Off a Cliff

May 21, 2014:

The man drove his car off a cliff. But he wasn’t inside at the end. He fell out of the cabin and rolled along the road as it continued on without him, over the edge, into the canyon below.

The woman he loved was in the car with him. No, don’t worry; she didn’t remain inside, either. As soon as she realized what was happening, she bailed. Just as he took his scratches, she took hers. But they survived.

The man didn’t know she had survived.

The woman he loved didn’t know he loved her. They had spent the drive talking about other things, things not so important. He wanted to tell her, but couldn’t. Based on the things she had told him, he didn’t think she wanted to know. To keep her happy, he kept silent.

Now he wished he had said something. As he lay bloody on the track, unaware of her fate (she had disappeared from his view), he realized just how much he wanted to see her, to speak to her, to put her back in that car, hit the reverse gear, and drive so far away from that horrible, awful cliff, to stay forever away from the wide open destructive maw beyond it. He wished it were possible to do just that; he would do so in a heartbeat. Now he missed her.

She wasn’t looking for him. She knew he had gone over the cliff. Didn’t know what more she could do, so she moved on, limping away, seeking help wherever she could find it. Perhaps someone would pick her up and take her somewhere new for treatment. She just needed to get anywhere safe before her injuries got the best of her.

He crawled to the cliff and stared over the edge. He wanted to see her again. But what more could he do? In his mind, she had gone over. He sat there and bled as he cried out her name. She couldn’t hear him. He knew that. She was out of earshot. She was buried in the wreckage below, no chance for survival.

She was out of earshot, not in the wreckage, but on a new road back to civilization, seeking what she believed she needed to recover. Looking back at the old road was not an option.

He called out her name. All he heard was his echo. Even then, he couldn’t tell her how he felt. It would fall on dead ears. It would’ve been the same blind madness that had brought him here in the first place.

He thought back to the drive. Thought back to the moment of truth. Wondered what, if anything, he could’ve done differently; wondered what, if anything, he could’ve understood about the situation earlier. The end of the road just hadn’t been clear to him.

It had been clear to her. In that moment when she realized they were about to meet a destructive end, she bailed.

Even as she fell out of the cabin, he failed to understand what was happening; he loved her so much that he could still see her sitting there beside him, even when she wasn’t there. It was her lack of response that he realized he was in trouble. He stayed beside her empty seat for so long that he nearly missed his exit. Even now, as he sat on the edge of the cliff, losing heart, losing hope, losing feeling in his soul, he wondered if he had bailed too soon. The last thing he wanted was to leave her side.

He could’ve taken a different road. He had his chance to make a different decision, a decision that would’ve kept them off the canyon’s edge. But the roads weren’t marked, and he never did find a map of his options, and she didn’t correct him when he steered onto this road. Perhaps destiny was leading them there all along.

But he had a working pair of eyes, as did she. And he was intelligent, as was she. The car was functional. The brakes worked. The gear could’ve easily shifted into reverse. His decision didn’t have to be final.

He drove his car off a cliff because, even though she had her eyes on the road, he had his eyes on her. She had failed to notice what was happening.

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