And a phone rang …

The wind whipped over his entire body.
He enjoyed the weightlessness, the freedom, the rush of air.
He wasn’t supposed to enjoy any part of this.
He was falling.
On purpose.
The flapping of his clothing distracted away from what he was doing.
His body rolled in the air as the breeze thrashed through his short sleeve dress shirt and pant legs.
His brown tie slashed at his face.
He tugged to remove it and released it into the ether.
It flew away so quickly out of sight, the rapidity surprised him.
He watched his left, brown leather shoe fly off.
He didn’t regret not tying the laces.
It didn’t matter.
He would never need that shoe again.
He calmed as he passed window after business office window.
Faces pressed against the glass.
Shock in their eyes.
He smiled.
He didn’t know them.
But really, he did.
And then it happened…
Nearing the 28th floor (he’d been counting as he dropped), a phone rang.
It jarred him.
Why would it matter?
But it did.
It so did.
It was then that he remembered her.
His daughter: bright, beautiful, inquisitive.
She was expecting him to pick her up today.
She was going to show him the scrapbook she had assembled in art camp.
She had made him promise to be there.
A simple call was all he had asked for.
And now…
The phone would ring and no one would answer it.
What had he done?
He hadn’t thought about her at all when he had made this decision.
How could he have not?
She was his reason for living.
He tried to twist his body as if being upright would allow him to change his mind.
But it was too late.
The 28th floor became the 25th, the 20th, the 15th.
Before long it was the 10th.
Panic set in.
It gripped his heart and wrenched his insides.
He waved his arms as if to slow his descent.
He could not.
It was over.
Darkness hit and the impact shattered his mind.
And a phone rang somewhere…off in the distance.

Writing Challenge: “A man jumps from the 40th story of a building. As he’s passing the 28th floor, he hears a phone ring and regrets that he jumped. Why?” from 642 Things to Write About by the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto.

peekiequeen prose, copyright Tuesday, August 5, 2014