My date had gone horribly, and all I’d wanted to do was get back to my apartment so I could sleep off my shame, resentment, and embarrassment.
When I got to the door, I turned it on instinct without using the key. Some tired part of me wanted the world to bend to my will, but I knew better; doors with locks don’t open without keys.
Which is why I was genuinely surprised when the door opened.
When I got inside, everything was dark. Knowing how much of a night owl my roommate was, I immediately questioned the circumstances. She wasn’t in the kitchen, living room, or bathroom.
Some sick feeling rose up inside of me as I continued to *not* find my roommate.
I threw open her bedroom door like a madman, but she wasn’t in there- the bed was empty, intensifying my apprehension. What was on the bed wasn’t concerting, either.
No note of reassurance, explaining that she’d just gone somewhere on impulse. I wanted desperately for her to have been out for a walk, or out on a food run.
Instead, there was what looked like a game spinner, and a piece of paper.
The spinner had four categories: “Pills”, “Knife”, “Jump”, and “Rope”.
The paper had the same categories, each with tally marks, presumably of how many times the spinner had landed on each choice. “Jump” was circled, with the most tally marks.
Something prompted me to do something I usually didn’t do- and I looked through her stuff. Her nightstand was labeled with sticky notes- the categories again.
In the drawer labeled “Pills” I found a disturbing amount of amber vials, all untouched. “Knife” held a switchblade, and “Rope” held a rope, tied into a noose.
The fourth drawer was supposed to be “Jump”, but there wasn't any sticky note, and the last drawer was empty.
What was “Jump”? Then, the realization and dread hit me like a tidal wave, and had me doubled over.
Not wanting to waste precious time with the elevator, I ran up three flights of stairs, heels and all.
I opened the door, and re-entered the cold night, frantically calling her name with shaky lungs. The sounds of traffic were the only reply.
Panic grasping me full force, I searched every square inch of the roof, but discovered no other soul. Not even the resident smokers were up there at so late an hour.
The hollowness constricted my lungs as I retraced my steps, and went back to the door. From there, I walked straight forward, all the way to the rail.
Something told me then that I knew where she was; I would be able to find her- if I simply looked down.
But with the knowledge that I would never be prepared for that sight- never be able to endure it- I stared ahead, shaking, into the cityscape, the lights and colors blurring as my eyes teared up.
The sounds of sirens drifted up from below.