Theme: Close Call
Title: Three, two, one.
I read somewhere that it takes courage in the face of adversity to continue. Maybe the time had come. After all what did I have to lose. My life was already in tatters, a torrent of despair.
I knew the conversation would prove awkward, the knot in the stomach, the memories flooding back, drowning in the guilt. Oh for goodness sake pull yourself together Brad. It was time to face up to things. I mean how bad could it be? Surely she’ll understand, maybe forgive would be a little far fetched. We were always so close, the three of us. We did everything together, went everywhere together. She always had the nicest, the kindest eyes, surely eyes like that would be compasionate. Maybe she would be ready to share in the grief.
Three, two, one. I made the call.
“Hello,” she said, answering the phone,her mind distracted with television noise in the background.
There was silence, just as I thought.
I moved quickly to fill the void. “Look I know its been three years since…since you know.”
“You expect me to forgive you when…” she began.
“Yes I know, I know, I still blame myself…”
“What is it you want?” she cut in like a knife.
“Well I thought you know, its coming up to the anniversary and all. I had an idea, maybe to do something, walk up to the waterfall, you know in memory…”
“Brad, that was the worst day of my life. I relive it every single day. Do you know how my life has changed? Do you have any idea?”
“Yes,” I whispered back . I was living it too. “ I just thought it might help us, you know move on a bit. Not forget, nah not forget, just move on. It might help us. Help us both.”
There was another pause.
I held my breath. I could hear sobs at the other end of the phone.
“Okay,” she finally answered. “”Okay, maybe he’d like that. Maybe we should.”
“Yes,” I said.
I parked the car outside her unit. She came out carrying a small backpack and in her arms a bunch of frangipanis.
She shrugged as she hopped into the passenger seat. “He always liked it when I wore a frangipani in my hair, she explained. I nodded and we drove off.
“A few people up here today,” I said mindlessly as we pulled into the parking area.
“Mmmm,” she said, her mind elsewhere.
I grabbed the plastic bag from the back seat. We walked silently along the path, the sound of rushing water bringing back memories of that fateful day.
It had started like many other weekends, exploring, swimming, having fun. He dared me and I dared him, not really thinking he would jump. The currents below could be deadly – we knew that, but we were invincible. We counted down… Three, two, one…It was a split second decision that changed both our lives forever.
Suddenly we were back at the place. We climbed down rocks to where the water eddied and churned. I pulled the inscence sticks and candles from my plastic bag and realised I had frogotten all about the matches. I couldn’t even get that right.
“Do you have a lighter?” I asked her.
“No,” she said.
I felt helpless and wondered what to do.
I sat with her on the boulder as she tugged off the frangipani flowers one by one, casting them into the swirling waters below. “Rest in peace Luke,” she said.
She reached for my hand, forgiveness in her eyes. “Bring the candles back to my place. We can have a drink. He’d like that.”