An icy gust of wind stung Jameson’s face as she leaned out of the 12th story window of her apartment. Large snowflakes fell in silence to the drab gray concrete below, drowning out the sounds of the city. It was a calm Sunday afternoon. The kind of day Jameson’s husband used to love.

With the cold air blowing through, she slackened her grip on the window sill and leaned a little farther out. While the wind was gentle below, she was high enough that it howled like a vengeful winter spirit as it rushed past her face and through her wavy chestnut hair.  

How easy it would be to just let go, she thought.

Jameson often had these thoughts since Tim had passed away a few weeks ago. He was the one person she could always count on, and he always talked about how they were meant to spend their lives together. But as with most things in life, fate had other plans. What fate had planned for her future now, she didn’t know. With the pain she carried in her heart every day, she no longer cared.

The winter chill attacked her skin with a harsh numbness, but it didn’t bother her. She had been numb for a long time. It just wasn’t always something she could register as a physical sensation.

“It shouldn’t have been you,” she whispered. Her words mingled with the snow and fell gently to the Earth. The tears in her eyes started to freeze into tiny, salty ice crystals. “What have I done?”

With a sudden upward rush of powerful wind, Jameson’s body became unusually light. For a second it was as if she was weightless—and at that moment nothing else mattered. She was free. Free of guilt. Free of regret. But it only lasted a moment.

When the gravity returned she wasn’t prepared for the abrupt shift. Her waist slid against the window sill and her toes clung in desperation to the carpet. An immediate sense of regret set in as she barely managed to pull herself back into the safety of the apartment.

She fell to the floor in a heap as her skin grew hot with the flush of adrenaline-fueled blood. Her heart pounded in her ears and her throat was a desert. She wanted to jump—dreamt of how others would take the news of her suicide—but falling on accident wasn’t in the plans. This grounded her back in reality and she felt stupid for being so careless.

“I need a drink,” Jameson said as if someone were there to hear.

She closed the window and pulled the curtains shut, casting the room into an all too familiar darkness. As she walked into her compact kitchen, she flicked on the light and bathed it in a sterile whiteness like that of a hospital room. She proceeded to open the refrigerator and pulled out a bottle of wine from the bottom shelf.

“Dammit,” she muttered as she sloshed the liquid around inside the bottle. There were only one or two mouthfuls left.

Taking what was left of the wine, she slammed the refrigerator door shut and stormed toward the living room. That’s when an image of a human figure caught her eye. She almost dropped the bottle as she whipped around to see her own tired face staring back at her. Jameson’s fingers throbbed from gripping the glass bottle so tightly. It was only her reflection in the blank television screen, but it was more than enough to play on her already frayed nerves.

She studied her reflection for a long time, then walked over and placed a gentle finger on the screen. Her face stared back at her with unblinking eyes. “When did I get so old?”

The phone rang, snapping her out of her hypnotized state. “Hello,” she answered after the second ring.

“Jamie?”

The voice was familiar, but the tone held a nervousness that made her uneasy. “Dad?”

“Honey,” he paused. The stillness filled the air with tense energy. She knew what he was going to say before he said it. “It’s about Tim?”

“They found his body,” she said without hesitation or any inflection of a question.

There was another long pause on the other end. Then slowly, as if he were choosing his words carefully, “Yes. They’ll be coming for you soon.” He paused again, this time to clear his throat. “If they aren’t on their way already.”

“Okay.”

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