My story begins, or should I say, nearly comes to an end, on a simple November night.
It was dark and stormy out, the wind was howling up a storm, and lightning streaked across the sky as the rain sleeted downwards. Most people would stay inside on a day like this. But not me, no. I was right out in the middle of it, watching as the sky burned a bright purple with each flash of lightning, and listened to the sky rumble and groan from thunder. Living in Newfoundland had it's perks, in the rural towns, you can see things for miles, as there are not many street lights to block out the view. And our little town was most famous for its lightning shows, being named Flasher Bay, because of it. I loved my town, I really did. But there were some things I just couldn't handle. The people in my town were so, well, annoying. They acted as if Newfoundland had never been a prosperous little province, in which there was fishing every day, and it was considered more than just a sport. Our citizens now drove around in fancy cars, and lived in huge houses, completely ignoring the salt box houses by the shore, where only a few citizens lived nowadays, including me. Nobody fished anymore because of the moratorium. Everyone worked in the nearby town of Burlington, where we even had someone famous; I believe he was on some fancy-shmancy TV show called Canadian Idol. Anyways, I really didn't care. All I know was that people in my town lived off of his fame, hence the fancy cars and houses.
I was born a few years before the moratorium. I can remember going out in boat's with my pop and jigging for cod and squid, and other fish. I remember laying them out on the boards on our beach, and covering them in salt to dry in the sun. I remember. Not really a ladies job, but hey I was a kid, and I was having fun. My father really had no one else to help him anyways. Now, it seems like no one else does. And this is why I am annoyed with them.
Another streak of lightning went across the sky. Ironically, I smiled at the danger I was in. My summer dress clung to my body like static electricity in the rain. If I was lucky, I would be struck down right there, right then. But that wasn't my plan. Oh no, I had a far greater plan for my demise.
Hence why I am currently walking along the large cliff near the beach, trying to find the place with the sharpest rocks, and then I'll let myself fall. That was my plan. I had been waiting for this storm for the last few weeks so I could do it.
Sure it probably isn't the smartest idea to commit suicide; you're probably thinking "Won't people miss you? Think of your family, your friends!" But no one will. My pop had died a few months ago, the pain still wracked through my body every day, and I usually cried myself to sleep every night. My mother had given up on me after that, and pretended I didn't exist. Her only child was her little baby Benny, born two months before pop died, and he never got to know his father, never got to experience real rural Newfoundland life, never got to go cod jigging. Only I knew of all this, and I felt pity for the child. I really don't have any friends. The closest I have is my Chemistry partner in school. Sure, he's cute, and he's the only person who has ever talked to me like I actually existed. But, he would never remember me if I dropped of the face of the planet, there were a few girls eager to be his partner, they could have him. So that leaves me with ... no one. So this was a perfect idea. And plus, it's stormy, they'll classify it as an accident anyways, and not suicide.
I climbed to the highest point of the cliff and stared down. There were sharp rocks jutting out of every corner. Perfect, I thought, a nice quick death. I took a deep breath and closed my eyes, allowing myself for the last time to picture life before the moratorium, with me and pop out fishing in the boat. And mom and I baking bread in our old wood stove, with sweet bake-apple jam to go with it, freshly made of course. Our laundry hung on the line, and our little salt box house looked old and crumbly, and yet beautiful at the same time. I sighed in happiness, and I was glad I would die happy, remembering the good old days. I began my countdown. 10...9...8...7...6...5...4...3...2...1...
I closed my eyes, and made to move forward, I felt nothing below my feet, and I waited for the impact, but none came. My eyes were still closed, so I opened one. I realized there were hands around my waist, and I was dangling above the cliff. I opened the other eye, and turned my head.
Well just my luck, the one person who I thought would never need me to return, was clutching onto my waist like there was no tomorrow. Well there may not have been for me. I glared at him.
"Geez Blondie, how much do you weigh?" he said, a smirk on his face.
"Precisely one hundred and five pounds, to be exact. Now if you don't mind, would you please let go of me and let me fall?" I replied. Yes I had blonde hair, so what? You really couldn't tell in the rain anyways, the wetness made it appear light brown, and the wet curls were clung to my head like plaster. I glared again.
"No, just because you're all depressed and shit, does not mean I'm letting my partner kill herself when we have a huge project due next week, and we ain't even started yet!" he replied. Oh right, yeah. The project.
"Well looks like you'll have to do it on your own. Now would you please let go? My ribs are starting to hurt," I said.
He pulled me as far away from the cliff's edge as he could, and dropped me. Yes he dropped me. I landed flat on my ass on the ground. "Ow, geez!" I cried.
"Sorry darlin'," he said, his smirk returned to his face.
Let me introduce you. This here is Zack Cohen. Like I said before, he is cute. Actually, a lot of the girls at my school would beg to differ, saying he was a "total heart throb". Ew. I would never say that about this boy though. He has mousy brown hair, that is now currently plastered to his "oh so perfectly shaped angel face", as was mine, due to the rain. His sky blue eyes struck anyone, and apparently "melted their hearts". I inwardly rolled my eyes. He was cute I guess, but I was sick of him. I also failed to mention he had been my next door neighbor since we were two. He is one day older than me, and continues to poke fun at me for it. I used to have friends, but he scared them all away when I was young, saying I had scales all over my body. Even after people realized this wasn't true, they still weren't friends with me. I was angry nonetheless. So, one day I told the entire class he had a crush on Zoey Fitzpatrick, a gangly girl in our grade three class, who nobody liked. Turns out he actually did, and even though they were eight years old, they started dating! The entire plan backfired on me. Their parents even thought they were a cute couple, until Zach "accidentally" (as he puts it) told her biggest secret to the entire class - that she still wet the bed. Everyone began shunning her again, and she eventually broke up with him, and their entire family moved to Deer Lake. I really felt bad for her then, and this whole scene might have happened before, had I not had my pop around. I realized, Zach lived next to me, he must have seen me sneak out the back door, and followed me up here, that's how he knew where I was.
"You know, I was this…" I held up my fingers very tight together "…close to being rid of this place for good. And you just had to go and ruin it for me, didn't you? Always ruining my fun, you are." I say, not looking at him, all the while.
"Aw, but if you were gone, who would I make fun of Blondie? I'd have no one, see? You're mean, leaving me all alone," I could see him pout out of the corner of my eye, but his eyes held a mischievous glint all the while.
"Well that's too bad for you then, I guess you'll have to go pick on one of the girls who constantly follow you everywhere. They would probably love the attention from you, no matter how it came," I snarled. I was letting him get to me now. If I didn't stop, I'd be chasing him off the cliff, with the pocket knife currently lodging in my dress pocket that belonged to my pop. I picked myself off the ground, and began wandering back to the edge. The storm was calming down now, and if I didn't hurry, my mom would be out looking for me. If she saw me up here on this cliff with Zach, she'd begin jumping to conclusions, and suspect something between us, and start blabbering about how "her daughter was finally becoming a woman!" It was sickening.
I felt a hand suddenly grasp my arm in a vice grip. "Nah uh, you are not going anywhere Blondie. You belong here, alive and on land, where I can make fun of you, and you can sit there glaring at me, and we'll be perfectly fine." That's it, the final straw, I snapped.
"What makes you think you can control my life, Cohen? Huh? What gives you the power to stop me from doing what I want to do? You don't know me, don't pretend to. You don't know what I go through every day of my life. You don't know what it feels like to watch your father die, and not being able to do anything about it! Jesus Cohen, you don't know me! And for the last time, my name is Cameron! C-a-m-e-r-o-n. Cameron! Learn it, use it, and stick with it!" By the end, my voice was high, and loud, and I turned, realizing salty tears were stinging my eyes. Good thing it was raining, so Zach couldn't tell. I was just an inch or two from the edge, when I felt his hand on my shoulder. "Just leave me alone!" I was furious. I was shouting, and raging at him, and boy did he deserve it! And he still had the nerve to try and stop me. I took a deep breath. My toes were now over the edge. I could feel my feet sliding forward, just slightly, and I began shifting my weight forwards by leaning. I was seconds from falling, when hands grabbed my shoulders, and whipped me around, causing me to fall, unfortunately not over the cliff, but onto the solid ground, I felt something fall atop me, and I automatically knew it was Zach.
I opened my eyes, to see him pushing himself up off me. "I'm not letting you do this Blo-C-Cameron. I won't let you. You may find this world unbearable, and find that no body likes you, but I cannot just sit here and watch you kill yourself. I cannot do it!"
"Well then turn around, then you won't be watching me! For all I care, you can say I tried to push you over, but instead I fell, making me sound even more horrible than I already am. My mother won't care. In fact, she'd be pleased, more money to spend on herself instead of me, and all my saved up college money can go to Benny!"
"Oh that's it, you think your mom doesn't care about you? Is that why you're so depressed? Thinking there's no one left in this world to care for you? Well what would you do if I told you that every day your mother tells me to keep an eye on you? Every time you leave the house, she asks me to make sure you get home OK. In fact, she's the one that sent me out here tonight. She saw you leave, and was worried, so she called me, asking me to follow you. Geez Cameron, your mom loves you! She may not show it, but she does! She's worried, and if you go and screw that up tonight, you'll devastate her! Please Cameron. Please listen to me and don't jump!" He was pleading now; I could almost here the begging in his voice. What he had said had really awoken me. No wonder whenever I came home from my strolls I felt eyes on me, Zach was always watching me, making sure I got home safe and sound. I didn't know what to say. For once, Cameron Winter was speechless.
I still lay on the ground, so I sat up, and hugged my knees to my chest. "R-really?" I asked meekly.
Zach kneeled besides me, "Yes really, geez, why else would I be out here in this storm if someone didn't care about you? You may not know this, just because I make fun of you, doesn't mean I don't like you. I consider you my friend, and friends care about other friends."
It must be a record. Two times in two minutes, I was speechless. All I could do was stare at the ground before me.
"Look, will you please just come back, and give up with this silly nonsense? If it helps, I'm always there to talk, OK? Just not in school of course," he said, winking at me, "Wouldn't want to give the girls any suspicions, now would we?"
I looked at him, "I don't know…how can I trust you not to tell anyone what just happened?" My voice was calm now, and I was tired from all the yelling and crying.
"Because I'm giving you my word. And I never go back on my word, well, unless I don't like you. Then I do. For instance, Zoey. But that's all in the past now, and I promise you this will stay between just us," Zach smiled at me. "Just please, don't jump." His eyes were boring into mine, almost as if they were searching for something, anything.
"Fine. I'll go, but on one condition," I said.
"And what would that be?" Zach said. The twinkle had returned to his eye, and he was smiling again.
"You take the long way back. I don't want to give my mother any suspicions. You and I both know she's wanted us to go out since we were in diapers," I was almost smiling as I said this.
Zach chuckled, "Of course, but I'm going to watch you go back first, make sure you don't go jumping off on me."
I gave him a smile, albeit, a weak smile, but still, it was a smile. Then I turned, and headed back down the hill, feeling his eyes on me the entire way home.