When The Sun Sets Down

Submitted into Contest #99 in response to: Begin your story with somebody watching the sunrise, or sunset.... view prompt


Sad Teens & Young Adult

Content Warning: Mentions a Victim of Suicide

The sun was setting down.

Lower and lower and...lower.

Lower and lower and lower until just the tip of his head was visible.

Hardly a sliver remained, yet a bright one at that. 

So bright still that if you looked in his direction you would see the sky around him still warm, still a-light.  So bright still that it wouldn’t be long before your eyes began to burn, to water. The sun was trying his best to stay up as long as he could so that he could catch a last glimpse of his beloved moon. The moon he sets down for, the moon he lives for.

But what happens when you lose the one you love?

What happens when the one you love dies?

What happens if they choose to leave? 

The sun thought he needn’t worry over these questions. He thought he could have her forever. And ever and ever and ever. Foolish sun, she’ll be gone one day and he will be left shattered. Not even broken, but shattered. Pieces of his heart as fragile as glass flying all over. He thought it could never be so, he thought he could hold on to her for eternity. So the shock of loneliness, of hurt, of anger, will be more than enough to leave him in bits. But, of course, he had her now and their love seemed like something that could never be distinguished. Something that would be impossible to split apart. But, of course, everything and everyone dies within time so this is just a fantasy. A belief that will be the death of you if you’re not careful. However, Ruben Alonso didn’t have the heart to tell him that as the sun beamed its last rays to his moon before vanishing from view, leaving only a few rays of light still present.

The sunset was beautiful, he had to admit. He found peace in the colored sky and colored clouds. The mark of time where day turns to night and the stars get their special time to shine. As does the moon, the sun makes sure of it.

Alonso was sitting on the rooftop of an apartment complex by his home. The same rooftop his girlfriend jumped off of seven months ago. He wouldn’t go out of his room for two of those months and didn’t talk for four and a half. Now, he says just small things, quiet things, using as little words as possible.

Was it his fault?

Was he too much?

Too little?

Thoughts like these would consume his mind, his heart now oblivious to everything good still around him. His heart now, feeling nothing. His heart now, broken in two. 

It was dark now, a deep navy blue. The stars above twinkled and he couldn’t help but wonder if they were her eyes, if she was looking down on him. He recoiled at the thought. If she left him, surely she didn’t want to waste her time in the afterlife watching him. There was no note, no explanation, no indication that it wasn’t because of him. Who does that? Who tells you they love you the night before they go and kill themselves? He wondered if it hurt. If the death was instant, if the death was full of regret. He wondered what would have happened if he had gone up onto this rooftop the day she attempted to fly away, he wondered what would have happened if he had grabbed her waist at the last second and pulled her down. He wondered if he could have saved her. He wondered…

Thoughts astray, he let himself wind down. Let himself close his eyes and take in the air that surrounds him, the air that Claire was no longer able to breathe. The air that Alonso could no longer take in with her scent beside him. The scent of rose water, vanilla soap, and dust. She liked to walk around unclean floors without her shoes. Alonso thought it was disgusting but she claimed that it would make her like a dollar bill. All kinds of different hands passing it down. She thought that her feet would touch the lives of all those who also stepped up on this place. He chuckled. She was weird, weird and fun and beautiful and he loved her. Yet he would never see her hazel eyes and cropped dark hair again. Yet he would never hold her hand with her painted nails again. Yet he would never make her laugh...ever again. Memories were all he had now, memories twisted, memories changed by the horror of what she did. They were no longer happy, peaceful memories, but more like files he needed to re-check for any sign, any little thing he could have missed. It was a frantic and mad process. 

His parents wanted to take Alonso to a therapist desperately but they didn’t want to scare him into the confinement of his room again. They said he needs help and that it's ok that he does. They said that whenever he was ready, they would find him one. Alonso desperately didn’t want to go to therapy. If he didn’t even talk to his parents about it, why would he talk to a complete stranger? It baffled him how much his parents had changed towards him. Like he was delicate, fragile. And maybe he was. But for right now, he was breathing in the night air on this rooftop. It was a way for him to cope, to calm down and ease his anxiety. It was the first place they ever kissed. He imagined it now, that very feeling, never able to experience it in real once more. This made him sad. So, so, so sad. 

Did she think of him when she jumped?

Did she think of the people she would hurt, the people she would break?

Did she know he loved her more than anything?

His thoughts became a whirlwind again, as they did every time he came up here. It still felt like a piece of her was still with him. It still eased the pain, but to a small extent. He remembered when he raced up here after the news, how he thought it was a joke. He remembered how he came up here, head in his hands searching. Searching for anything, for something that could explain. But he never found it.


Alonso was surprised at himself when he told his parents that he would go to a therapist the next day. 

“Therapy, I’ll do it,” was all he said before he walked away. His parents' shock mirrored his own. It wouldn’t work. It couldn’t. But he said yes. Well, he said he’ll do it. Maybe it was for his parents' own relief rather than for his own. Maybe it was from hearing her voice in the midnight wind telling him she loved him up on that rooftop before he left. But that wasn’t true. If she loved him, she wouldn’t have left him.

He played over his words, wondering how he could undo them with as little letters as possible. Nevermind, perhaps? The word therapy followed by a shake of his head? As he made his way down the steps he was startled to find the bug eyes of his parents staring up at him, a smile on their faces.

“I’m proud of you son,” said his Dad.

“It’s no easy thing to accept the help you need. We booked the appointment for Wednesday!,” His mother’s smile was one of triumph. His frown was one of defeat.

With this, he headed back upstairs leaving his parents confused and a little worried. He would still have to go to that therapist though.


“How are you today, Alonso,” The sugar faced, middle-aged woman asked. Her smile was closed-lipped, yet happy. Like how a grandma would smile with no teeth. He stayed silent. Her smile didn’t diminish, not even a little bit.

“Well, I’ll take that as neutral,” she replied to his silence. She asked him a few more questions, still denied any answers.

“You don’t have to talk right now but I need you to understand that I can help you, that there is a way to live with this, that there is a way to be yourself again. I need you to understand that I am a person you can tell your feelings to, a person who was literally sworn to confidentiality. I will try my best to listen, I will try my best to put myself in your shoes. You can yell, shout, scream, cry, and I will still be there to help you. I need you to understand that for me, okay?,” her face was the same, a new emotion adding to it. One of seriousness that could be shown between her brows.


“Excuse me?,” the therapist was confused but also saw this as a good first step. At least he was talking.

“You can’t understand because it didn’t happen to you and whatever you may think, you can’t help me because you can’t ever bring her back to me. She left me. Now, do you understand?”

His voice was quiet but etched with rage. He didn’t speak for the rest of the session.


The next few appointments were always the same. He never said a word to this lady who claimed to be help. She sure wasn’t helping any. He wondered how much patience is required for a job like hers. A lot, he was sure.

Today, though, was different. The therapist, Mrs. Carter, decided to take a different approach. 

“Tell me Alonso, tell me about Claire.”

Alonso shifted in his chair, seemingly uncomfortable and trying to restrain from talking about her.

“What did she look like? Describe her personality, your relationship with her.”

Alonso opened his mouth as if he wanted to respond, but shut it back tight. His eyes glinted with the memory of her.

“Tell me Alonso, did you love her?” She knew she got him with this question. The others were just bait but this one, with this one, she could reel him in. She hoped. It's a lovely dangerous thing, hope.

He bent and rubbed his face with his calloused hands.

“Yes.” His voice cracked, barely above a whisper. “Very much.”

“And she took your heart with her when she left didn’t she?”

He nodded, solemnly. Poor boy, but the last thing he needed was sympathy. He re-composed himself, eyes remaining glossy. She was smiling that closed-lipped smile again, but with more seriousness reaching the new wrinkles on her forehead. Silence stretched between them, long and comforting. Alonso sighed.

“Was it my fault?,” he asked. It came out like the squeak of a mouse. Mrs. Carter shook her head.

“Truth be told, I don’t know.” He nodded at her response, slumping down in his chair.

“I just want to know. Why? I just really want to know why,” he whimpered.

“Alonso,” Mrs. Carter began, taking a deep breath. “It’s never usually one thing. But one thing I believe is this. It’s not your fault. Of course, we can never really know but that’s just what I believe. After so long, after getting cut and cut, she was bleeding out. She needed an escape. She needed to do what you’re doing now. She needed to get help but she was too scared, Alonso. It’s never one thing. But all the small things add up at some point to create a gash too deep to heal. She wanted it to end, and that notion came to her unfortunate undoing.

You are not alone, I assure you. And I’m also sure she wasn’t aware of the effect her choice would have on all those who loved her. The effect it would have on you.” 

Alonso’s glossy eyes became too full to hold in. They came pouring down and he let himself cry. He let himself cry away the guilt, the sadness, the loneliness, the hurt, the anger, and the whys that loomed over him like a thundering tempest. He let himself cry the tears that would fill his broken heart until it could heal over, until it could still beat once again for the memory of her and their young true love. 

He cried even still as the sun was going down. Lower and lower and lower. Lower and lower and lower until the light went out, until the sun looked at his moon one last time with a smile on his love-struck face. Until he could see her again tomorrow.

June 25, 2021 18:49

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Lynda -ann Singh
19:02 Jul 01, 2021

very interesting and well written story. I especially like how Alonso says that no one could understand what he is going through because they are not going through the same thing.


Chloe :)
00:34 Jul 22, 2021

Thank you so much for the feedback :)


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