Sometimes, It's Better Not to Jump

Submitted into Contest #97 in response to: Write a story that involves a magic window — or a window like no other.... view prompt

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Fiction Teens & Young Adult Adventure

Content Warning : Suicide



My hands shook incessantly as I grabbed the edge of the wide window sill. This was it. This was where it would end. All the pain. All the suffering. All of it. 

My heart pounded against my chest causing a rush of adrenaline to travel through my body. I stepped onto the window ledge, placing one foot, then another, onto the platform. As I did this, the cool autumn air brushed through my hair, bidding me a final farewell. 

From outside my apartment room, I heard a loud clambering of footsteps. In the next moment, the door swung wide open, and a figure rushed into my bedroom, panting and out of breath. Without allowing myself to get a good glimpse of who the intruder was, I jerked my head in the other direction and made the jump. My feet left solid ground, and I found myself falling fast, faster than I had anticipated. 

Not even a second after I decided to jump from the tall window of my 21 story apartment building, regret hit me like a hurricane. A tsunami of thoughts of life crashed into my head.  All I could think of was how much I hadn’t done with my life and how much I was leaving behind. It was too late now though. I had made the decision. I had cut the thread. Tears streamed down my cheeks as I fell. It was over. This was the end.

***

“Hey!” a voice exclaimed from behind me. I turned my head abruptly to see Laine, my “best” friend approaching rapidly. As usual, she wore a tight pink strapless tank top and ivory black leggings, both of which gave her cleavage in all the right places. Her platinum hair rested perfectly at shoulder length, tucked back behind her ears to reveal a pair of dangling gold hoop earrings. 

“I thought you were gonna be out today hon.” she said, eyeing me suspiciously, “You told me you were sick.”

I stared at her awestruck. Series of events flashed through my head. The window. The fall. The death. How was I still here? How was I not………dead?

“Also what’s with your clothes? I’d rather die than be caught wearing those shorts.” Laine smacked on the peppermint gum in her mouth as she pinched the edge of my clothes.

I glanced down at my attire and blushed in embarrassment. They were the bright yellow pineapple pajamas that I had worn the night before and into the next day. The day I decided to end it. Did this mean I survived the jump? Did I fall out a window of a 21 story building, get back up, and walk to the coffee shop next door?

“Hey Laine.” I paused, unsure of how to word my question, “When exactly did I get here? Did you um, see me walk in or?” 

Laine gave me a questioning look, “The hell am I supposed to know. I came into the coffee shop, ordered my drink, and saw you standing in this ridiculous outfit staring off into the abyss.” she giggled slightly. “Again, what is up with your clothing choice Mary? It’s so unlike you.”

I felt a throbbing pain in my head, “I don’t know.” I stumbled back, “I don’t know. I have to go Laine. I’ll catch you later.” 

I made my way quickly to the door of the shop and hurried out, hoping to catch some air. What was going on? Why was I not dead?

***

I walked down the sidewalk, the noise of New York City traffic blaring in my ears. The cacophony of sounds clamored loudly and scrambled my already scattered thoughts. Suddenly, mid stride I hit an obstacle in front of me and looked up to see Leon, my ex boyfriend standing in front of me.

“Mary? What the hell are you doing? Can you watch where you’re going?” he did a quick doubletake at my clothes, “And what are you wearing?”

I felt my cheeks grow hot. 

“Just give me a break Leon.” I told him on the verge of tears.

 Within the next few moments, all the pain, all the suffering, all the hate that I had felt for this world inundated my head. I remembered the six months that I had spent with Leon. I remembered working double shifts time and time again to keep up with both our living expenses. I remembered missing my mom’s funeral because Leon had been drunk the night before, leaving me with multiple bruises on my face and arms.

Then, I recalled the equivalent pain that I had felt when I had made the decision to jump. I recalled the pain and regret that I faced when my feet left solid ground, and I realized I was going to die. I recalled how much I  wished I hadn’t jumped. I recalled all the things I hadn’t done with my life. All the things that I wanted to be able to do. I wasn’t ready to die. 

***

I raced back into the coffee shop, sighing in relief to see Laine standing where I had left her, sipping on her morning coffee.

“What day is it Laine?” I asked frantically. 

She gave me a puzzled look, “Are you okay Mary? What’s up with you today?”

“Just tell me what day it is!” I exclaimed in panic. 

“It’s Saturday hon. Calm down. It’s Saturday.” she replied, her expression shifting from confusion to concern.

“Shit.” I clenched my teeth and darted back out the coffee shop, took a sharp left, and charged into the building of my apartment. Frantically, I pressed the elevator button, tapping my foot anxiously as I waited. When it came, I rushed in and selected the 21st floor cursing under my breath as the elevator slowly traveled up. 

After what seemed like centuries, the elevator finally reopened, and I found myself on the 21st floor of the building. I darted to my apartment, thanking god to find it unlocked and subject to intrusion. 

Then, faster than I had ever moved before, I bolted to my bedroom and aggressively swung the door open wide, arriving just in time to see myself on the ledge of the window. 

“Stop! Don’t jump!” I screamed in a futile effort to prevent what was about to happen. It was too late. I had jumped. Everything blacked out.

Author's Note: Mary, the character in the story, recognized that she did not want to die. However, it was only after she had actually come face to face with death, that she realized how much she wanted to live. Unfortunately, in reality, there is no magic window that allows you to go back in time. In the real world, once you jump, you jump. Perhaps if someone, anyone had just come and told Mary that her life was worth living before she had decided to end it, she might not have let her feet leave that window sill. So please, if you are in need of help or know of someone who is suffering, reach out.

June 11, 2021 16:00

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