“At great periods you have always felt, deep within you, the temptation to commit suicide. You gave yourself to it and breached your own defenses.”
I can’t take it anymore; it’s just too much.
The wind howled like a wild beast at my back and blew my unruly curls across my face in tangled wisps of flame. Lightning flashed and danced, illuminating the dark, stormy sky like fireworks on the fourth of July, exploding in bursts of silver and bolts of purple. The thunder shouted its wrath in my ears with the sound of a thousand canons firing at point-blank, echoing throughout the bay. Rain came down hard in near horizontal sheets, stinging my skin, leaving both my long sleep shirt and the shorts underneath soaked through in minutes, but I didn’t care. Soon it wouldn’t matter.
“No matter what you do,” my mother always told me when I was a child, “Never, ever, go swimming during a storm.”
I couldn’t think about her right now. I began shivering from the cold, my teeth chattering uncontrollably—I hadn’t had a chance to change clothes or grab a jacket, I had left in such a hurry after my parents broke the news.
“This doesn’t mean we love you any less, sweetheart,” my dad said, doing his best to smile through the pain, “Your mom and I—we’re just not working right now.” His emerald eyes, the mirror image of mine, begged me to understand.
Separated. Wasn’t that just divorce without the dramatic, paperwork filled mess? The word ricocheted through my mind like a bullet off of steel. I couldn’t understand. Why? My parents always seemed like the happiest couple, sure they’d been having some hard time recently after my dad got laid off, but certainly not enough to warrant a split—at least I didn’t think so.
That was the last straw; the one that broke the proverbial camel’s back. After they’d broken the news, I went to my room telling my parents that needed some time alone. I’d locked the door with a soft click and crossed the room. Silently, I eased my window open, cautiously removing the screen, and slipped out onto the roof, not even bothering to slip on a pair of shoes. I slipped over to the big oak that made for the best escape and, within seconds, I was racing off into the woods like I had done so many times before, only this time I wasn’t sneaking off to meet Liam. This time I had no intention of going back.
I had stumbled through the foliage, my shirt catching on branches and twigs as they sliced my exposed arms and legs while stray rocks bit into my bare feet, until I reached it, reached here—my special place. It was the place I always went to think, where I could be alone with my thoughts because no one ever went up there. It almost seemed like the entire town was scared of this place, they all thought it was creepy and cursed.
Who cared what everyone thought anyway? To me, it was truly beautiful. The trees opened at a clearing about fifty yards from the edge and wildflowers grew all over. The old lighthouse that resided there had been long since abandoned but still managed to withstand the test of time, leaving me a perfect place to relax and think within the tower. It was the perfect place to watch the sun rise or set—I had done so, so many times before. If you went to the edge of the cliff on a clear day, you could look out and see the light reflecting off the crystalline blue waters for miles, it was breathtaking. But none of that was visible now.
I looked down from the edge and saw the angry gray water beating against the jagged rocks just over eighty feet below. I could almost see the headlines now: “Superi Sound Teenager Leaps”, or maybe “High School Swim Team Captain Drowns”, possibly “Rhode Island Teen Falls to Her Death”, something like that.
When they find me, my mother will scream and cry, my father will wrap his arms around her to hold her up while fighting back his own tears—or maybe he wouldn't, they’re separated after all. They’ll call Nash and he’ll probably do something stupid, not to mention completely unpredictable, that may or may not get him expelled. When my best friend Lily is told, oh God, so soon after Faythe, she’ll loose it. She’ll scream and throw things, she will curse my name and cry for days, but she, like everyone else, will be okay eventually. Liam, bless his heart, will wonder if it was something he did, if he could have done something to stop it, hopefully then, he’ll realize that I broke up with him for his own good. Then there’s Jordan, that disgusting son of a bitch, he’ll comfort Liam and say that it was my own doing, but in private, he’ll smile because he will know that it was partially because of him, and the bastard will be proud of it.
At that point, I wasn’t sure if the wetness on my face was from the rain or my own tears—probably both.
“I’m sorry,” I whispered.
Suddenly, before I could change my mind, I jumped. The wind rushed by me and I relished in the brief sensation of complete and total weightlessness as I felt my clothes billow out around me. It was surreal, both thrilling and terrifying.
As it turns out, when jumping off a cliff, the fall isn’t the worst part—it’s the sudden stop at the bottom. Before I knew it, those crashing waves were rushing up to meet me and I braced myself for impact.
I must have only missed the rocks by inches; there was a loud thwack as my body struck the surface of the stormy water. I plunged down as the icy coldness surrounded me, the weight of the built up carbon dioxide pressed and burned in my chest. I opened my mouth and let the water pour in. I guess it was a little uncomfortable at first, but it was over before I knew it.
The feeling in my chest seemed distant and my vision began to grow fuzzy. I had always been skeptical of the stories I had heard about drowning being an extremely peaceful way to go; now I had proof they were right.
It won’t be long now and then it all will be over, only a few more minutes, I thought dreamily.
Then, he was in front of me, appearing seemingly out of nowhere. A boy about my age, a year older tops, but I didn’t recognize him. Which was strange, I knew everyone, let’s face it, Superi Sound, Rhode Island isn’t exactly a hot-spot on the map, not to mention that tourist season was still a good few months off. He grabbed my arm in a firm grip and started to tow me up, his inky hair floating around him.
But I resisted, I struggled and pulled, fighting him every bit of the way. He faltered slightly, surprised at first, but he must have just written it off as panic. In desperation to get free and continue my descent, I beat my hand against his toned, shirtless chest. Had I not been so determined, I might have enjoyed it. Hell, I still did on some level.
Startled, he looked down at me and our eyes locked. If I’d had any oxygen, I would have gasped in surprise. They were the exact same color as the ocean, a silvery blue, beautiful yet tormented by some unseen storm.
Please, I silently begged, let me die.
Understanding flashed across his face, but he ignored my plea, crushing me against his chest and propelling us up with strong kicks. The world was growing darker by the second as we rocketed to the surface. My head broke above the water line and I sputtered and coughed up at least part of the sea. I immediately started to shiver as the brisk air brushed my wet body and I realized the storm was over. Blinking the water from my eyes, I noted the way the moonlight cast an eerie shadow on the sun-kissed skin of my “rescuer” as he wasted no time dragging me to shore.
When we reached the beach, the same one that I had spent long summer days laughing and playing on with my friends just several months before, he laid me down on the sand. As he dropped to his knees beside me, the moon projected a glow onto his toned chest and slightly reflected off of a silver pendent around his neck, immediately catching my attention. It kind of looked like a dog tag but shaped a little different, but it was too dark to make out the rest.
The boy took my face in his hands, their warmth soaking into my cheeks, and forced me to look at him, then he spoke to me in a low, deadly serious tone, “Never try to pull some crazy stunt like that again! Do you hear me? Don’t hurt the people who care about you like that! No matter how hard it gets, no matter how bad others make you feel, that is not a reason to end your life. Your life is worth living. You are worth it. Things will get better, even if it doesn’t seem like it, I promise. Never forget that,” His voice was captivating; slightly rough yet soothing, like the gentleness of waves brushing the rocks on a warm summer day, speaking with a light accent that I couldn't place, yet there was a tinge of desperation in his words, begging me to understand.
It was almost like he knew, knew how bad I was hurting—knew me. Something in my mind just clicked; he was right, I had been through hell these last few months with everything—Faythe’s death, my parents’ separation, what Jordan did… But in the midst of it all, I had almost made a terrible mistake and hurt everyone that I loved. And he’d stopped me. He’d rescued me—twice—once from icy waters of the Atlantic that were dragging me down, and once from myself, who had put me there in a moment of desperation.
I was so extremely tired and cold, I was just lying in the sand, trembling head to toe, my thin, now, thanks to the water, see-through, white t-shirt clinging to my soaked body, and sleep was begging to claim me, but I had to know.
“Wh- what’s your name,” I chattered. He had saved my life, so I owed him mine; I was damn well going to know his name.
He removed his hands from my face and looked like he wanted to laugh, his lips twitched into a smirk, but he answered anyway, “Niko,” He said, barely containing his amusement, “My name is Niko.”
A hundred other questions swirled through my mind. Why did you save me? Where are you from? Do you have a girlfriend?
As if sensing the puzzlement brimming in my eyes, Niko gracefully stood from his kneeling position at my side, the wet sand clinging to his equally soaked jeans. “Take care of yourself, Rae,” he advised, giving me one last lingering look before taking off down the shore.
I felt my eyes widen in shock, “How do you know my name,” I called feebly, struggling to sit up, but he was gone, and his footprints on the beach were already disappearing with the tide.
My arms shook from the effort of holding me up and I collapsed back down onto my back. I was exhausted, both physically and emotionally, freezing to the point of popsicledom, and confused beyond belief, I finally let the darkness steal me away as the sound of approaching sirens reached my ears and red and white lights flashed in the distance.
Here's a teaser from my newest story, any feedback is appreciated, so what do you think? If you want to keep it going, vote "yes" on the poll on the main page or comment on this post! Thanks!