The water looks welcoming, friendly. It reflects the colors of the skyline. My feet are bare, my shoes behind me on the pavement. The sounds of traffic slowly fade from my mind. I step off.
Silence. My hair floats out of my face as life and death enter slow motion. I close my eyes and open them once more. I’m not afraid like I thought I would be. Instead, it is the most relaxed I have ever felt, knowing what is next. There is no longer anything to be nervous about, only one choice remained, and I already made it.
I’ve only fallen a few feet, and it already feels like an eternity. My life begins to play like a movie, but not like how I thought it would. I imagined my life flashing before my eyes in a grand fashion, but that’s not it; only eyes, the eyes of everyone in my life.
The first eyes I ever saw, my mother’s. They are blurry, but the green color shines through. Lights pour into the hospital room, and she smiles down at me. I smile back, even as I fall now. She’s the kindest woman I have ever met, and when she looks at me throughout time, it’s like a soft piano melody hums in the distance. I can hear it now, every note gliding through the air.
Water waves back and forth, and the sound becomes more prevalent; a sea shell to my ear as the ocean talks back. The air resistance turns my body around, and I see the sky. Clouds roll past, and the bridge becomes smaller. A song reaches me, in my head or from a passerby, I do not know.
She has a beautiful voice, exactly the one I remember. The record from France I used to play on repeat. The words I couldn’t understand would drift through my room and out of my windows, fading through the neighborhood. It makes me think of the slight spring breeze that would gently push my blinds forward and back.
I’m turning white now. The fear sets in. Nostalgia never had much of an impact on me, so experiencing nostalgia for nostalgia is an odd feeling. I don’t how long I’ve fallen; the seconds have been longer than my entire life. I thought I was endearing. I thought being on my own could allow for new opportunities. But when you see that everyone you care about has left you, waiting and waiting for an outcome they thought would never come, false emotions fall away.
Gravity pulls my cheeks and a smile peaks. The water touches my hair. I leave behind my dirty sneakers, and my only witness is the man in the moon. It’s a poor prize for anyone who cares.
Thank you for my life and my happiness, and thank you for my pain and depth. My decision is final. The water welcomes me with open arms, and I close my eyes.
more by TYLER CLIFTON
photograph by Teresita Garit