Her first thought after leaving the clifftop was that the sun was coming up, over the ocean’s horizon, and that it seemed appropriate that, when she’d hit the rocks, day would break, and so would she.
Her second was that she hoped she didn’t survive. There’d be nothing worse than surviving, living on, broken and ruined, a living testament to failure. That she’d failed as a mother, as a daughter, as a nurturer, and now as an organism. But failing to properly commit suicide was a whole other level of failure, the very worse kind of disappointment, like a bad joke – “you’re such a failure you can’t even kill yourself properly”.
Her third was the realisation that she would never need to see her baby daughter die again, never have to re-live that moment any more, never need to see her tiny crying body choked by that abusive meth-head fuck-up of a man ever again, never have to re-watch that moment through her semi-conscious drug-fucked eyes even one more time – it was over. The relief filled her body so fully that she knew, when she’d hit those rocks, she’d burst like a waterbomb, no blood, just relief spilling out of her. Nothing but relief, golden or glowing or filled with stars.
Her fourth thought was the same as her second.
Her fifth was that this fall was taking forever, and that the brain must really work at incredible speeds to process this much information in such a short amount of time, and that, really, maybe it was super wasteful to throw such a remarkable miracle of nature off a cliff and smash it to pieces on rocks.
Her sixth was that, if it was such an astounding miracle of nature, it wouldn’t have hurled itself off a cliff, would it. And, it wouldn’t’ve lay there, catatonic, unable to move, while its crying baby daughter was silenced forever, would it. No, this was no miracle. This was rubbish, being thrown into the ocean.
Her seventh was that she felt no fear, only peace, and that since Ruby had died – been killed, been murdered – she had not felt this feeling, not for a single breath. That all she had felt was guilt and rage, every day from waking to sleep, and that this fall was the first moment she’d been glad to be alive for years.
Her eighth thought was that, if she had wings instead of arms, she’d be flying right now, not falling.
Her ninth was that she hoped her mother would understand.
Her tenth was, if there was an afterlife, she was going to kiss Ruby’s chubby little cheeks until the end of time, she was going to hold her to her chest and sob for eternity.
Her eleventh thought was, if there wasn’t an afterlife, then she’d welcome the void.
Her twelfth was she was sorry, so very sorry. But she was making up for it all, for everything, right now.
And her thirteenth thought was-