Every now and then she looks down. Every now and then she runs a finger gently over the raised skin. The flesh has formed back together, but the raised ridges remind her what had been.
Hanging onto the edge of the rope trying desperately to cling to hope. Hope, she thought, was leaning over the edge hanging onto the other end. Hope, she thought, wanted her to succeed.
“What must I do?” she pled.
“Stop telling lies,” he answered.
Lies? There were no lies. “What must I do?” she cried again, beads of sweat dripping down her body, her arms beginning to shake under the weight of trying to hold herself up.
“Stop. Telling. Lies,” he again answered. His eyes fixed on hers searching, disbelieving.
“He doesn’t see me,” she thought, and then, with sickening realization and building fear, “did he ever?”
The fibers of the rope were now sinking into her flesh. Dark, red streams ran down her arms.
“He’s not trying to save me,” she realized, “He’s not trying to save us.” For the first time she looked down. Darkness was all she could see below. No bottom. No hint as to what lied below.
With her last bit of strength, she looked up. He stood above her. Only his head visible beyond the ledge. He did not move.
The unknown? Or the known?
Her desire to hang on lessened. Looking down into the darkness also felt like looking up into the dark sky. It was peaceful.
And like slipping into a dream, she released her grip. Her body, as though floating and growing smaller and dimmer, finally disappeared into the darkness.
He stood there watching. Then, he dropped the rope and turned away. A few paces away from the ledge a stranger, who had been watching, approached him, “You couldn’t get to her?” he asked.
“She gave up,” he replied.