Something Worth Living For

Inspired by 'Another Last Goodbye', a screenplay by Prodigy.

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6. Five

 

“We’re here.”

 

Blair shakes Regan awake. The blonde looks at Blair blearily, then out the window. A wooden sign marking the nature trail stands outside the car, barely readable in the dying light.

 

Regan swallows. “I’m afraid you’re going to have to help me out.”

 

Blair’s doubts from earlier briefly return, but she pushes them away. “Sure. Let me get the wheelchair.” She exits the car, not seeing Regan reaching for the glove box. When she’s unfolded the wheelchair, she wheels it across the soft dirt to the passenger side door, helping Regan into it before closing the door behind her. She begins to push the wheelchair along the trail.

 

“Don’t worry,” Regan murmurs, noticing how Blair stumbles across the dirt. “It’s not too far.

 

“What isn’t?” Blair pants.

 

“The spot.”

 

As they go along, Regan tilts her head back to look up at the sky. A soft smile spreads across her face. “The stars are so pretty out here, don’t you think?”

 

Blair looks up briefly, not wanting to break her pace. “I guess I never really notice them.”

 

“I don’t know how you can’t,” Regan says, eyes still on the eye. “Do you ever think about how far they are from earth? How most of them are bigger than the sun, but all we see are tiny white specks? It’s like the beauty of the sun condensed into a little pinprick.”

 

“That’s deep. Philosophical, even.”

 

“Not really. Mostly good-sounding nonsense.”

 

“What’s the difference?”

 

Regan laughs. “Good point. Still, the stars are clearly something special. Thank you for helping me see them one last time.”

 

There is an unspoken tension. Blair looks up at the sky, frowning as if she’s acknowledging that this doesn’t have to be the last time for her, too.

 

The pair reaches a branch of the path that ends as the trees become sparser. Beyond the tree-line, there is a small flat area of grass, then the rocky face of a cliff. Blair pushes Regan near the edge so that they can look over. Below is a deep chasm, a river cutting through the middle. It appears to be only a stream from that height, but Regan remembers that it’s depth is double her height, and the jagged rocks that emerge from it.

 

Blair steps back. Regan coughs, then winces, clutching at her side.

 

“Are you okay?” Blair asks, the concern in her voice noticeable.

 

“Yeah.” There is a pause as they both look out over the chasm. “Well, I’m ready when you are.”

 

“I’ve been ready for years.”

 

Regan gestures for Blair to help her stand, and they approach the edge of the cliff. Regan grasps at the dark-haired girls arm for stability. Standing at the edge, they shift to grab each other’s hand instead.

 

“Together?” Blair suggests, her voice thick.

 

Regan nods. “On three. You count.”

 

Blair swallows as Regan casts her gaze to the sky. “One… Two… Th-”

 

“Wait!”

 

Blair freezes, looking over at Regan in surprise. In the distance, there’s a rapid beeping, like the speeding of a heart monitor.

 

“Wait,” Regan repeats, her voice softening. “I can’t stop you from doing this, but… Let me go first. Let me go first so I can pretend that you won’t follow me, so I can believe that you’ll turn and walk away from this place. Take the money that I left in the car and get far, far away from whatever it is that made you come here. Let me imagine that you go away and have a fresh start and become a cop, and that you’ll save hundreds of lives by not jumping. And, that every time you look at the stars, you think of me and keep me alive in the most beautiful way possible.”

 

By the end of her speech, Regan’s eyes are glistening, and Blair is left speechless. Regan smiles weakly. “I’m not trying to convince you to turn away. I guess that, when the end is so close, the future becomes so much clearer. I can see you doing everything I just said, I believe you can. So, just let me go first, yeah?”

 

Blair blinks rapidly, her cheeks becoming wet as she pulls Regan into a momentary hug. She pulls back and averts her gaze to a spot on the ground, nodding slowly. “Yeah.”

 

Regan reaches out and grabs Blair’s hand again, her thumb brushing against the knuckles. When Blair looks up, Regan forces herself to smile. “Goodbye. Good luck.” Then, in a voice barely above a whisper: “I hope you find something worth living for.”

 

Blair opens her mouth to reply, but Regan has already let go of her hand, stepping to the very edge of the cliff. She looks back, and she’s still smiling. With the wind in her hair and the starlight illuminating her cheeks, Blair thinks that she finally looks alive. She looks down to hide her own smile, but the space in front of her is empty when her eyes flicker back up.

 

She’s standing alone in the grass, an empty wheelchair at her side.

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