A Long Way Down
How the fuck did I end up here?
The metal of the railing dug into my hands while I hung on for dear life and silently cursed the events that had led to me hanging, suspended in the air, several metres above street level.
Truth be told, I knew exactly what had happened. And while it would have been easy to blame others, ultimately my own foolish behaviour had caused the mess I found myself in. Just as it had been my decision to say yes to the suggested solution. And I’d gotten away with it four times before now.
I could hear someone walking inside the apartment and hoped against hope they wouldn’t notice the open balcony door or, if they did, would think they’d left it open themselves. If they walked out and saw me I’d be fucked. Scrap that. I was fucked either way. It was too far to jump down and I couldn’t climb back up as long as they were inside. My arms growing more tired by the minute were a clear indication hanging on wouldn’t be an option for much longer either.
None of this would have happened if my parents hadn’t cut off my funding six months ago. Overnight I’d gone from having more money than I really needed, to having none. It had been so easy to borrow funds from others. They all knew me as the rich kid so it didn’t occur to them to say no. Until I’d failed to pay them back on time. Who knew it would be so hard to find a job, any job?
I’d known I was in serious trouble the moment the six guys I owed money to cornered me together. I couldn’t blame them for being fed up and hadn’t been surprised they were done being nice. When I told them I had no money and no way to get my hands on any either, they’d offered me what they called ‘a solution’.
And that’s how I started my career as a burglar and thief. The first four places they told me to rob had been surprisingly easy to get into. I’d stolen what I could find and carry, before handing it over to cover my debts. This was supposed to have been the last time.
I almost laughed out loud, despite the situation I found myself in. Clearly this would have to be the very last time. I’d either be caught or break my legs trying to get away.
I watched with dread pooling in my tummy as the door was pushed open from the inside. I looked down at the ground below me, contemplating my chances of safely making the jump for the umpteenth time, before glancing up and staring straight into his eyes.
“You bastard?” He growled at me, anger flashing in his eyes and a frown marking his handsome features. “What the fuck’s wrong with you?”
How had I not known this was his apartment? Here was the reason my parents had cut me off in the first place—the reason I’d felt the need to come out—examining me from the safety of his balcony.
I watched helplessly as he balled his hand into a fist. “Give me one good reason not to push you down.”
I grabbed his fist before it hit me and looked up at him. I imagined I saw pain underneath his anger. “Because I’m in love with you.”
I closed my eyes, pressed my lips hard against his hand, and waited.
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