. Had the water been shallow, he’d have not survived. He gasped for air this time inhaling with drastic intention. He was in a state of panic.
The direction of the water violently dragged him forward, so he desperately focused his efforts to make it to the bank. Feeling his skin pull from his muscle. Finally, he submerged under water he found his chance.
Grabbing hold of a boulder stuck on the floor of the outer edge of the river. He clung on.
As the rapids continued down their path, He used the boulder as a shield clambering to the edge of the river. With each step, he progressively made it back to the bank. He collapsed from exhaustion. The significant strain and tension his body had been under, what had seemed like a lifetime, had suddenly ended. He inhaled. Exhaled. Inhaled. Exhaled. Then without thinking, he ran back to the top.
The sudden surge of adrenaline-fueled his spontaneous dash. He grunted, launching himself with each step as his feet ran along the uneven surfaces of the track. At times the gravel beneath him nearly made him lose balance but he pushed. There was only one way up the cliff and only one way down, and since he’d only been in the water for several minutes, whoever had pushed him was still there. Her too.
He ran on before he reached the top. Panting he paused, leaning against a nearby rock, inhaled and exhaled. He was ready to save her. He walked to the cliff, tense, ready to fight. But she was fine.
“What the fuck?”.
She turned momentarily surprised at his presence. She was in the clutches of him. What was going on, he did not know.
They looked at him after briefly looking at each other incredulously, yet their level of surprise was levels below the shock he was currently feeling.
So many questions, so little answers.
But he understood now. He was no longer hers, and she was no longer his.
He snapped. Tackling him down and hurting him with repeated blows with savage intent. Her screams did little to restrain him. Not until he heard her crying did he pause. He released his hold over her and turned. He approached her ready to ask her why. Why it had to be like this. Why?
He never got to ask her. Once more he was falling, but this time he would let the tide take him he didn’t care anymore.
There was nothing left.
They had made it to the top, together. Now he had fallen, alone.
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