He was standing there. The top of a hill looking down. Across the plains he could see miles in every direction. He remembered coming back to this cliff when he was younger. The hours he spent here alone pondering his future and sometimes dreaming of the future. This cliff represented to him the possibilities that lay before him. This cliff was where he wanted to be married. Now this cliff will be his grave. How did it come to this. How did he end up alone again. He gently closed his eyes to ponder the last few days events. Where did he go wrong. Sadly the cliff that had provided him answers in the past did not have any now. It must have started two days ago. The memories flood his mind. He welcomes them knowing it will make what he is going to do a lot easier if he was lost in the past.
Two days ago
It was a cold metal chair. The rain had not touched it yet. The umbrella above it kept out the rain. It did not keep out the cold. Not that it was chilly out. For some reason today his body emitted cold. Everything felt cold today. The chair. The door. Even the bowl of soup he was about to eat. Sense of feeling any warmth was gone. Earlier today when he woke up to a knock at the door he had met his friend Sarah at the door. She had come over looking disheveled at a extremely early hour. She entered quickly and dropped her coat to the floor. Seeing Clint standing there so quietly with concern on his face she quickly hugged him. Holding him in her weary arms letting her tears soak his shoulder. He placed his arms around here and tried to comfort her.
‘Everything will be ok.’
‘No no it wont. I had a dream that I was going to lose you. You have been a friend to me for so long,’
‘Tell you what. Go home get a bit more sleep and we can go out for coffee. There is much I wish to talk about.’
‘There is something I need to tell you now Clint. Something of..’
From behind Clint there is a open door leading to his room. Standing at the door half dressed in a flimsy nightgown is a beautiful woman. This woman looks at Sarah with anger for waking her and Clint up at this hour.
‘What do you need to tell Clint, Sarah?’
Clint looked back and slowly detached himself from Sarah’s arms.
‘Sarah this is Stephanie. She is a friend who stopped over for the evening. Her and her boyfriend broke up’
Sarah looking at both of them with hurt filling her eye. She appears to not remember what she was going to say. The anger starts to fill her up. If she was a tea kettle you could see the steam starting to blow out her ears.
Sarah turned around quickly and ran for the door. Not bothering to pickup her coat. She ran as fast as she could out to her car. Once inside there she reached in her pocket for her keys. Then she realized the keys were still inside her coat. She gets out of her car and starts to cross the street to go back to the apartment.
Clint still in shock stood looking at Stephanie.
‘Why didn’t you stay in the room?’
‘I wanted to see what the noise was about.’
‘I don’t think she realized I was sleeping on the couch.’
‘You better go explain to her Clint otherwise you may lose her.’
Clint quickly ran towards the door. As he nears he can hear some tires squealing as someone tries to apply their brakes. A sickening thud then sounds as if a slab of meat hit a wall. Clint runs out with even greater urgency. The rain makes things hard to see. He almost trips at someone on his doorstep. Looking down he realizes it is Sarah. Broken and bloody she lays there face down. Clint turns his head back towards his apartment.
‘Stephanie call 911!’
He kneels down and puts a hand on Sarah’s shoulder.
‘Sarah can you hear me. Don’t try to move we are getting help.’
Clint gently tries to roll her over to prop her head up some. Her eyes are closed. Her breathing is shallow. There is only a tiny bit of blood but there appears to be something jutting out of her side. It didn’t break the skin. Clint realizes it is probably a rib. Sarah gives a weak cough that sounds more like a reflex than her actually breathing. Clint looks at her lips and there blue with cold with a spot of red on them. He opens her mouth to help her breath and sees it is full with blood.
All he remembers from that point is lots of flashing lights. A numb ride in a police car as they head to the hospital. The blue of the police officer’s uniform as he sat near him. The white of the sheets on the tables. The little gray nametag of the nurse who brought him coffee. The white paper and black text of the forms. Then the silver of a cellular phone on the doctor. The pale face of Sarah’s mom when they were informed she was dead. The shiny steel on the doors as he was being led out. The yellow of the cab giving him a ride home. The pale blue of the sky that stopped raining.
When he got back to his apartment he noticed Sarah’s coat laying there. Still where she had dropped it. The rain long dried off of it. He slowly bends down to pick it up. As he lifts it up to fold it a piece of paper falls out. It appears to be a letter. He bends down and grabs it. As he stands up he unfolds it so he can start reading it.
I wrote this letter in case I wasn’t brave enough to tell you in person.
You have been a wonderful friend over the years. I cannot tell you
how much I have enjoyed your company. Over the past few weeks
I have come to realize how much I truly care about you. I don’t know
your feelings for me but I would like to find out. Over the past few
days I have realized that I love you. I wish to spend the rest of my
life with you and not regretting we didn’t take this friendship to
the level of caring and love that it could easily reach. So if I did
chicken out and wasn’t able to tell you in person please meet me
for tea at our favorite little café. There we can talk about it more.
Know though that you will always hold a place in my heart.
With love Sarah.
He read it twice for accuracy. He tried reading it again a third time but wet spots of water started falling onto the paper. As he stood there staring at it until the tears overcame him and the print became unreadable.
If only he would have had Stephanie go to another friends house. If only he would have ran out faster. If only he would have not answered the door. If only he would have told her that he loved her earlier. So many ifs. Now he lost his chance and she lost her life.
A few hours later there he is. Sitting for tea at a little café. The rain started back up. This time it came down as if the world was morning her death. The tea and soup he couldn’t taste. The cup of tea sitting across from him stood there untouched. Going cold. Sarah’s coat hanging on the chair.
The past few days events he realized have come up to this point. Clint stood there looking over the plains. He had a note already written down at his house. He even took a cab as far as he could so he wouldn’t leave his car parked out in the middle of nowhere. He knew this was it. He had played it over in his mind so many times in the past few hours. His direction was chosen. Closer to the edge he inched forward. Closing his eyes and taking a deep breath he bent his legs slowly.
‘Love does not die’
Taking a step back Clint quickly looked around. He had definitely heard the voice but couldn’t see where it came from. The meaning of it he pondered. Love does not die. What does that mean. Still he could not find the person who spoke the words. Quickly he thought about the meaning behind them. Of course love dies.
Realization came about slowly. Then he saw. Love does not die. It either gets dim or it gets brighter. Either way like a light filling a room it does not truly die. The flame may go out but it will still sit there waiting again to be relit. The person had died but the love can still live in him.
With a smile on his face and calm in his thoughts. Clint turned away from the cliff. He started walking back towards town. Though it was a few miles back he figured it would give him time to think. Sarah may be gone but he can still go on loving her.