prelude, part one (six months before)
"This is a really stupid idea." Rufus said as he looked over the ledge of the building and down five stories to the snow covered pavement below.
Fifteen minutes earlier Rufus snuck out onto the roof of this, the tallest and most secluded building he could find. His intentions were simple: to walk to the edge and throw himself over. A simple solution to a non existent problem. To his dismay, said intentions were thwarted (at least temporarily) by a thin older gentleman sitting on the ledge eating a banana.
One of the benefits of this particular building, to Rufus (and apparently to the thin older gentleman) was the fact that in addition to its seclusion, it was abandoned and empty.
"Nice night." The thin older gentleman said once he heard Rufus step out onto the roof.
"What are you doing here?" Rufus asked.
"Same as you, just enjoying the view. It's such a beautiful night and up here it's easier to take it all in." Which was a remarkably inaccurate statement. Not only was it freezing (literally - at 20 degrees Fahrenheit) but ominously overcast as well; clouds completely obscuring any possible moon light and star light. No one came to this part of town, and the building itself was barely within the town lines. From this vantage point the rest of the town was mostly imperceptible. The only view was that of the sparse woods and the highway off in the distance.
"I'm Clarence." The thin older gentleman said and stuck out his hand amicably.
"Rufus." Rufus said as he took the thin older gentleman's hand.
"Pleased to meet you. Take a seat." The thin older gentleman said and patted the concrete ledge with one hand while dropping the empty banana peel on the roof with his other. So Rufus, though he desired otherwise, sat down on the ledge of the building next to the thin older gentleman named Clarence.
And after a moments pause Clarence stood up.
"Well, it was nice meeting you Rufus."
"Been here for quite sometime, and I can tell when another man desires solitude. I should probably get home anyway, the missus is expecting me and I really shouldn't keep her waiting."
"You're welcome to stay." Rufus found himself saying, suddenly scared to be alone.
"Naah, I really ought to get going. Mind your balance. It's not a long drop, but it's long enough if you catch my drift." Then Clarence turned walked down the stairs into the building leaving Rufus all alone.
After watching Clarence disappear into the woods Rufus stood up. He took a deep breath and looked down the five stories to the snow covered asphalt below. A stream of thoughts rushed through his head. I'm only 28, what the fuck am I doing? I've never been to Tokyo, I've never been to Rome, hell, I've only been to Manhattan once. I've only been with three women; do I really want to die with only three women under my belt? Damn, I'm such a fucking tool. What's wrong with me? Why can't I go anything right? I can't even kill myself properly. Is that why I'm doing this? Did I feed my cat before I left? I hope not, he's getting a bit too fat. But that's probably Melody's fault. And what is Melody going to do without me? Who's going to make the ice cream?
"This is a really stupid idea." And having dissuaded himself from the plunge he took a step back from the ledge. "Wow, I can't believe I almost did that." Rufus continued to no one in particular and turned around.
Relieved, Rufus took his first step forward towards the rest of his life. Unfortunately his journey was cut short as he slipped on the banana peel Clarence left behind and tumbled backwards over the ledge dropping five stories towards the snow covered pavement.Go to Prelude part two here