Author: Chandra-Moon PM
Faith is haunted by the image of a girl, standing on the edge of a building. Is she also a forgotten soul?Rated: Fiction T - English - Angst/Spiritual - Words: 1,079 - Reviews: 2 - Published: 11-08-04 - id: 1756220
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A/N: Warning, contains suicideish thoughts. Not out and out, though. Also, lyrics in italics are from an episode of "As Told By Ginger". I Believe the name of the poem is "And then she was Gone". Please read an review!
When I was 16, I was flipping through a magazine when I saw an ad for some makeup product. What struck me most, though, was the girl in the picture. She's long and lanky, clad in a thread bear dress, and she's standing on a ledge that must be at least several hundred feet above the earth, because the ground below is nothing more than a far off grayness. This girl is standing on the ledge, her dress being blown everywhere, her hair in her face, and her arms raised straight above her head. Her eyes are following her arms, so she's looking up, not down, teetering on the edge of the building. When I saw it, I wondered if she was an angel. The girl was so beautiful, her eyes bright and shining, her arms raised up to God—I wondered if she was jumping off the ledge, or if she was floating up to heaven.
The next time I saw the picture I saw something else. Looking at the picture, I knew the girl must be a forgotten soul, cast off from the people whom she knew. She was neither jumping nor flying—she was waiting to be remembered, hoping for some immortality for something so tragic and beautiful.
In times I am forgotten, I often wish for as much beauty and splendor as that girl had, perched on the top of a building.
Admittedly, I haven't been living up to my name—Faith—lately. My parents are insatiable Christians, thirsting for Jesus, heaven, and a little bit of World Peace.
I, of course, have always followed in their footsteps—I was Faith, believer of the world. The world could do me no wrong.
I think it was the freedom that attracted me, the indescribable bliss one must experience from being drifted through the worlds of earth and sky. When I imagined what jumping would be like, as I was often wont to do, I concentrated on the fiery crispness burning through my lungs, scorching away my sins. Cold, cold air entwining through my arms to give me wings, to help me fly away.
It's not that I wanted to die. I just wanted to be gone.
Of course, I soon realized that what I was dreaming of was inherently suicide, one of the most grievous of sins. For awhile, I prayed constantly for forgiveness, but I quickly gave up on that.
I worried often about that girl in the magazine. Did she jump, or did she float? Or did she just step down and drift into an ocean of people?
I stopped praying for my holiness, but I did continue to pray for her soul. I prayed for the girl, and I prayed for all of the forgotten souls, waiting to be given a direction.
The girl began to haunt me. At church, her image blazed through my mind while listening to the sermons of repentance and modesty, two things I no longer possessed. I still wondered if the girl was an angel. Maybe she was an angel of death…but still an angel all the same.
As I said, I did not want to die. For the most part, I was very happy, but sometimes I just wished to float away.
Some say she wished to hard, some say she wished to long,
But we awoke one autumn day to find that she was gone.
It haunted my dreams. I dreamt of the building, only now, it was I on the ledge, my hair in my eyes and my arms outstretched. I wondered how it would feel to feel the wind around me, calling me onward. Was it to heaven, or was it to earth? Or was I doomed to be a forgotten soul?
I only dimly remember climbing those stairs. I remember the depressing gray of the hallways, and the sudden brightness of sky and a sudden torrent of wind slapping me to my senses.
I sit down. My thighs are cramped from exertion, and as my mind unfogs, I notice how blue the sky is. I stand up, and I realize where I am.
This is nothing like the girl. I'm wearing a tank top and jeans, both fairly new and clean. My hair is clasped back in a ponytail. Approaching the ledge, I can see that the drop isn't as far as the girl's. Fifteen or so stories down, the people are more or less discernible from the grubby street. The drop is sheer, though. If you fell, you'd never get back up.
I'd be dead before I hit the ground.
I'm insane, I think. Go read the bible! Go to church! Do anything, but do NOT jump from a building.
Why am I doing this? I wonder. Is it to prove I believe in God?
I do believe in God, though. I can hear him calling me. Come to me, Faith, He says. You can be an angel if you want.
I'm standing on the ledge. My legs still ache from the stairs, and they quiver under my weight. I wonder if they'll give out on their own.
The wind is whistling past my ears, and I throw off my jacket. The wind picks it up, and carries it somewhere. It will be waiting for me.
My arms prickle uncomfortably now, but I ignore it. Something is missing, though. I take out my hair, and let it swirl past my body.
I hear a far off shriek. A group of people below has crowded underneath me. I should make a decision before the police arrive.
The trees, they say, stood witness, the sky refused to tell
But someone who had seen it said the story played out well
She spread her arms out wide, breathed in the break of dawn
She just let go of all she held...and then she was gone
That girl didn't jump. She stepped down. Someone else would have to take the fall. I lift my arms over my head, and as I hear a rush of wind and earth, I pray for all the forgotten souls.