Adjacent Titles: Chapter One


The View

Imagine looking down from the mountain side after pulling off the winding road for a moments peace. A moment unhindered by the heat blistering through the slitted vents at either side of your head. The same heat that’s given you the strength and clarity to drive almost an hour just before dawn, to the coldest place you’ve ever been this time of the year.

You crunch over the hardened surface of snow and it suddenly feels like you’re on stilts because the trees aren’t as high as you remember them being. The ground has eaten up at least two feet of their collective trunks. Some of them even more under the drifts blown into place by sheer mountain winter bursts of wind.

There is none of that right now, the crisp clear sky offers nothing but silence between you and the world surrounding this moment. Through the trees, there is a tiny dirt path, now hidden and unpronounced under the blanket of white it’s gathered over itself. 

But you know it exists because you’ve seen it before, and though you’ve stepped over it’s surfaces a million and one times with that once special person by your side, it somehow feels so different the first time you go it alone.

Looking back toward the place where you’ve parked, the solo vehicle sparkles brilliantly for all and no one else to see. no one but you, because you’ve come here to be that way, it’s exactly what you wanted, only, it feels different that what you expected. 

A single set of boot prints follows behind you obediently. Some of them barely leaving the ground so the track seems to glide from one deep imprint to the next, kicking up powder messily behind their maker. Leaving the impression that they were pulling for you not to move any further.

Maybe you should have listened…

Your gaze returns to what is before you, and suddenly everything seems to make sense. The sun is blazing it’s way over the horizon, greeting the bubbles of steam bursting from your mouth and nostrils. You deliberately breath it more slowly and smile at the swirls and pretend smoke rushing toward the bare tree limbs and disappearing into their thick canopy.

You smile because you know she would have loved to be there with you. Your other half would have seen your smile and laughed out loud because she knew it was more for her enjoyment than your own. It had been that way for twelve years, since you first met  in middle school, why would this time be the exception? 

Now imagine you are approaching the opening of the small tree grove leading you to the sight you’ve come all this way for. The thing that can make all the others disappear. If everything leading to this moment had been disappointing this one would never do that. Your vivid memory of what the mountains and valleys surrounding this specific point was nothing short of magic.

You find your feet rushing faster, your strides extending longer, your foot prints doing their best to match your haste. Still, looking at the points where I remember seeing those foot prints, I have to wonder if they knew where you were heading. I wonder if somehow they knew and they were trying to stop you.

Imagine that you reach the edge of the cliff and you stop, your toes wiggling in the boots at the slippery verge of a precipice, closer to the end than you’ve ever been. The glory of the moment, the lust you feel to never again feel anything other than what the moment before you extends. A quickly beating heart rushes out to meet it while blazing its life force through your entire body through a fast Lubdubbing…

… you can feel and hear it all the way in your ears..

What must have been going through your mind, the moment you let yourself go? Was it beautiful? So beautiful you had to follow it into oblivion? Leaving her… Your closest friend…

Me…

… behind?

.. or was it horrible, so terrifying you couldn’t face the reality of it a moment longer…

I open my eyes and the snowscape is gone. In it’s place sits serenely green grass and lively little tree buds,each day bringing them each closer to their fullest potential. I take one small step closer toward the edge of the cliff and I shiver. I shiver, because I can’t imagine myself any closer to the edge without seeing myself then going over it as well. The same way you did before we had ever left our winter phase. You hadn’t given Spring and Summer a chance to rise and restore you…

Some unspoken fear holds my feet in place. Part of me isn’t sure I wouldn’t do the same thing that you did… The one time you came to this place with out me, was the last place you ever visited.

And here I am, five months from the moment you were last here and I keep coming back, I’m holding on to your final moment and wondering what might have been different if I had come out with you that day.

Such a pivotal moment and you didn’t give me a say in it at all… I hadn’t even been invited to your going away party…

A party of one…

Part of me wants to hate you for it, while another plays with the idea that you hadn’t come here with that intention… Something made you leap to your death, fall to your darkness… fly toward the end. No amount of flowery sugar coating would change the fact that I would never really know what had happened that day.

I took another small step forward, and immediately sat, taking in the splendor of my mid-spring, mid morning view. The same one I’d shared with you a million times, and for some reason, being here with out you still feels different.

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