For Mary Kat
Years passed, and I graduated from college. Rae and I became close friends and we talked on the phone frequently. But Rae stayed stuck in her tower. Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore.
I wanted to see her again.
So I walked to the back of the Hotel Tower building, and found the fire escape. I had to jump onto a dumpster to reach it, but then started climbing up without thinking. I didn’t stop until I’d gone as far as I possibly could. Then, I gave Rae a call on my cell phone.
“Hello?” she said quietly. Her voice was always a little hoarse from underuse.
“Rae, it’s me. Patrick. I’m under your window. Let down your fire escape.”
“Let down your fire escape. I can’t go any higher until you do. I’m coming to see you.”
“You mean… open the window?” Rae asked nervously.
“Yes. You can do it, Rae. I’ll be waiting for you.”
It took a while, but finally, I heard the rattling and clattering of metal stairs unfolding, and the long, unreachable section of the fire escape tumbled down until it stopped at my feet. I climbed up two more stories, and I found my princess waiting for me at the top, sitting on her balcony. She had her arms wrapped around her knees, looking a little bit like she might blow away in the wind.
For a moment, she just stared at me, afraid and unsure.
“Rae,” I said gently.
Rae started to cry. She leaped up and embraced me in a tight, desperate hug. She hadn’t seen anyone but her mother in two years.
I wrote this story for an online contest. You can read the whole thing here at http://figment.com/
Copyright © Clare Marie S.