What a beautiful word to work with for this fortnight’s Literary Lion challenge – “fall“.
There were so many images conjured up from this prompt: a water fall; autumn as the Americans call it; falling in love; falling. It was the final idea that stuck with me.
I wondered how high you had to be to fall for about ten seconds. Would you believe me if I said there was such a website as the Splat Calculator? Anyway, the answer was high. No building could really do it justice.
So I decided to pop a little old lady up in a plane and see what happened when she fell to her death. Sounds a bit macabre but I hope what I’ve come up with is something beautiful and an answer to what happens when people say their whole life flashed before their eyes…
Thanks again to Laura Gabrielle Feasey for hosting this fortnight’s #LiteraryLion.
By Donna-Louise Bishop
They say before you die your whole life flashes before your eyes. In the ten seconds I had to think, before I fell five hundred metres or so to my death, that’s exactly what happened. I thought of you, my love.
I remembered the stern look on your face the day we met at the bar at the Stanley. Your beer got flat while you told me about recent heartache.
The awkwardness we both felt making love for the first time. Then after, when we lay naked in each others arms, the nerves melting away like butter off corn on the cob – a favourite of yours.
Those nerves returned the day you knelt down on one knee under the Eiffel Tower. You tried to hide the embarrassment you felt when you confessed you were too sacred to go up it.
Our wedding day; everyone said it would be the best day of our lives. I told them not to be silly, assuring them we would have many more happy days. We did, but they were right. It didn’t even matter I couldn’t eat anything all day because of morning sickness. I still wore white.
I thought about The Avenues and how much I would miss that house. It was never meant to be our “forever home” but when we eventually got round to thinking about moving you were made redundant.
The birth of our two sons and the moment they first opened their eyes. Their tiny faces stared at me while I soothed their cries with my voice. You looked so proud.
We saved for so long to go on our dream holiday to Crete. Years later you told me you only went there for me. It was the last holiday we ever went on.
With just three seconds left before I hit the ground, I had hoped all of my memories would be happy ones, but your uncharacteristically stern face reappeared again. It was the moment the doctor told you the bad news.
Finally I remembered the moment when I knew I’d lost you to Alzheimer’s.
Now, in my tenth and final second of life, I am happy, despite the fact my parachute failed. I am too old to be scared, instead I am ready to be reunited with you, my love.