I stepped up onto the edge of the building, staring at the vast cityscape that stretched out around me. Tall buildings stretched out all around me; a mixture of glass, brick, and stone. They reached overwhelming heights and made the human body seem so insignificant in the big picture.
Below me, just over the ledge of the skyscraper, the streets went on as far as you could see. Cars whizzed by oblivious to the growing scene at the foot of the building. Traffic backed up throughout the city and made the daily city commute an impossibility.
A group of people was gathering to watch the spectacle that I was creating, pointing cameras and phones up towards the roof. I could hear sirens from somewhere across the city as they made their way in our direction.
Behind me I could hear strong fists slamming into the door as someone tried to make their way out onto the roof. They weren't making any progress as I had barred the door shut and there was no other way to get onto the roof.
"Do you ever think about how little we are compared to the rest of the world?" I asked him.
"Sure," he answered. "But just because we're little that doesn't mean we can't do big things. The most important people in the world are sometimes the ones that have to work the hardest to have anything at all."
"What do you mean?" I asked.
"I mean that Helen Keller wasn't always Helen Keller. She could've given up because she didn't have what almost every other person has. She just made that much more of her life because she was different."
I lowered myself down so that I was sitting on the edge of the building, staring out at the cloudy gray sky. It seemed as if the sky was sensing my mood and adapting because of it.
The ambulance and police cars were getting closer now and I knew that my window of opportunity was getting smaller. I wasn't a coward though, and I planned to do what I set out to do whether or not they tried to stop me.
"I can't bear to lose you Stephen," I whispered, tears pouring down my cheeks.
"You're not losing me babe, I'll always be with you," he assured, running his frail hand through my hair.
"You're too young though. You can't die on me."
"I think that everyone has a purpose in life. When they fulfill it then they are ready to move on to the next part of their life. I think I've fulfilled what I'm supposed to. Don't think of it as me dying, think of it as me moving onto the next part of my life."
I buried my face in my hands as the tears soaked through his hospital blanket. "I just always thought we'd be living life together. I never thought it would be one of us alone somewhere."
The firefighters had arrived and were making their way into the building, slowly gearing up to help get through the door. I could hear whoever was on the other side pleading with me to open up and come back down. The pipe was slowly starting to slide out of the door handle with every shake and I could tell that it wouldn't be long before it opened up.
Above the noise of the cars on the street below and the planes flying by overhead I could hear the firefighters clattering up the stairs. They began slamming into the door with all of their bodily force. I closed my eyes and stood back up as the pipe fell out of where it had kept the door closed.
In a moment's time the pleading voice had stepped out onto the roof and I recognized him as Stephen's brother. He took a few steps towards me and stopped just short of halfway between the door and me. The firefighters filed out beside behind him and stood around watching me.
"Ally this isn't the way he would've wanted it," he said.
"Why do you always ask me random questions?" he asked.
"You always have an answer for everything and usually you come up with some hidden meaning for the littlest thing."
"I'm just telling you what I think."
"That's the beauty of it. You have the most amazing, complex thought processes. Like why do you like pictures so much?"
"Because they capture a moment forever. Sometimes when you try and remember something you don't always get it right but if you have it in a picture you can't go wrong. Sometimes with a camera you can see things that you never thought you'd see otherwise but in that one tiny fraction of a second you get it right. It's amazing really what you can find."
"Why me? Why are you giving your camera to me?"
"Because you understood me better than anyone and it was one of the most important parts of my life, like you. You should have it."
"He always saw meaning in the little things, even more so in the big things. He'll understand," I said.
I took the camera that was around my neck and inched closer to the edge. "Al don't do this!" he pleaded, walking closer.
"I have to," I whispered, tugging on the backpack that was buckled to my body. I took one final step towards the edge and then I jumped, tumbling towards the ground.