Rain Soaked Precipice

I looked into his eyes. Whatever shred of humanity he once held no longer lived behind those twin raging green oceans. It was empty and cold behind them now. A tiny breeze cools my neck. I might not normally have noticed it. Standing here though, right now, it feels like a hurricane. My gut sinks, I worry this small amount of wind will push him off the ledge. The balance of his feet hang past the edge. He flicks his finished cigarette out into the pitch. We both watch the ember fade into the depth below us.

Eighteen stories up.

That is a long way. Enough so that the streets below are beyond sight. The power had been out for hours, and my emerald city was painfully quiet. Quiet and wet, but only half of that is worth really discussing. The only noise came from the cars and trucks rumbling way out on the freeway. If this was a social visit it would be quite pleasant. This was most definitely not social. My rooftop compatriot has been unwilling to engage in conversation beyond hushing me into silence. Alternating between sitting on the boundary and standing has been the only other motion for nearly two hours.

"Erik, buddy, you need to work with me here. What's going on?" I ask.

He squats low, sits again, and lights another cigarette. He draws something from inside his coat, just about as slowly as one could possibly do anything. He hands me what turns out to be a tattered envelope.

"It's all in here. I'm sorry you're now involved." Erik chokes out the last few words.

Then he rolls forward and off the ledge. It is completely silent. There is no scream. No wind noise. My compatriot simply went from here, on this rain soaked precipice, to the ground.

And was dead.