Off the Edge

We weren’t supposed to be here.

Due dates, long mornings at work, the future laid behind us, calling us to come back to fulfill the destinies we had chosen for ourselves on the cusp of independence. We don’t heed the call.

Instead, we face the ocean, the calming waves pushing against our feet by the quiet night breeze as we look toward the horizon. The moon lurks above somewhere among the clouds as the stray star twinkles between blinking airplanes.We squint our eyes at the oil rinks out in the distance so the lights reflecting in the dark blur together to form fluorescent islands sitting on the water.

“Do you see it?” She asks me, holding onto my arm.

“The small ferris wheel at the end of the walk, do you see it?”

I turn my head to the boardwalk further down the beach, the reflection of the wheel warm and bright among the waves.

“I used to go there when I was young,” she says standing beside me.

“I used to go there all the time.”

I don’t say anything to that. We just stand there on the edge of the coast and remember what was while tomorrow beckons us home. Before very long, the call summons becomes too great and she touches my arm before sinking in the reluctant sand as she trudges toward the car. I do not follow.

Instead, the ocean licks my ankles and I feel myself steady in the moment. My hands fall loosely to my sides, swaying to the rhythm of the wind as I tip my head back to face the black sky head on.

Freedom, I think, is standing on the edge of tomorrow.


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