The window stood open and all I had to do was jump, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. The dazzling street was far below me, hazy in the summer heat and packed with tourists. A mingle of voices and traffic rose upwards, blending into the other city background noises.
I was balanced on the bottom rail, the cold metal biting into my bare feet and my toes curled around the edge. My hands pressed into the top rail, my fingers tightly wrapped around. It was if my body was refusing to move from this spot and rebelling against the wanting of my brain.
My lungs started to burn with the breath I had been holding. I tried not to think about it but instinct kicked in and I opened my mouth breathed. This city smelt both familiar and foreign; sweat, pollution, car fumes, spices, warm food and dust. It was hard to separate all those different scents.
I stayed tense and looked out over the city. I had been here a few times now, but it had been awhile since I’d last been. The narrow, twisty cobblestone streets and tiny back alleyways looked like a rats’ maze. The multi-colored two or three store houses were so close together that neighbors could lean out of their windows and have a chat.
Looking beyond, it was easy to mistake the line of pale blue sky for the sea. The coast was about forty minutes away and I had walked across the deep sand beach a few times. I remember thinking I was in paradise. There was a scattering of sitting people drinking out of coconuts or pineapple halves whilst couples hand in hand walked through the lapping waves.
There was too much pain in my body to remain on the railings. I got down, my limbs stiff and went inside to the small sofa. I sank down, my attention draw to the dark screen of the TV. It was stuffy in here, too much heat had gotten in. I put the ceiling fan on and it spun lazily. Watching the fan, I let my thoughts tumble.
It had been my plan to come here and die. I wasn’t sure why but for some reason this city and this room had stuck in my head. I had wanted to be far from home so I wouldn’t have the chance to back out again but I didn’t have the will to do it. Trying to think about the whys added to my tiredness.
I got up and went to lay on the bed. I put the fan on in here too though it was already cool because I had kept the windows and curtains closed this morning. Face down, I stretched out on the sheets, frustrated with myself.