The Best Nightmare

"Sometimes the best way to deal with insomnia is to pretend you're invisible."


9. Torture

I stare out the open window, at the city below.

"Hey." Calum's voice rings out from behind me. I climb onto the windowsill, and sit. "Please don't jump. I don't know what I would do."

I don't reply, just reach back and touch his arm.

"Would you? Jump I mean."

"No. But if you pushed me I wouldn't hold a grudge. I might even enjoy the fall."

"Why do you act like that? I don't know what your life is like, but you seem to embrace the thought of being killed. You like the things normal people don't."

"Perhaps I have a different view on the realities of the world. I see things from a different angle, untouched by delusions that others take comfort in."

"And what would that view be?"

"Calum, sit here." He takes my place on the windowsill, and I wrap my arms around his waist to steady him. "If I pushed you off, and you were falling, would you cry and scream with your mouth open, and die from shock and lack of oxygen before you even hit the bottom? Or would you try to stay calm, close your eyes and mouth, and fall into the pool below us, because whatever happens, happens?"

He looks down, and thinks.

"If I chose the second, the water would break my fall, and I'd survive." He mutters to himself. "Oh."

I smile.

"But what if you didn't know the pool was there? What if there was no pool?" He turns around, and I can see in his face that he is trying to make sense of my words.

"Then you die."

"But I die if I do the first one too."

"What happens.....well, it happens Calum. You can't change it once it's already happening. Even so, if you stay calm, it's much less painful. You die on impact, calm and ready for whatever happens."


"Once you think about it, if you just take life on as it comes, everything, yet nothing matters."

Calum crawls off of the window, and picks up my hands, staring at them in the moonlight.

"You know that girl I told you about earlier?" He looks up into my eyes, before returning his gaze to my white fingers.

"I think she likes someone else, and I don't know what to do."

I pull my hands from his grip, and look outside.

"I'm no love expert. You'd be looking for a poet if you wanted one of those though, I suppose. The only way I can put this isn't straightforward." I glance at the sleeping bodies behind us. "Do you truly believe you love her?"

"She helps me see the things in life I didn't know I would ever understand. But I keep seeing her with someone else.......and hurts." I see his eyes start to water, and I use my thumb to wipe away a tear falling down his cheek.

"Then maybe, it's time to let her go. She might be leading you towards a panicked descent. Some people aren't worth your life." And with that, I kiss his cheek gently, and whisper next to his ear, " Goodnight Calum."

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