We All Fall Down

I didn’t have an inkling of the immediate future, but to be fair, who does? All wrapped up in my head, yet not thinking of anything in particular, I made my way towards the entrance of the building. There weren’t a lot of people in this part of the academic block, and most were enjoying the weather outside in the lush, green grounds. I didn’t want to give much thought to the exhausting journey I’d have to partake tomorrow, so I distracted myself by opening up a bar of chocolate.

I was halfway through it when I realized something was wrong. There was a crowd gathered around something on one corner. I unconsciously moved towards it before stopping myself. From between their legs I glimpsed someone lying on the floor. Snapping out of my reverie, I focused on the situation at hand.

“…suicide attempt or an accident, we’re not likely to find out what happened until…”

A little something quietly broke inside of me. I looked up and saw the balconies lined with people. My eyes trailed the building up to the last floor, gauging the height. The sky was no longer the deep blue it had been this afternoon. Instead, a mixture of dark clouds swirled overhead; imposing on what little sunlight we’d been blessed with these past two days. The threat of another harsh spring storm loomed above any hopes of warmth. The chocolate no longer tasted sweet; a sour, plastic taste filled my mouth, and suddenly I couldn’t stand to swallow the thing. It remained stuck for a while before I painfully gulped it down.

I looked back down towards the person on the floor, and this time the first thought to cross my mind was, please, don’t let it be someone I know. A list of possible people ran through my head, and it was only when I had mentally crossed them off that I realized what I was doing.

I didn’t have to think anything like this.

The only thing I needed to do was hope for peace and not my definition of it. So I began hoping that whoever this person was – whatever the intent behind this had been – they would find peace. Whichever peace they’d been looking for, I hoped with all that I had in me that they’d find it. Be it in this world, or whatever other world awaited us.

Soon, the ambulance came and the man was taken away to the hospital. He appeared to be familiar, so I must have seen him somewhere around campus because as I finally learned his name, he really wasn’t someone I knew. No relief spread through my body, only anguish.

As I stepped inside the elevator, all I could think of was the brink of human life. Exactly what point of complete and utter helplessness does a person have to reach, to make the decision to end the only certainty they have, of being alive? A part of me wished for it to be an accident. People sat on edges all the time. Maybe he’d just fallen. Aside from the troubled bout of despair which was a consequence of thinking about suicide, I wished someone would tell me how to feel.

Moving out of the way of other people waiting to be let inside the elevator, I went outside into the fresh air. To be able to breathe so easily when he must have been experiencing unimaginable pain seemed…vulgar. Uncertain how long I’d been standing peering down from the ledge where he must’ve fallen, I finally looked up when my neck began to cramp.

It was darker now, maybe ten minutes away from sundown. Thundered rumbled above and a light rain began to quietly sprinkle on us. A few drops dusted across my cheeks, making up for the lack of tears.

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