Bryant

The sun wakes me up this morning. I didn't get as much sleep as I wanted to last night. I look at my cell phone and see that it's 11:38! That only gives me twenty-two minutes to save Melinda, and it takes twenty minutes to get there! I've told my parents so many times that I need an alarm clock!

I hastily climb out of bed and put on a pair of jeans I see on the floor. Next to it is a black button up shirt. I put it on, not bothering to button it. I don't care if they're clean or not. I don't take the effort to brush my teeth or my hair. I grab the car keys from my dresser and run out of the house.

I start the car and begin to drive, not giving it the chance to get warm up first. The speed limit sign says 55, but I'm going way faster than that. I don't care if the cops see me, they may even help me. And in all of the days the radio has to annoy me, it has to be today.

The station plays a variety of music, and it's playing songs that I can relate to. One song is about him wishing he could turn back time to tell this girl he was starting to fall in love with her, but he was too late…That reminds me of the situation I'm in now. I just hope that I won't make the same mistake.

It plays songs that are related to it for a while and every word crushes me little by little. When I'm almost there, a song called "My Last Breath" by Evanescence plays. I've heard it so much but never really listen to the lyrics until now. It relates to the circumstance that I'm stuck in. I think, in my own words, about her falling…about her dying…

…I am not gonna let that happen!

All I wanted to say was I love you and I'm not afraid.

Can you hear me?

Can you feel me in your arms?

I take a sharp turn and keep going…

I know you hear me.

I can taste it in your tears.

I'm a little blinded from the tears, but I don't care. Nothing will stop me to rescue my love…

Say goodnight.

Don't be afraid.

Calling me, calling me as you fade to black.

Ahead, I see a blue bicycle that is leaning on a tree. Next to it is the dirt road that leads to the cliff.

Holding my last breath.

Safe inside myself

Are all of my thoughts of you.

That must be Melinda's bike!

Sweet raptured light.

It ends here tonight.

I park my car on the first part of the road. The rest of the way is too narrow to drive. I look at the clock on the stereo, it says 11:58. I get out of the car, not bothering to turn it off or close the door, and run at top speed to Melinda. I yell her name at the top of my lungs. Anguish and distraught are imprinting on my face.

I can see her from far away. She's standing there in serenity. The wind blows on her dress, making it ripple. Her hair is in between her fingers.

I keep shouting her name still, hoping to catch her attention.

Turn around! Please turn around! Please know that I'm here!

"MELINDA!" I yell.

When she finally turns, I catch my breath and so does she. She looks so beautiful. She looks like an angel from the way the sun hits her. The wind still blows and it makes her dress and hair sway only the movies can perfect. And the way she parts her lips makes my heart sprint. I want to just stop and drink in her beauty, but I know I must keep moving.

I am so close when she-

"No, Melinda!"

She unintentionally takes a step back off the cliff. For a moment I think my world has shatter in front of me, but then I regain hope when I see her hands gripping on the ledge.

"Hang on Melinda, I'm coming!"

I kneel at the cliff and stretch my hand to her. My heart cracks slightly when I look at her frighten but somewhat happy face.

"Grab my hand!" I cry.

She just looks at me like she's still trying to realize that I'm here.

"You came for me," she finally says.

Can you hear my heart still breaking?

"Of course I came. I'd do anything for you. Now please, take my hand."

She stares at it for a moment then grasp my hand. Her hands are soft as silk. We grip our hands tightly, and I begin to pull her up. She tries to find her footing on the rock face and climb her way up. She is about a few inches up when we hear a rock crumble and fall. Melinda falls a little bit farther then she was before; she screams as she falls.

"Bryant, my hands are slipping," she whimpers.

I take a hold of her hands with both of mine. "It's okay. I won't let you go."

Just then a fracture breaks off some more, descending her a little farther away from me.

"I can't make it," she says. "I can't hold on much longer. It's gonna keep breaking. Just let me go."

In my mind's eye, I see last night's dream and terror strikes through me. "No, Melinda. Don't! Leave! Me!"

She looks deep into my eyes and discovers the secret behind them…My love.

I see hope in her eyes flickering like a candle flame. "Why?" she asks. "What am I to you?"

Why is she asking me that? Can't she realize she found something confidential? Maybe she's just making sure. She's been hurt for so long.

I freeze, not saying anything. I want to speak but nothing is coming out. Say something you idiot! You can see hope in her eyes for once. You wanted to say how you feel before it's too late. Say something!

"I…I-I ah…" That's all I say.

Hope starts to fade in her eyes.

Say it you imbecile!

"I…I. L-love. You." There, was that so hard? "I've always have, ever since I saw you in our history class. I love you so much that I dream about you every night. No kidding. I think about you all the time and I'm not exaggerating. I actually have to stop thinking and concentrate on what I'm doing. Of course a few minutes later, I go back thinking about you. But Melinda, even though you're my first love, I know with all of my heart that you will be the only one I'll ever love. So you can't leave me!"

I feel something sliding down my cheeks. I realize that I've been crying quietly since I started to say my confession.

She smiles broadly as she struggles to pull herself up until she's just inches from my face. You can only imagine how fast my heartbeat is.

"I love you, too, Bryant," she says and lingers her face toward mine.

I realize she's leaning in for a kiss. I feel my heart nervously bobbing up and down like a yo-yo. I make a great effort to control my breathing but fail anyway. I know this seems silly for a guy to say this, but I've always visualized what it would be like kissing Melinda. But this doesn't compare to the sweetest vision ever; and I haven't even kissed her yet!

But there's a risk to this. If we do, our grips might loosen, and I'll lose her forever. Am I willing to risk that?

I hesitate for a spilt second then move slowly to her…I feel her lips first. Her touch is soft and…and gentle…like a feather caressingly moving down your neck. I catch my breath when I touch them. Then she tenderly slides her tongue through my lips, and, oh, she tastes so good. My breath quivers, and it enters into her and breathes me in, and I breathe hers. The kiss is hard yet soft.

I never want this to come to an end, but she is still hanging over the ledge and that won't cut it. I wrap my arms around what I can of her. Our kiss gives me an adrenaline rush. This will not be our last kiss; I will make sure of it.

Still kissing her, I pull her up, slowly but with effort, from over the ledge. When I notice her knees touching the ground, I continue to pull her up while turning her body down then lay her on the ground. I cup her face, our kiss turning more fiercely. She lightly grazes my bare chest. I pull away with my eyes close, fighting for air. After a moment, my lips land on hers, inhaling each other's air again. Then I go in for another one of her magnificent kisses.

What feels like hours but is probably only minutes we stop, but I don't want to lift my lips off of hers just yet. I say, "I am so sorry that I haven't told you about how I feel before."

"It doesn't matter," she says.

I look up at her. "Of course it matters. If I only told you that I love you and gave you my attention, it would have prevented this."

She sighs. "Maybe, but part of me can't…regret what happened"-she cups my face- "because it brought me you."

Not even I could argue with that; it gave me the courage to own up to my feelings and acknowledge hers.

I hold her very, very close to me. "I promise to never let you feel this lonely again. You can talk to me anytime. Big thing, small thing, or you want somebody to be with you, you can always talk to me. And I promise to fix any problem you have." I add in a whisper, "I will always be there for you."

She nods. "And I promise never to do anything this stupid again."

I nod, too. "I cannot go through this again."

…Moments pass and neither of us moves at all; we do nothing but staring at each other like there's nothing else except us. Eventually I say, "Come, I'll take you home." I stand up and help her stand, too.

Before I can even take one step, she gives me a hard, fervent kiss. I gently clench her dress in my hands. We break apart too soon, and she says, "Thank you for finally telling me."

I brush our lips together. "Anytime," I say.

As we start to walk, I walk and stumble like I'm intoxicated and I hear Melinda giggling quietly.