On the Edge

I stand on the edge looking down. My clothes snap and pop in the wind. It’s a long way down to the bottom, where the people look like dolls, and the cars look like toys. The sounds of the city are just audible over the howling in my ears, but they are indistinct and indistinguishable, just a dull roar. And even from up here I can tell, it seems so obvious once you see it.

I hear the door to the roof slam from somewhere behind me. I look and see John. Or is there a John? I don’t think it matters. Certainly whatever I think of as John in my head is right there. What is truth anyway?

John is walking towards me, he has his arm up to protect himself from the wind. I think I see his mouth moving, but I don’t know what he’s trying to tell me. I cup my ear and shake my head. I think he gets the message.

When he gets to ten feet away, I yell “Stop!”

He freezes.

He yells back, “Please don’t do this!”

“It’s okay! I figured it out!”

“Figured out what?”

“I can’t actually be killed! They won’t let it happen!”

“Who?”

“The ones in charge!”

“Who are they?”

“I don’t know!”

John takes a step forward, but I take a step back, my right foot almost entirely off the edge. He freezes again.

“This is crazy!” he yells, “I don’t want to lose you! Please, just come inside!”

I shake my head. “I can’t do that! What would you do John? For true understanding? What would you risk? This is my gamble! My throw of the dice! One way or the other, I won’t be chained to this world anymore!”

“But what if you’re wrong? You would throw away everything?”

“Is that so bad? Is this world so good? With all that we’ve suffered? Besides, we all die eventually! I think. That might not be real either. I’ll find out pretty soon, either way!”

“I need you! I can’t do this without you!”

“You won’t have to!”

John reaches some conclusion, because he doesn’t try to talk me out of it anymore. Whether he decided I’m right, or that it was futile to argue with me, I don’t know. Maybe he’s not really capable of deciding anything. I hope he is. Not everything in the world is bad.

I take one last moment to take in everything, the wind, the sun, the city. Afterall, I could always be wrong. It’s amazing how real everything feels. Whatever that means. Maybe real feels entirely different.

I take a step back into the void. I see John try to lunge forward to stop me, but he’s too slow. It’s okay John, I’ll see again soon.

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