*Please note that none of this is edited and therefore not necessarily my best work.*
Death. It wasn’t something Alan had ever spent much time thinking about. No one close to him had ever died before. He wondered what it was like to die. Whether the person dying even knew what happened to them, and whether it hurt. Was it some sort of boring, rehearsed affair where you just sort of slipped out of consciousness, or was it something else entirely?
It was very cold in his room. The walls were too plain and blue. He felt like the world was trying to pacify him against his will. He fought the urge to take a hammer to the walls and scream Christopher’s name over and over again. It felt like someone had taken their hammer to him. He just wanted to fight back, but the loss left him battered and bruised, lying with his knees tucked up to his chest.
He hadn’t eaten for days, or been to school. He hadn’t bathed. He smelled vaguely like someone who had spent hours out in the cold damp. He was cold. He was bereaved.
The word implied some sort of contract between Alan and Christopher, a marriage. It made him sound like a widow. He felt like a widow. Where was his rock, where was the solid body that buffered him against the outside world? It felt like Christopher was still there but hiding, and if Alan reached out far enough he might find him there. But his eyes were dim, he couldn’t quite see what was happening around him, and his arms flopped lifelessly in space. The energy of holding them had got to be too much. If Christopher remained nearby, he wasn’t planning on coming out soon. He didn’t want to be found.
The window was open. The curtains were hanging on either side remained open and mocking, even though it was well into the night. He could hear the sounds of a late night street outside; sporadic traffic soaring almost smoothly through the night, and the roar of crickets. A single street light remained on. The wind lapped at the curtains like a hungry cat, urging them outside, and Alan wanted to get up and follow them.
He imagined himself climbing out the window and standing there in paisley pyjamas, on the ledge two storeys above the quiet street. The danger flushed through him. He felt a little more alive, a little closer to Christopher. He smiled but looked deranged.
Out on the ledge, he would curl his toes around the stones that projected out behind him and feel as if electricity was coursing through him from his spine where it met his neck to his curling toes. He would hold onto the window frame with his arms behind him and lean outwards, willing gravity to take him downwards. Maybe it would rain. Maybe there would be thunder and he would turn his face upwards to the sky in time to see the lightning flash across it. The wind would begin to howl about him as the skies prepared themselves to receive him and he would laugh. Rain would splash across his tongue but it would taste like dust. Slowly, he would release himself, finger by finger.
As his face leaned out further and further he would see Christopher, waiting for him and smiling and Alan would know he had finally found a place where he belonged. He would let go with zest, find himself plummeting past the spectre of his friend and end it all face down in the cement below. Then, he could be at peace. He could be with Christopher for the rest of eternity. He smiled and sighed, though his face was encrusted in one place through so many tears, and rolled over.
Facing the window, he considered it. For the first time in days, he pulled himself to his feet and padded softly over to the gaping hole. The wind that rippled around him was brisk and chilling. His eyes had opened wide, trancelike, and dead. He was outside himself. He watched himself walking to the window and all its promises.
One foot on the ledge, he reached one arm up to find something to lever himself up to the outer part of the window. His fingers turned white against the frame of the window as he looked down and realised how much higher he should have been. This fall wasn’t going to kill him.
He leaned out further, holding on with locked arms and looking around for Christopher. No one appeared this time. It had seemed much higher in his mind. He felt betrayed. Just out of sheer disappointment, he let go with his left hand and hung halfway out over the ledge, just looking at the ground.
“I can’t find you,” he whispered, feeling as though he was deranged; Christopher wasn’t there and he couldn’t hear him. It was a waste of time trying to send him messages.