Sleepless, tired. He wakes in the middle of the night only to find he is alone and yet for thirty seconds he feels like he’s a part of something. It only takes thirty seconds for the reality to settle in that he isn’t a part of something. He gets up, goes to the window, looks out, hears the screams. Isn’t alarmed. Isn’t scared. Takes a breath. Focuses on where the sounds are coming from.
She’s distraught. Crying. In a perverted way, he takes joy in the fact that he can see the shape of her ass, as it’s pressed against the ledge of the fire escape, legs dangling over the side. But it’s the wrong side. It’s the side that faces out. It’s the side that faces the alley. It’s the side that faces the abyss below. She reaches her arms out, fingers spread wide, screams. She’s thinking of jumping. He takes a deep breath and for a second thinks about walking away from the window, turning his back from the reality. A reality that seems to transform itself into a nightmare. Then thinks, “Well, I’ve never seen anyone commit suicide. Let me just stay.”
The realization settles in that no one else notices her. And in that moment, they are the only two people on the earth. She doesn’t know he’s seeing her. He knows she doesn’t know he’s seeing her.
“Don’t do it. Don’t do it. Don’t do it,” quickly becomes a broken record.
He laughs. He considers himself a selfish bastard. Sadistic. The sirens start to blare. And yet there is not one justifiable reason why. He accepts the fact that the sounds he hears are in his head.
“Don’t do it. Don’t do it. Don’t do it.” Broken record.
You’d think he’d pick up the phone call for help, save her, be a hero – the unknown hero, No such thing. Just “Don’t do it. Don’t do it. Don’t do it.”
A sigh. Nicotine. What are you gonna do?