Just be human
The door whispered open with a sliver of the light from the apartment hallway. I slipped in through the doorway.
“Colin, I'm back.” I nudged the door shut behind me. The lights were off, so Colin must have been passed out somewhere getting the rest he needed. He had come home early from work complaining of exhaustion, so his appearance at the wedding was out of the question.
“You really should have come. It was gorgeous.” I smoothed my twinkling black dress and set my purse down on the wood table that nipped at the door's toes. Taking a few heeled steps into the house, I called out to Colin again. No answer. A car's alarm blared from outside.
I fumbled around for the water faucet in the dark, I turned it with a creak. The tap water wasn't the cleanest, but we didn't have money to constantly buy water bottles. I flicked my mahogany bangs out of my eyes and tipped the glass of water to my pink lips.
I could see the outline of a tapered figure hanging in mid-air. Swaying back and forth, it seemed to be holding onto the ceiling by a thick wire. I strained my eyes to see—no success.
I put my glass on the table and reached for the light switch to the kitchen.
Suddenly, headlights filtered by the drawn window curtains swept through the room like rushing gold flood waters. From one side of the room to the other, I watched it reach the suspended figure. It was Colin suspended like a limp marionette.
My breath caught in my throat as I dropped the glass on the tile. I yanked him down by his legs, the combined weight ripped a chunk of dry wall from the ceiling, which hailed down on me. Quickly ripping it from his neck, I tossed it aside.
The prickle of goose bumps ran my arms and legs. Mascara clotted in black streaks that formed obsidian tears down my cheeks.
“Colin … wake up … “
The studio apartment was quiet besides the faint sounds of my voice. Tears collected on my chin and fell onto his cheek. My eyes burned like someone had poured chlorine directly onto my eyes.
My hand lingered on his distant chilled skin. I was perched with my arms around him, my heels touched my tailbone.
"Wake up ... wake up … wake up ..."
My answer was the distant hum of passing vehicles and starry lights that spanned across the back wall of the room. I clasped our hands together, my nails created semicircular shaped marks in his skin. My heartbeat quickened.
“Colin … if you can hear me … you’re not alone, I promise. I’m here … I-I’m not leaving I-…” I thrashed my head from side to side.
“Stay with me, and don’t leave me alone, please!” I shut my eyes. Tears fused together and dripped off my face.
“Come back… come back … “ I dug my chin into his shoulder and bawled into the fabric of his football jersey as I called his name through my teeth.
“I know you can hear me, you have to, you can’t be dead, you… just can’t! Don’t leave me Colin!”
I pulled him back and looked into his open eyes. They were filmy. They reminded of unclouded pearls. They held a barrier between us that running could never close. Even through leaps and bounds there was a fissure of worlds that kept me from him. Even though his eyes seemed so vacant, they held a pale peace about them that comforted me.
“Colin … “
I put Colin down and let my head drop like a doll when the operator removes his hand. I got up and scrambled to my purse, my left high heel snapped. I drew my cell phone out of purse in between sobs and dialed the police. Water collected in my palm and drew from the shallow pool of my breaths.
Two years ago, when Colin and I were fresh out of College we agreed that the world owed us something. It felt natural to be at the top of the world. So we only applied for the best restaurants in New York. Of course, no one wanted to hire College students.
About that time he realized he had a huge mound of student loan cash to spend, yes, to spend. So after ordering us a new wide screen television and paying our rent a few times over, he booked himself a trip to go skydiving. He asked me ahead of time—but I was terribly afraid of heights so I never went.