We sat upon the clouds, he and I.
A future, we said. Bright and elegant, constructed from our fledgling dreams and unassuming hopes and dashes of whimsy.
Hand in hand, we collected tiny concepts and bursts of intuition and kept them safe in our pockets. Gathered armfuls of memories and experiences and nursed them carefully, like June wildflowers in mason jars. With pencils tucked behind our ears, we drafted blueprints and plans on errant scraps of paper. We scribbled and erased. Got frustrated and kicked door jambs. Cried into each other. Learned from our mistakes. And planned again.
And together, we had engineered a marvel.
Oh, the magnificence.
A bridge, suspended safely over bays of wild, churning waters, carefully crafted to withstand torrents and tempests that would threaten us with devastation.
A bridge with gilded spires, constructed from our pocketsful of visions and dreams, that peaked over the clouds, gracefully suspended by powerful cables. Cables intricately woven together from a million moments of tender intimacy. Strands spun from moments of gentle hand squeezes and smiling pinky promises. From the joy and elation when we brought babies into the world together. From heartbreaking absences and the rawness of grief. Tender glances in the mirror. Scrawled love notes. Nights of vulnerability and moments of unabashed confidence. Forgiveness and trying trying trying again with all the hope we could muster.
A bridge to span from the shore of our humble beginnings and extend to the end of, well, forever.
We were safe, he and I.
Together forever, we said.
I feel sickening thuds as the cables that tether me to safety rip from their bolted anchors.
The once-secure cables arc violently in the air. The strands of interlacing tenderness and memories began to unravel, to fray. The strands that we had spent a million moments weaving together. How it had chaffed and calloused our hands.
How fast they had come undone.
No longer anchored, the golden spires tilt precariously. No. Our dreams. Our pocketsful of magic and wonder. Our love, so deeply embedded in our blueprints, our fine-tuned plans. Our carefully cared-for hopes.
We were collapsing.
Our devastated vision of our future begins to crumble, to fall, to collapse, raining down pieces of broken grandeur.
Pieces of us.
I reach out to grab our memories and tender pieces of my heart, but they’re falling too fast. My arms are laden with memories that have lost their luster, but I cling and cling to them, echoes of our rich, golden past. I can’t. I can’t let them go. Why can’t I save them all? Each scrap is too precious to leave behind but too heavy to carry on my own.
I call to him, my breathing ragged.
“But our dreams! Our future! Please. Help me. Help me hold them,” I beg.
He doesn’t look back.
I look around, desperately. Aching for something familiar to pull me to safety. To tether me. The cables lay abandoned, the golden towers mere semblances of their former grandeur. There was nothing left.
Nothing holds the bridge anymore.
Nothing holds me anymore.
And I fall.