Preface: There are so many awful stories in the news, and to try to comprehend, to fathom what I see and hear, to humanize the murders, the tortures, the hatred, I am beginning a series where I put myself in the story and try to imagine what the person was going through. The result of that is here. This is not supposed to be what this man felt, but rather a rendition of what I would feel were I in the same situation.
It was just a kiss.
A heart-racing, eye-widening, soul-splitting kiss, but just a kiss all the same.
I should have known better.
I don’t know how they found out.
Nothing is safe.
Here I am, the consequence of one moment of weakness.
A message of hatred.
The rope burns on my wrist and the heat scalding my skin are no match for my mind.
They are leading me to my death.
I am a good man. I give, I help, I love.
They wish to destroy me.
They will destroy me.
I think I’m on the roof now.
They’re talking all around me, but I can’t make out the words.
I am going to die for my love.
I do not want this, it is no heroic gesture – no one will stop them.
A sharp command, they grab my arm.
I am on the edge.
They share their message.
I’m overcome with the urge to jump right there, to shatter their vision of how this should go, but the self-preservation wins out, I hold onto life for just a bit more.
I know it is coming before I feel it.
My body is flailing through the air.
I am reminded of the steep drop of my favorite roller coaster.
His face flashes before my eyes,
disappearing in flames upon impact.
No one will ever know my fear, my pain, my promise.
No one will ever know me.