He had parked on the fifth level of the car park, away from prying eyes. They were early. Few cars were scattered here as they alighted, and he took her arm. They were to meet others here, even though she had resisted and been harshly punished for it. They walked across the large expanse towards the stairs, then he stopped – forgotten his phone!
“Wait here” he said, with a menacing look, “Don’t move!”
He expected her to obey and quickly returned to the car.
What possessed her she couldn’t say but on impulse, she took to her heels and dived into the stairwell. Seeing the stairs before her, she rushed to climb them, panting as she scaled the landings. She could hear him now, following below, chasing her quickly and bellowing loud threats and curses, that echoed around her in the concrete tower. In her panic, she climbed ever more quickly, feeling exhausted and sick. She reached the seventh floor and emerged breathless, into a huge expanse of empty concrete space, with only the sky and wind around her. She raced in fear to the parapet and peered over the edge.
Far below, cars and buses moved sedately in an orderly fashion dictated by traffic lights along set routes. Little people bustled around, going about their business, shopping, crossing roads and all, totally oblivious to her above. Even if she screamed to them, would anyone ever hear her?
She heard him behind her, and turned; he had stopped twenty yards away, unsure of what to do. Her back was against the concrete barrier. There was nowhere further for her to go… He was angry, his eyes narrowed and calculating. His tense frame had hands balled into fists as he watched her…
Just for an instant she considered her options.
If she took a step forward she would return to his cruelty. She would pay for this misadventure. She didn’t want that. She didn’t want to hurt any more… Never again!
“Get back here, you stupid bitch !” he snarled, flexing his hands, then making fists again.
She knew he was preparing to pounce. Instinctively, she took a step back, mounting the deep concrete edging on the ground, and sitting herself on the broad parapet, facing him. He stopped and watched.
Holding his gaze, she calmly tilted herself backwards, knowing it would mean certain death. As she slowly fell, she glimpsed his conflicted features – eyebrows arched , eyes bulging, his mouth a perfect black oval in his astonished face. It made her smile as she plummeted. She was aware of falling a long distance, flying almost, plunging to earth, the wind around her. Her mind was tranquil and clear. Oblivion awaited her, a dark peace.
She closed her eyes, happy; safe in the knowledge that at last, she had made her escape and was finally free..