Standing on top of the building, above the bustling street below, the boy looked over the edge, feeling the cold wind rush across his face as he looked down to the darkness below, only illuminated by the speeding red and white lights below. Holding his breath, he held on to the rail at the edge of the roof, trying to bring himself to climb over to the slim ledge underneath, only a step away from the taunting fall.
"Would I have died tonight?" the boy kept asking, looking over the edge at the street below, thinking that there were few things worse than ending everything.
Slamming the door behind him, the boy raced through the hall to the stairs, stomping loudly on each one as the passer-by stared for a minute and then walked on by. He had never felt so low, so off, so out-of-control that he just kept moving, heading towards a goal that he had no idea where it truly lied. Each step brought his breathing short and more frantic, trying to block out everything his mind to make him stop, but he was sure, that tonight he needed to be alone, maybe for the last time.
Pressing forward on the glass door, he quickly zipped up his jacket and made his way towards the sidewalk of the street, cars going back and forth to their various destinations. Looking at his watch, he saw that the time was closer to seven, yet the night looked as if it was closer to midnight. Everything seemed shrouded in shadows and who knew what was lurking around each corner, waiting to pop out. He had heard stories and news reports and it was reckless to go out alone at night. However, he was always alone. There wasn't a single person here that he could depend on his life for. Everyone that knew him that truly cared for him was at least 100 miles away, living their own lives.
Shaking the thought out of his head, the boy continued to storm down the sidewalk and into the small park. It was a fairly forested area, somewhat lit with the occasional lamppost here and there but mostly dark and just perfect for anyone that wanting to get the jump on somebody, be it for robbery or worse. Tapping his pockets, he had no cell phone, no flashlight, nothing. The only thing on him was a pen and his wallet and keys. Dealt once in the studies of self-defense, he could essentially bring someone down with a pen if they tried to attack, or his keys, despite a bit of digging to get to them. However, a night attacker seemed to take a backseat to his briskly walking. Stepping over branch over branch that had fallen on the concrete trail, the snaps and cracks sounded like he was venturing through a small forest, inhabited by small squirrels and other animals.
Breathing in and out, he could think other than move forward. But to where? Was it toward the chime of the clock tower in the center of the square, close to where he was living? Or was it the overpass to the freeway, easily shaken by the cars speeding underneath? Both options seemed impractical but a common theme was found between them: height. He knew he had to get somewhere high enough. A place high enough to think and high away to get away from everything that had kept him down on the ground.
Crossing a fairly busy street, his eyes starting to get blurred by his shortened breathing, he found his way to the closest building that was tall enough to satisfy his goal. Opening the door to the fire-escape route, he made his way all the way to the top of the stairs, practically exhausted by the time that he opened the door to the windy rooftop above the busy street below. Taking in the fresh air, accompanied by the whizzing past of cars, he felt better, at peace but at the same time, he needed to acknowledge that he was where he needed to be. Walking towards the edge, the boy peered over the edge of a small metal railing, easily jumpable onto a slim ledge off the side of the roof.
Taking a deep breath, only steps away from the air flowing past the vehicles going back and forth, unaware of what was going on above them, the boy gripped the rail for a second before hearing a small voice from behind.
"What are you doing?" the voice asked, catching the boy by surprise. His grip slipped and he felt a sudden rush as his torso start to fall over the edge of the railing, even closer to the speeding red and white lights below. The image complemented his heart, which had begun to race uncontrollably after the sudden slip over the railing. And yet, he felt only relief that he did not continue to plummet towards the fatal fall.
"Get up." The voice said, in a slightly cheerful yet commanding tone. The boy held tightly to the rail, making sure that he didn't slip farther off the edge. Planting his foot on the rough, he pushed himself off the rail and back on the roof, safe and sound. Breathing even more heavily with his heart pumping faster each second, he held himself against the cold wind, thankful that he didn't fall the way that he thought he would.
"I'm gonna ask again, what are you doing?" the voice asked once more, the tone becoming a bit more commanding. The boy turned around only to find a young woman with beautiful long black hair and a shining face, with no imperfections wearing a white jacket and pants. Her arms were crossed across her chest as her cold stare stood the boy down, like a mother to a son. The boy blinked several time, sure that this couldn't be real.
"I was…" the boy squeaked out, still panting from the near-death experience, "I was…" Before the boy could answer, the woman walked up in front of him and slapped him across the face, sending the boy tumbling towards the ground. The boy rubbed his cheek, looking up at the feet of the young woman, who was still staring at him with a cold stare.
"You were thinking about killing yourself." She replied, closing her eyes as she couldn't even look at him. The boy quickly got up and dusted himself off, pleading in front of the woman.
"I was…" the boy started again, but did not have the courage to lie to the woman in front of him, "Yeah, I just…"
"You just what?" The woman asked, her eyes opening only to glare directly at him, as though they were a direct connection to his soul. "You think that if you would have done what you were planning to do, that would end everything?"
"It would mean that I wouldn't have to live like this!" the boy shouted back, starting to tear up. "All I ever did is tried to appease other people. If it's one thing I was taught, it's never cause a scene in public and yet, that's all it seems I've been good for. I just wished…. I was someone else. Not me." The woman listened on, her stare starting to soften by the boy's tears.
"If I had a new life, maybe things would be different, like I could try again from the start."
The woman walked over to the boy and put her hand on his shoulder, her long black hair draping on him from the wind behind them. She looked at the boy and wrapped her arms around him. The boy froze at the action and simply stood in shock.
"Go home." She said softly as she let go of the boy, her hands still on his shoulders. The boy looked down at her jacket to see that his tears had trickled down on the fabric, matched with the ones that she had in her eyes. "Go home, now."
As the boy looked on, he saw the woman turn towards the edge of the roof, where two black wings were printed in an intricate design on her back. "Who are you?" he asked, rubbing his cheek to remember that she was indeed real. The woman turned around slowly, her long black hair flowing across her face as she smiled back.
"I'm your Angel," she replied before moving faster than the boy could see directly in front of him, giving him a small kiss on the cheek opposite of the one she slapped. The boy froze in place again at the gesture as the woman chuckled before walking back over to the edge of the roof, over the railing and on to the edge. The boy ran towards the edge, behind the railing as her hair grazed his face, her smile looking back at him.
"And one day, you'll meet me for real." The woman said happily, still crying at the thought of the boy being in her position. With that last statement, she let go of the rail and leaned back into the fall of the traffic below. The boy quickly shot his hand to grab hers as she felt but felt nothing but air as he continued to watch her fall down the side of the building.
Looking away, the boy expected to hear the crash of the cars below or at least some loud car horns from the object falling towards the Earth below. However, a minute passed after the beautiful woman had thrown herself off and looking over the edge, traffic went on normally. The boy pressed his hand on his chest, feeling his heart race from everything that had happened. Looking over the edge, he simply had one question to ask.
"Would I have died tonight?" he asked himself aloud, closing his eyes as his head rest against the cool, metal railing.
"Go home, where you are safe and sound." A voice said into his ear. The boy quickly hopped up and looked behind him, hoping to see the angelic woman behind, commanding him to go home. However, he saw nothing but the empty rooftop, with the door to the stairwell left open so he wasn't trapped up here. The boy looked away for a second; distinctively remembering that he shut the door behind him going on the rooftop. Then, with a sudden realization, the boy smiled and wiped his tears, walking towards the light of the stairwell, back to his home.