Only Daughter by Sarah A. Denzil
If you were here with me now, I’d say sorry for everything.
I know I’ve let you down, disappointed you, and it hurts. This is how it ends for me, isn’t it? Alone with my thoughts, with my pain, all the regrets about who I am and how I acted coming back to haunt me. I let you down more than anyone else. Maybe one day you’ll be able to forgive me, but I know I’ll never forgive myself.
It hurts so badly. I’m crying as I watch the blood seep through my dress. Red spreads across the yellow, like spilled paint. My body is cold all over and I’m starting to shake. I’m certain that my face is as pale as the thin sliver of moon above me.
Perhaps I can get out of this pit, if I can remember how. Wind whistles through the rocky depths of Stonecliffe Quarry. Otherwise known as the Suicide Spot. Aren’t there steps built into the cliff? A half-finished attempt at transforming the old quarry into a park; now a place for the dying to claw their way back to life. A rebirth.
My hands grope the cold, slippery surface around me. I landed here with a thud and broke my bones. I wish you were here to guide me, to tell me where to go. I wish I could tell you how you were the one I looked up to, who made me want to be a better person. Always.
What will you think when you find my dead body?
I remember the man who jumped from this cliff five months ago. He probably fell close to where I am now, landing with a crunch, breaking his neck. No one found him for a week. Will that be me?
A scream escapes from my throat, sharp like a dagger against my vocal chords. Help me! Desperate, rasping with all the air in my lungs, but what comes out is barely a whisper. My throat is raw. Fight harder. Scramble, pull yourself forward. Grasp the rock. My fingers dig into dirt and a sharp pain from my left wrist makes me dizzy. When I lift my head, the stars dance, and I know I’m beginning to lose consciousness. If I do, then this is over and I will die, and I’ll never be able to see you again and tell you I love you. And I’m sorry. My tights and dress are soaked through with blood, damp from hip to ankle.
My head is a heavy weight, swollen and foggy, interrupting my concentration, but I grit my teeth together so hard that my jaw starts up a dull throbbing. The smell here is of sweet blood mingled with the damp earth. It stinks of death, and I expect my life to begin flashing before my eyes like it does in the films. Your smile pops into my mind. Other people I love, too. That’s when I know I’m starting to give up, but I can’t, I have to keep going.
It’s here, the first ledge; I touch it with scratched fingertips. A cloud passes over the moon as I cry out in pain at my first attempt to pull myself up. Is my wrist broken? I can’t support my weight. Come on. A fingernail peels from my skin as I make a second attempt. My eyes roll back in my head as a wave of throbbing pain washes over me. My hands are slick and slippery, leaving my life’s blood all over the stones. When I grasp the first step, my fingers can’t find purchase, and before I know it I’m falling again, this time a mere few feet, and my head hits the cold surface of the quarry floor.
If you were here now, I’d apologise for everything.
But I wouldn’t just say sorry; I’d warn you, too.
Because they’re coming after you next…