Hold On You - M. S. Brannon Page 0,1

wind is becoming too much, and my grip is weakening. She is frantically trying to climb up my arm, but with each movement, she is inching her way out of my grasp. Then she slides down farther until we are only holding on with our fingers, desperately trying to thread them together, but she is slipping.

I close my eyes because I can’t watch.

I simply can’t watch.

chapter one

MY FEET DIG INTO THE grassy, rough ridge as the ends of my shoes teeter on the edge. The closer I inch my way forward, the more small bits of rock topple off the edge and disappear into the blackness of night. The waves collide violently against the rocks below. The sound is tranquil yet treacherous.

I can smell the salty air as each roll from the ocean slams into the rocks, sending an icy chill down my spine. With one wrong move, one slip of my foot, my fate will be sealed. The feeling ignites my body with a chill that comes from the very thought. Not from the warm, May air and not from the height of the cliff. The coldness prickling my skin is from knowing, with one wrong move forward, I will be dead.

Isn’t this why I came here? Isn’t this why I always come here? To heave my body into the icy ocean, allowing it to slam against the jagged rocks, shattering my bones and instantly killing me? The thought has been weighing on my mind, even when I find myself out of my whiskey haze. Nothing helps, not even slamming my fists into someone else’s gut. Absolutely nothing.

So much has been lost to me in the last year. Today, I couldn’t shake the pain. It has been a year since everything was ripped from me, and now, all I can do to escape the agony is to jump. Yet, I have stood in this very spot for ten minutes, trying to get the nerve to leap off the edge.

The darkness in my brain is begging my legs to take the plunge, but I just remain, planted to the grassy ledge. I am frozen. Simply unable to move a single inch, my legs locked as my mind and body battle with this final outcome.

This isn’t the first time I have been overlooking the violent ocean, wondering if my fate is to be dead, but I am still here. Every time I find a reason to stay alive for a little bit longer. However, today has been one of the darkest days I have experienced.

I lean my head back and close my eyes, breathing in deeply, and picture all that I have lost. The one I have lost. My numbing soul has recently thawed, and what I felt—what I feel—is unbearable. It is this pain that has led me here, debating my final outcome.

When I was a teenager, this was the one spot I came to in order to have fun. It was filled with the best memories. And then it wasn’t. Maybe that is why I never chose to pick up my pistol—I wanted to come to the one place that is the source of my happiness and the beginning of my pain. Maybe the universe is telling me it needs to be here where I finally let go of everything.

Opening my eyes, I lean forward for the millionth time, watching the doom beneath me. The sound of the waves reminds me it’s now or never as the ocean rolls even harder, hundreds of feet down. If I am going to jump, it has to be now, or I won’t do it. My skin is cloaked with sweat, beading and dripping from my brow, chilling me. Knowing I will need to find some sort of power from my legs, I bend at the knees, bounce a couple of times, and then begin the mental count down.

Five … four…

Closing my eyes, I think of the people who have brought me here and release a deep breath, readying myself to join them.

Three … two…

I begin to lean forward, the weight of my body tipping toward the ocean below. I can feel myself almost letting go when bright lights shine behind me, startling me. My foot slips, and I start to fall forward. The distraction is what I need to realize I am not ready for the conclusion yet. I don’t want to kill myself, not today, anyways. However, I don’t want to live with all the pain. The agony of losing everything