Zoe Tsiounis, Grade 12, St Columbas College -
It’s that listless feeling. I’m beginning to lose focus. My calves are starting to ache with the beginnings of a cramp. The birds chirp cheerfully next to me, blissfully unaware of their surroundings. They take no notice of me, and fortunately, neither does anyone else. I try not to look down from where I am situated on top of a building, at all the pedestrians and office workers, unassuming in their daily lives. Unaware.
My mind wanders. A memory surfaces.
A small boy peers his head over the enormous, metal platform. He gazes up at me and smiles so radiantly and joyously, as if he thought I was the most important person in the world. The excessive squeals and mindless chatter was aggravating, however, this boy made me ignore it for just a moment. He struggled for a while to pull his weak, scrawny little body onto the platform. He proudly springs before me with his smug little grin as he brushes away the cobwebs that he’d collected on his treacherous journey up the endless mountain of playground equipment. His hair stood on end from the static as though he was involved in a science experiment gone wrong. He held out his hand and playfully tilted his head.
‘Let's be friends.’
The boy gazes at me, still the same old unkempt, shaggy brown hair, just with a few more years on him. His lively grey eyes, anxious. The summoning bell is ringing out as I gaze at him encouragingly, as he utters an invitation to accompany him to the upcoming school formal. I feel anguished as the silence draws on, as I try to find the right words to say, and at last he walks away in defeat. His words still hang over me, right through to sitting stiffly at the wide, white-clothed table next to David, who had asked me prior to that day. I find my eyes wondering, to the table across where he sits, dashing in his green checkered tie, his close-cut suit shifting as he belts out in laughter. And for a moment, I wished I had said yes.
There it is again, that listless feeling. A gust of the wind caresses my face, bringing me back, a gentle tug toward the man in a green checkered tie. Complacent and unwitting, walking out onto the street down below. My eyes close and my thoughts fade, like a tidal wave receding from shore. And fleetingly, foolishly, I wonder about if things may- no, could, have been different. But then again, reality isn’t perfect. It isn’t a paradise.
I chant those words to myself, over and over. It’s a drone, perpetuating my thoughts. I have no time to be sorry. The breeze knows this, it compels me. I open my eyes. I am almost sorry, as my fingers rest carefully on the trigger, the curvature of it conforming to my hand. It rests, as if it has found its home.