A man jumps from the fortieth story of a building. As he’s passing the twenty-eighth floor, he hears a phone ring and regrets that he jumped. Why?

The wind blew his hair off his face. “It’s colder than I thought. Should have worn a sweater.” He almost laughed at the absurdity of that thought for what he was about to do. He would never need a sweater again. And if the Catholics were right he would be the very opposite of cold for all eternity.

The view was breathtaking. The lights of the city twinkling against the inky sky. People walking the streets below him, completely unaware of him, 40 stories about them. He wondered if he would land on one of them. If he was able to think at all maybe he could yell at the last moment so they would look up and get out of the way. He didn’t want company on this trip.

This was the only choice open to him. The cancer had spread to his pancreas and liver. He just wanted the pain to stop. This was the easy way out. And it would be quick.

He stepped onto the ledge and closed his eyes. The wind was strong and he could smell roses. He smiled. And stepped off.

The panic that seized him was unexpected. But so was the euphoria. He did it! He surprised himself; one of the only things he had ever followed through to the end turned out to be his planned death. He almost laughed out loud but it was hard enough just to breathe. He passed the 28th floor although he had no way of knowing that. And his cell phone rang. Panic seized him once again. Sarah! How could he have forgotten her weekly phone call? Such an idiot! She won’t understand this at all. She’ll be upset and so confused and wonder why he didn’t leave a note.

And his last thought was one of deep regret at how this final flight would hurt his only daughter. 

Next week: Write a recipe for disaster.

This is the latest exercise in my 642 Things to Write About Project. Click on the link to find out more, or click on the category 642 Things to Write About Project to read past exercises.  🙂