From where they stood, the city lights were beautiful. The varying shades of yellow lights that surrounded them and the sky-scrapping buildings that hosted them were and enchantingly dark black in the backdrop of the lights, instead of the ugly, dull grey that was their usual appearance during the day. The sky was clear and though there wee not many, stars were visible in the usually vacant sky. This night would have been perfect if not for the reason Allison had rushed up the stairs to the very top of Michael's apartment building. "Michael, no", she said, "Pleas listen to me. You can't do this."
He did not turn around. He had not expected to see her tonight but he was not surprised by her presence. He had seen her park her car and rush across the street to the entrance of the building where he lived. He moved closer to the edge of the building and squared his shoulders, not looking down. "Michael, please."
Allison was close to tears now, her voice breaking on the second word. The only thing that kept her from crying and screaming for help was the fear surging through her veins, chilling every inch of her soul. "Why not?" Michael challenged an edge to his voice, "What difference does it make?"
He couldn't stand it any longer, the constant anger, the pain and the waiting – waiting for something, anything to finally put an end to all of it. Allison had tried to help and he really hated himself for letting her down this way but she could never truly know or understand what it meant to feel the feelings that haunted him every minute of everyday.
"Michael..." He could tell that she was in tears now and he knew exactly what her face would look like: the pain, the anguish and how her face eyes would be silently pleading. He couldn't look at her.
"Just leave Allison. Go away. There's nothing you can say now that will stop me." He squared his shoulders once more and took a final step toward the ledge. He turned his head to the left and stared into the night. Taking mental snapshots of everything, he looked slow and hard at everything in sight. 180degrees of cement, streetlights, buildings and sky lay before him. He would have loved to turn full circle but that would mean having to look at Allison – it would ruin his mental pictures and would also give her false hope. He turned his head skyward. The moon was high in the heavens, though it wasn't full.
"You can't do this." Allison insisted, her voice thick with sobs and full of desperation. "Please don't do this." Despite all his best efforts, Michael looked back at the girl standing on the rooftop with him and told her sadly: "You've still given me no reason why I shouldn't." Allison was silent a moment. 'Good,' Michael thought, 'she's finally given up.' Then she took a step forward. She was standing right next to him now, staring out into the distance the same way he was. The tears had left ugly streaks of mascara on her face.
"You can't do this," she said, "because if you jump, everyone else falls."