“Elizabeth, don’t you dare jump, I’m coming down there.”
Mary looked at her best friend; her wavy blonde hair spread out like a glossy cape around her bare shoulders, she looked like a shampoo advert. Typical, she thought to herself, even when trying to kill herself, bloody Elizabeth Smart still manages to look beautiful.
Mary let her legs swing out of the window, emitting a small involuntary grunt as she eased herself slowly down onto the old hotels decorative stone ledge. It was six stories above the quiet dark street.
“Get away from me, I don’t need you,” Elizabeth yelled.
Mary had twisted herself round so that she could hold onto the edge of the window. Loose flakes of white paint stuck to the sweat on her palms as she dropped the last few inches. A piece of stone crumbled under her boot as she made contact with the ledge.
“Mary, what the hell, I told you to not to come down here, this thing can’t take both our weights.”
“What do you care, I thought you wanted to jump anyway,” Mary retorted.
“I do, when I’m ready and by myself. I don’t want to be catapulted off and be responsible for you splattering on the pavement alongside me.”
“I’m not letting you do this; I’d never get over it.”
“Shut up Mary, why do you have to make everything about you?” Elizabeth moved sideways as a crack appeared in the stone ledge.
“Lizzie, come on we need to get back inside before this thing gives way.” As she spoke Mary looked up towards the window. She realized she couldn’t climb back up the crumbling stucco and stepped a few feet away from Elizabeth to redistribute their combined weight.
Elizabeth had crouched down, her boney elbows protruding as she hugged her bare knees. A wisp of black silk satin clung to her body.
Carefully watching her friend, Mary pushed her straggly brown bangs out of her eyes and felt the dampness of perspiration as it made is way between her breasts. She imagined the stains that were forming on her grey cotton t-shirt. She wondered if Elizabeth had chosen her as a friend just to magnify her own beauty. She had often imagined how wonderful it would be to be like Elizabeth, tall, slim, and endearingly attractive. Mary often made excuses for her friend, the selfishness was not her fault; after all when someone is given everything they are bound to feel entitled.
“Why did he leave me Mary?” Elizabeth asked.
“You told him to go.”
Another piece of stone broke away from the ledge, leaving a gap where there was once just a crack between them.
“I didn’t mean it, I thought he’d come back with some jewelry, you know a nice pair of diamond earrings or something.”
“Is that why you are on the ledge, because he didn’t buy you earrings?”
“No, it’s because he obviously doesn’t love me.”
“I love you,” Mary reached her hand out towards Elizabeth as another piece of the ledge between them crumbled.
“Don’t move,” A male voice called from above.
“Andrew, is that you?” Elizabeth brushed her hair away from one shoulder and looked up.
“Just stay still. Sweetheart, I’m getting help.”
A rope was lowered from the window and swung between them.
“Lizzie, put that round your waist. Mary, hang on, we will get you next.”
Elizabeth did as she was told and Mary watched as her friend floated above her like a pink plastic doll towards the window. Mary shifted twisting her neck to make sure her friend was safely inside. Finally she saw just her red painted toenails. A sound under Elizabeth’s boots took her by surprise, her friends feet above her head quickly getting farther away, a rushing of wind in her ears, crumbs of stone passing through her outstretched fingers. It took only a few seconds before the impact and the blackness but she understood.
Maybe next time, she thought, she would come back as the beautiful one.