My entire body freezes. I just let Erin jump down there. I just let Erin be caught by the police. I just let Erin be arrested. Something inside me wants to call down and check if she is ok, but the rope feels light as if there is no body in there anymore.
Remembering Erin’s instructions, I haul it back up and hook it onto the aerial. Tugging at it to check that it is well latched on, I begin to lower myself down the side of the building. Beneath me, the wooden panels creak so I try to take me weight off them. It doesn’t work and they creak even more. Finally I get to the bottom and wiggle myself out. I turn to go into the building and check Erin is alright then hold myself back.
She told me to run. So I will run. I take off, my feet bounding against the ground, adrenaline pumping through me. My hair streams out behind me and I keep looking back but all I can see is the glowing light of the window where Erin went.
Around me houses stand silent and I begin to slow down. I haven’t heard any sirens yet so maybe Erin is alright. But I think too soon and a police car comes screeching past. Turning around I already see an ambulance outside the building, blue and red flashing. Somebody is carried out on a stretcher. Maybe it’s the woman. It’s alright, it is probably the woman. But those thoughts are abolished when someone dressed entirely in white comes out and I realise that the person on the stretcher is my size dressed all in black.
I go numb. Erin is hurt. I should have told her earlier! I didn’t know earlier though.
“Erin!” I call out but she cannot hear me. She is alone, carried away into an ambulance to be questioned by the police after her recovery and then be locked up in prison. I gag, filled with the sickness of how I could just let her go like that.
I hear a lot of distressed shouts and the woman in white flapping her arms about rapidly. Men in uniform walk around, letting themselves into the building and one tugs at the end of the rope.
The rope she climbed up on. The rope I climbed up on. The rope I climbed down on. The rope that was supposed to support us and free us, but it only enclosed her.