Step

The first rays of sunlight began to alter the scene of the sky. I watched it happen just as I watched the moon and the stars relish in their own glory for hours. I couldn’t sleep. The force of all that had happened and all that was coming laid heavy on my mind all through the night. My friends slept, though. I got to listen to them snore and groan and mumble. I have never been much for appreciating sleep sounds, but they sounded so sweet. Perhaps it was the drugs. Of course it was the drugs, that’s why they call it “ecstasy”. The intoxication combined with the momentousness of the passed few days got me all sentimental.

All of the walking, running, yelling of the day before had gotten to all of us. We clung to one another’s arms as we walked twelve stories to the roof of Katya’s building. We had decided to crash there, but upon reaching our destination, we realized that we had no cushions or blankets. Luckily, anything feels good with MDMA coursing through your veins. We fell into a slump of bodies and jackets. Our minds forgot the fear and pain that the end of the world had brought to us, and we stewed in a feeling of collective love and appreciation. We lay like that, talking until late, then as they all lost consciousness, I lay there alone, holding them.

Now, with morning upon us, I began to move my head so that I could see the sunlight bounce off of their faces. I twisted left to see Katya’s perfect cheekbones sharp as ever poking up from under Dawn’s hood as they curled in close to one another. The juxtaposition of Katya’s pale skin beside Dawn’s deep dark was intoxicating; especially in that lighting, especially in my mental state. Unfortunately, I had to move on. Turning right, I saw Gabe. His ever-furrowed brow looked sweet as he lay peacefully. Margaret lay beside him, clutching Gabe’s sleeve forcefully, and Kevin lay beside her. His head was turned away. I was a little upset at first (a sign the the drug had in fact worn off), but I realized that this was in fact the perfect way to capture the moment.

And so I did. I captured the scene in my mind from these two angles. I carefully uncoiled myself from the mass and stood up. Dizzy and unsure on my feet, it took me a moment to center myself; to plant my self firmly in place. When I felt right I took a step.

A step.

Gravel crunches under my boot.

A step.

Afraid that they might wake up.

A step.

I turn my head one last time.

A step.

The gap where my body was already closed.

A step.

My feet move a little faster now.

A step.

My mind has never been so sure.

A pause.

I look at the horizon now. The sky is brightening further. Feelings and images of the last few days race through my mind. The news. Drinks. Fights. Running. Dancing. Laughing. Love. I have never been happier. The sky has never been more beautiful.

A smile.

A step.

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