“Fly! Fly!” her scream echoing in my ears. But where was she now? Where were we…? The impulse of her words still lingers in the air and the soft quiver in her timbre, still has chills running down my spine. The sound of the water rushing back and forth on the sand surrounds me. “Fly,” I repeat her words. But I can’t. Those imaginary wings she had glued onto my back were now gone. They had simply disappeared. Oh, how sad it is, to see dreams fade with the wind. To see them end.

“I told you to fly! Why didn’t you fly!?” I still hear her yelling; screaming at me with all her might. The rush of emotions dancing across my skin, tingling beneath it, surging through my veins – softly beating with my heart. My heart. It was still alive. It was still pumping blood through my being.

“You coward! You’re such a little coward…” I had cried over those words. So many times… too many times. Standing on this cliff, my bare feet embedded into it, I watch the ocean bellow me. I can feel the rush of the waves, as if I were swimming in them. I can feel my feet gently pressing into the sand. And suddenly I can feel her warmth wrap itself around me in a pleasant embrace. I was perfectly safe with her. I was safe. “Why don’t you listen to me,” her voice was warm and aching all at the same time. I shiver as the warmth pulls away again. My hands begin to tremble, hard and insistent. I’m shaking. The sounds of the ocean flickering in and out. Inhaling deeply I freeze.

“YOU FOOL!” I jump back, remembering the way she had screamed those two words. My body, finally released, moves back some more – I can no longer see the sand, only the ocean. The wide ocean. What a lovely, gentle, sound it makes. Her screams come rushing back to me, but this time the sound of my heart pounding wildly beneath my chest muffles them. I stare down at my feet. Rocking back and forth. Each breath coming quick and silent. The fear I had hidden, was suddenly pulled out from my guts. A cold, sharp hand fiercely digs around in my insides. Twisting and pulling. Shoving and squeezing. And then her touch is back. I close my eyes. I can feel her, her skin warm against mine – pulsing with life. She gently caresses my cheek.

“Fly,” the whisper stuck in the back of my mind. But I can’t. Of course I can’t. The wind blows harshly, much cooler than her warmth. “I wouldn’t betray you. I would never betray you,” she now says, her voice tiny and weak. My heart thumps. All I’ve wanted these years was to be alive. The screeching sound of a bird nearly made me open my eyes. I nearly lost her – again. But I managed to keep them closed. I manage to keep her here. Lumps form in my throat, a chill goes all the way down into the core of me. It’s always her voice. Hers. Right there inside my mind. Whispering to me. Yelling at me. Screaming. Still shaking I reach out, holding my hand out to the empty space before me – but I don’t get to grasp anything. The wind smashes against my being, raising the fine hairs on my body, pulling my brown hair out of my face. The cool air tingling against my cheeks. The smell of the ocean nearly wipes away the warmth of her hand, that’s resting against my skin. I take a step forward; it feels like she is pulling me, guiding me. Her hand never leaves my cheek, it is still resting there. So warm. So very warm. I am safe with her.

The rush of the wind ends. My hand closes, the warmth of her hand against my cheek disappears and then I can feel her grasp it. My hand. I tightly clutch onto nothing. But I know she is holding it. I can feel her. I can feel it. She pulls me quicker. My shaking stops. The comfort of her really being there… A tear fights its way down my cheek. The silence that suddenly overcomes me forces my body to a halt. I can feel her hand shake in mine. I can feel her pulling. But my body doesn’t move. My insides crumble. For a second, I believed that what I wanted more than anything in the world will now become true. For a second, I believed that maybe I was not safe with her. Suddenly I can feel her anger grow. The mere thought of her being angry at me, forces me to open my eyes. And then she was gone. Again. I sob and clutch my heart. And suddenly I’m afraid. Really, really afraid. She was angry and left.

“I’m sorry!” I shout out into the wind. Starring down, I can now see the sand again. I can see the water that softly moves against it, then gently smashing against the heavy rocks of the cliff. There no longer was any warmth. There no longer was any comfort. I was alone. I was lonely and afraid. The tips of my bare feet now hovering over the edge. “I was your only friend. I always protected you!” those words, nearly forgotten, singe into my heart. She had once yelled that into my face. Angry. I hated it when she got angry. I burry my face in my hands. The shaking had come back. This time much harder — I was barely able to stand. And the present feeling of fear was no help at all. The loss of her touch made it even worse. “Fly,” that whisper had found its way back into my head.

I am no longer able to hold back the tears. So I start crying. Sobbing. My silent plea for help reaching no one. Not even myself. Everything was falling. Disappearing. My dream was crumbling right before my eyes. The sky growing darker with the minute. The oceans roar louder than before. The rush of the wind harsh against my being. It felt like the rocky cliff was shaking with me. As if it was able to feel the pain I felt. The rush of emotions breaking every ounce of strength, ripping apart that beating heart of mine, pulling out every single bit of hope. Leaving nothing behind but an empty shell. I close my eyes again.

“Fly, you coward, just fly,” she now says softly against my ear. She was back. I felt the cool touch of her familiar fingertips briefly brush against my cheek. It was a long while before I finally opened my eyes, even though I feared she would disappear. But she didn’t. My breathing came to a halt as I stared at her. I could only stare. The brunette figure stood in front of me, suspended in midair. A seductive smile graced her features. Chills assaulted my body. She was really here. Floating. Right there. I cried out. It was a cry of joy and pain and fear and love. Her arms were outstretched toward me. An open invitation.

“You are safe with me, Crystal. Safe,” she whispered the last part. And I wanted her to say my name again. Because when she did, I felt real. I felt loved. I felt alive. Smiling at her I started crying again. I was ready to take the next step. To accept that invitation and feel her warm embrace. Something inside me quivered in fear… screamed. There was something, something very small, trying to pull me back. But how could I go back? How? When she was right here. Right before my eyes. Just one step and I could let myself fall into her arms. Fall into safety. She would never betray me. She was my friend. My protection. “Yes, yes. Now fly,” she whispered in a husky voice, “fly into my arms. I will make it all go away.” The sweet promise of her arms was right here. So close. I just want to be held.

“DO IT!” she screams. I fall forward. I will fall into her arms, I will feel her, I will be safe – but I’m not. I’m falling. I fell through her. The adrenaline rush of fear quickly pumping through my being. I was falling alone. The sweet promise of warmth that came from her lips was nothing but a lie. I shouldn’t have replied. “You're free now. Flying,” uttered a voice softly into my ear. She was someone who existed solely in the realm of my own consciousness. She was me. And now quiet. She didn’t utter another word as I fell. The rocks tucked in the sand waiting for me. The wash of the water humming the tune of my end. I couldn’t help but laugh. “Fly,” I repeat her words. I should have never listened to myself.