Falling

Marcel wrapped his arms over his chest, not making any move to wipe away the tears. He shouldn’t have left. He knew it the second he closed the door to his apartment that he’d made a mistake. But it wasn’t something he could change now.

Four minutes. That’s how much time he had until the police knocked on the door. He’d spend the rest of his life serving time for a crime he could have prevented. Four minutes of freedom remained.

As the seconds passed, he smiled. Might as well try it. Marcel took a deep breath and centered his mind. Then, like the moment before you fall into slumber, he was calm.

Marcel began to float — a bird hovering over the ocean — and let his arms stretch out beside him. The sirens grew louder, circling around his apartment building. Rosa’s face flashed in his mind, and he closed his eyes to see her for a moment longer.

He thought he could carry her, but she slipped from his fingers like everything did. It always did.

How strange. He laughed. There were fists banging at his door, angry footsteps racing down the hall. Marcel dropped back on his bed. He stood up, going to the window and pushing the shutters open. His door was kicked open, but they were too late. How strange, he thought, how falling feels so like flying.

— by Christine Eckelbarger

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