This Moment

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This is significant, this moment.

Not all moments are. Some are forgotten, even in the middle of them; some simply slip away, drifting through memories like echoes of moments that have come before. Some stick, though. Some draw lines in the sand and declare themselves, some say, “This is who you will be.”

The edges of her toes are curled around the banister railing. The wood is cool beneath her feet, autumn-touched, full of secrets. Her eyes are open wide, taking in the drop beneath her, the sweep of railing to her left, the rich texture of the carpet below. She does not tremble, steady with the ease of fearlessness.

Her mother has warned her not to play on the balcony, but she know she will not fall. She believes. From below she hears a startled shout; her name is almost a question.

She takes a step off the balcony. She is smiling.

The floor comes up fast, and everywhere is blood, and screaming, and most of one is her own, and little of the other, and she does not feel the pain so much as the bitter disappointment.

She believed.

She believed, and yet she fell.

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