I’ve read what it’s going to be like when I’m through with this and it sounds like pure bliss…
It was around two AM and Josh was walking the streets of downtown. The shops and restaurants were empty and it was pretty dark except for one, lonely streetlight that shone a dull yellow light on one end of the street. It was slightly breezy and pages of newspaper, plastic cups, paper plates and other eating utensils were doing cartwheels up and down the road. The trees on either sides of the road were swaying to the breeze as if the wind was a waltz and they were the dancers.
No one was really out except for the prostitutes and drunks. The drunks were bar hopping and screaming nonsense about their sex lives and how cool they thought they were to whoever would listen, which was no one. Once they realized no one was listening, they just screamed louder as if that would make people start to listen. The prostitutes were working their corners and trying to look as hot as they could while they dragged smokes on hand-rolled cigarettes. Oh, and of course there were people wandering around looking for the prostitutes (sadly most of them were married).
Josh just kept on walking. The air was chilly, but not too cold. A gust of wind flew down the street, blowing his hair wildly across his face. He grabbed each end of his coat, crossed his arms across his chest, pulling the coat snugly around his cold, frail body. He shuffled his feet a little bit faster to get to his destination a little bit quicker.
He looked down as to keep from making eye contact with anyone. He got a lot of “Hey you!’s” and “Hey baby, you look nice,” with winks from the few people parading around the area. He just gave a slight hand wave and a scared smile and moved on.
He kept looking at the ground and continued walking. Finally he looked up to see how close he was to his destination. He saw the tall building, outlined by a few lamp- posts giving it a yellowish hue, in the distance but it was hard to see because the branches of trees were covering it. He smiled and walked even faster.
He calculated in his mind that he would make it there in about four minutes time if he kept walking at this speed. He coughed into his shoulder and blew his nose into his sleeve and then finally looked forward. He wasn’t quite looking up, wasn’t quite looking down, but wasn’t quite looking straight ahead. He was rather looking diagonally down and straight ahead.
In his peripheral vision he caught sight of a slight movement. He abruptly stopped and turned back around to find out what he had seen. Something jumped out of the bushes and lunged for his face. He screamed for mercy and blindly threw punches at whatever or whoever his attacker was, finding that it was the air. Realizing that he had lost his balance the whole time, he fell backwards onto the rough gravel. Once he got himself back up again, brushed himself off and focused his vision forwards, he saw that it had just been a black cat. He scowled and beat himself up for being scared by such an innocent thing and kept on moving.
One step, two step, three step, four… he said to himself. One step, two step, three step, four… he repeated. He kept on re-saying this over and over until he finally made it to his destination, the Carlisle Hotel.
The Carlisle Hotel was famous for being the tallest building in town and for being haunted. Guests would pay extra just to get an especially haunted room. Only the extremely affluent people would do this, as the hotel was already quite pricey for it’s famousness.
Josh looked up at the monstrous building and soon became extremely dizzy. He looked forwards and slowly made his way to the door. He knew that he wouldn’t be allowed to go inside unless he had a room, so he took his time walking so that he could make up a good excuse for going inside.
Once he made it to the gold rimmed, glass, sliding doors, he walked through them as coolly and innocently as possible. He looked up at the slightly taller than usual concierge desk and rushed past it with his head down, trying not to attract attention.
“You! Stop there,” screamed the attendant on duty. “Where do you think you are going?”
“Uh… well… you see, I was out late and I just need to get to my room where my mother, father and I are staying for the week.” Josh replied timidly.
“Very well then, hurry along,” sighed the displeased desk clerk as he shooed Josh out of the lobby with a white-gloved hand.
Josh scurried past him towards the stairwell and elevator area. Once he arrived, he turned right, into the emergency exit and stair- case. It was one of those kinds that had the concrete walls and floors that made you feel like you were in a jail cell. It had empty condom wrappers and broken bottles everywhere that you looked and even the places that you didn’t want to look. Some days you could find young couples that were too cheap to buy a room making out in the hall. He scrambled up the steps and counted each story that he was on, as he passed it.
“First floor,” he said with no struggle at all.
“Fourth floor,” he said with a slight pant.
“Eighth floor,” he said slower and breathing hard.
Once he got to the seventeenth floor he was ready to pass out. He crawled out of the stairwell and made his way to the elevator. He pressed the up button and waited. Humming a fast tune, he tapped his foot impatiently and had a frown on his face.
The golden elevator doors opened to reveal a huge space within. He stepped inside with his jaw dropping to the ground. “You could fit the whole sophomore class in here!” he thought to himself as he looked around. Soft elevator music was playing in the background and there were blue lights around the elevator, producing a soft and relaxing glow.
He soon realized what he was actually there for so he shut his jaw and looked at the keypad that held the floor numbers. His eyes skimmed the surface until they landed on the highest button possible. Floor thirty. It wasn’t what he was hoping for, but it was close enough. He pressed it, the doors closed and the lift slowly and gracefully glided upwards.
He went back to admiring the handiwork that was this elevator and still couldn’t believe that it was a real thing. It was literally the size of his homeroom class. He had never seen anything bigger… well, in terms of things that brought you up and down a thirty- story building.
He slid his fingers along the sides of the lift walls which were elegantly mirrored. He glanced at his reflection, but then looked away, only to find that everywhere he looked, he was there. Every single inch of the lift was covered with mirrors.
The doors slid open to a beautifully decorated hallway with a glass, wire framed coffee table holding a vase of beautiful flowers right in front of him. The floors were carpeted with only the finest carpet made by the finest carpet makers in the world. On the left and right, there were windows that had silken drapes and handcrafted, wooden drape rods. Everything was perfect. Nothing was wrong. Nothing at all.
He took his shoes off so he could feel the soft carpet on his rugged feet and stepped out of the elevator. The doors closed behind him and he truly felt alone. He scrunched up his toes to feel the softness of the carpet, and closed his eyes. He imagined that he was at the beach and the carpet was sand between his itching toes.
After daydreaming for a few seconds, he looked around for one more thing. A staircase. Soon his eyes landed upon what he had wished for and he sped walked towards it.
Once there, he made sure that the label for the stairwell was what he wanted. He nodded in approval and kept walking. The sign read, “Roof Access”.
He went up three, extremely short flights of stairs and came to the door. He unlocked the deadlock on the inside and opened it careful to not make any sound. The door creaked loudly anyways.
He was greeted with a blast of cold air and the bright lights of the cityscape. He gingerly stepped foot on to the concrete surface of the roof and closed the door behind him, creaking once more. He slowly walked around the perimeter of the area a few times, just to think things through. He thought about what it would be like, how he would feel and what people would think.
Finally he realized that thinking was getting him nowhere, and he walked to the prettiest edge of the roof; the one with the most lights. He carefully lifted one foot off of the ground, held it high and placed it on the ledge where the building met the empty area around it. He held on with both of his hands and the other leg followed behind.
Soon, Josh was standing on the edge of the roof of the highest building in the city, but it seemed like the edge of the world to him. He glanced down and his heart skipped a beat and his breathing seemed to fail him. He became extremely dizzy, so he looked straight ahead at the beautiful sight of the urban city.
He wiggled his toes and then gripped the edge of the ledge with them and squeezed hard. He shut his eyes and held his breath. He finally relaxed, opened his eyes, and started to breathe normally. A single tear went rushing down his face, as if it were trying to win a race.
He thought of everything that life had brought onto him. He thought of Sam, he thought of his classes he was failing, but most of all, he thought of everyone that had bullied him. Those weren’t the reasons he had started to cry though. He had started to cry, because he thought of Laura. He thought of how alone she would be without him and how distressed she would be when she found the news of what had happened to him. This normally stopped him from hurting himself or trying to end his own existence, but it wasn’t working this time.
He was sobbing and making un-human noises and his vision was blurry, but that was the last thing he would have to worry about. Literally.
With a runny nose and fuzzy vision, he sniffed, closed his eyes and fell forwards, arms stretched out by his sides, until he was finally free.