There was a woman. There was a lake. She was floating. No, she was swimming. Day in, day out, she did nothing but swim. Her hands had become shriveled like flesh-colored raisins.
She was happy in the water. She felt at home in the water. As she swam, she stared at the mountain. She marveled at its majesty. She listened as the trees spoke to her in monotone. Will you swim away the rest of your life? Will you swim away the rest of your life? Will you swim away the rest of your life?
There were birds at the tops of the trees. She wondered what it felt like to be so free. She gathered her strength and her belongings. I shall climb the mountain. I shall jump into the lake.
She awkwardly took her first steps. Her feet had become muddied but she didn’t really care. She reached a clearing a few meters off the ground. This is a good spot. Jump now, the lake ordered. She stared at the water from where she stood. This is too safe. I want to go higher. And so she did.
She continued to walk up the mountain until she reached the halfway mark. There was another clearing. Don’t go any higher, said the lake. I won’t be able to catch you if you go any higher. Looking at the water, she could still see with vivid clarity the rocks and the trees below. I want to go higher! she exclaimed and so she did.
She climbed and climbed and when she felt she couldn’t take another step, she pushed herself a little more. Night had fallen by the time she got to the top of the mountain. Off the distance, she could see lights from a nearby town. It’s probably dinner time. She squinted and tried to look for her house. It’s been ages since I last went home. I wonder if anyone’s looking for me.
She looked around her. The mountaintop was inviting but also very lonely. It seemed like no man had set foot there in ages. Slowly, she walked to the edge of the mountain. She closed her eyes and felt the cool breeze dancing on her cheeks. Jump. Jump. Jump, it began.
The lake had lost its color. There was nothing but the dark now. She spread her arms as though they were wings. Jump! Jump! Jump! the wind roared and so she did. Without any hesitation, she kicked off the ground and attempted to fly.
The mountain was called Expectations and she was never seen again.
All at once, I am the woman. I am the lake. I am the mountain. I am the trees. I am morning. I am evening. I am everything. I am nothing. There’s a ringing in my ear as though a bomb had just gone off. There are a million voices in my head. This is a good spot. Will you swim away the rest of your life? Jump. Don’t go any higher. Jump. I wanna go higher. Jump! Jump! JUMP!
Quiet! I screamed. All the voices went away except for one- yours. You were chanting. Expectations will be the death of you. Expectations will be the death of you. Expectations will be the death of you.
I’m sorry I wanted too much. My cigarette burns to the tip as I weep hot tears for you to return.
Photo Credit: Cliff Jump
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