On the edge between friendship and more

You lie on the edge of the roof, your body stretched on a narrow surface between the short concrete wall and the abyss. You look down, then up at me, then down again. It’s crazy, you say, how it just goes straight to the ground. There are some 12 stories underneath us, and the shoe you were tempted to throw down would have ways to fly.

I trust your words yet I have a strong urge to check it out myself. I lean forward. Careful, I hear from a couple of friends behind, who grab my sleeve as I continue to lean toward the edge. It’s only when my eyes run down the vertical wall below — all the way to the treacherous pavement and the tiny shadows of parked cars and streetlights — that I fully comprehend how high we have climbed and how real the danger of falling is for both of us.

We ran many flights of stairs and climbed some shaky ladders to watch the city lights one night, eager to find adventure on the bleak streets of reality. As I looked down and felt the cool breeze hit my face, the solid roof under my feet started to fade into the unknown, reminding me of my life. I closed my eyes and pictured what would have happened if I leaned too far, the tingly feeling of free fall in my stomach. I’d open my eyes in midair and see you falling right next to me. I’d scream inside, trying to rethink the whole scenario, trying to erase the idea of reaching the ground, because somewhere in the back of my mind, through some inexplicable vision of the future, I knew the landing would be deadly for one of us.

You might say it was your idea to climb up here, but I have to point out you were careful about the ascend, watching your step and mine. I was the one whose walk turned into a sprint as I got excited about reaching the summit. It was me who took you to the edge and it’s me who’s about to take you over it.

Please take the stairs and walk off this roof, down to where we started. Run away from me. Don’t tell me we’ll fly together, because you know neither of us is an angel. Don’t let me pull your sleeve, because I can already see the pavement below.


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