Precipices, Falling, and the Strength of the Sun


Lizzie Lohrer, Feature and Opinion Editor

The feeling I get in my stomach when I look at you reminds me of driving for the first time – terrifying and exhilarating at the same time. It reminds me of Christmas morning, of hot chocolate and holiday parades. Your eyes captivate me in a way nothing ever has, and I find myself struggling to pull away from your gaze. Your hands are gentle masterpieces I am forbidden from touching – too delicate for my destructive touch.

My feelings scare me more than I care to admit. I find myself tipping over the precipice of love before I can stop myself, too out of control to grab onto the ledge as I slip. At first, the fall is intimidating; constant motion and fear of hitting the bottom. After a while, though, I lose myself in the freedom of it and forget the pain waiting at the end.

I expect you to catch me at the bottom, but all that’s waiting is disappointment. I crumple as I hit the ground, crumble with the realization of reality. I cry rivers waiting for you to save me, waiting for your words to comfort me, waiting for your arms around me and your gaze meeting mine.

The rivers I cry trickle downhill slowly, pooling into a puddle that turns into a pond that turns into a lake. The sun rises on my heartbreak and the lake I have gifted the earth reflects its light. Morning turns to day and the sun’s warmth dries my tears. Slowly, I pull myself to my feet. Slowly, I pull myself towards the lake, towards the sun’s reflection and the cleansing of the water. Slowly, I wade in, finding rebirth in the water.

Newness washes over me as I bathe, as I swim in lazy circles, all thoughts of you left next to my shoes on the lake’s shore. After I have soaked up enough of the lake’s cleanliness, I pull myself out gently, lay myself on the sandy shore, and let the sun dry up my troubles.

Slowly, I dress, enjoying the sun’s warmth on my skin. Slowly, I trek back up the hill until I reach the cliff I fell off. At the base, I find a rope hanging, waiting to pull me back up. Strengthened by the sun’s warmth, I tie the rope securely around me and begin to climb, begin to reverse the fall that broke me. The sun lifts me up as I go, offers me strength and encouragement as I struggle up the side of the cliff.

Eventually, I pull myself over the precipice I once fell off, find myself back where I began. I see you waiting there for me, arm wide open, apologies falling from your lips as quickly as I once fell for you. I see the insincerity in your eyes, however, see the caution when you look over the ledge I just climbed over, and decide that I don’t want somebody who won’t go as far as I will for our relationship, who won’t love me completely as I once loved you. I tell you I’m sorry and walk past you towards the sunset.