“Hold on!” she screamed. The rain continued to come down hard causing her hair to hand over her face as she knelt at the edge of the cliff. Water streamed down her face in steady rivulets. The sky was a dark grey steel color, broken sporadically by flashes of lightning followed by loud rolling thunder. Her grip remained steadfast as the muscles in her shoulders began to ache from the strain.
He struggled to get a foothold against the side of the cliff, but with each attempt his foot would only slide down the muddy wall. He knew neither he nor she could hold on for much longer. As he breath came in ragged gasps he mind returned to memories from the past. Memories of dancing in the rain under the streetlights on the rain soaked pavement of the city sidewalk.
His life had been a series of setbacks, facing each day alone seemingly misunderstood. But on an overcast spring day a light had entered his life as she stood behind him in line for his morning coffee. His life had come to a point where he expected nothing from anyone and often that is what he got.
She smiled her blue eyes twinkling as their eyes met. As he felt a rush of adrenaline he quickly looked away pushing away the hopeful longing thinking this would be just another disappointment on a dead end road just as it had been so many times before. He was determined not to let his heart be broken. Something would not let him stay in that place, so he slowly turned around to look back and she was till staring intently right at him. For the second time that morning his breath caught in his throat and his heart skipped a beat. The journey down a road less traveled lay invitingly open now before him.
That first unlikely encounter led to long conversations, a growing friendship and trust. She seemed to understand him and more so accept him for who he was. They were kindred spirits and he believed that fate had finally found him. The weeks and months that followed were the happiest of his life. The adventures they shared ad brought them to this place hiking into the remote back country wilderness. The sudden thunderstorm had caught them unaware and now he hung dangerously from the edge of the cliff, tightly clutching her hand as she struggled to keep herself from falling. He looked up and into her eyes realizing that these few moments were all he had left. A small smile crossed his lips as he felt her grip loosen slightly as their fingers slowly began to slip apart. Terror flashed in her eyes, a fear so overwhelming she could make no sound.
As their eyes locked once again she saw a contentment and peace reflected back from him. Calm settled over her from some distance place as she leaned slightly forward in an effort to keep her hand secure in his. But slowly their fingers were sliding steadily apart as the rain continued to fall.
Just as their fingers slipped to where they were only holding on with their fingertips and their grip came apart, they both smiled as the outside world faded from view. She felt a relaxing peace and assurance like she had never known in her life.
She leaned her body slightly forward further over the edge in an effort to keep her grip on his hand. Suddenly her knees slid in the wet mud and she let her momentum carry her over the edge. Their eyes locked and they both saw the blinding bright light bursting open the dark around them as they fell.