I am not weak. I'm strong, my love is a strength that could support the very stars. I can deal with the truth, understand the way things are. I just feel that this is the only way.
How can I live without her?
And so I step forward.
As I fall, my whole life flashes through my mind... so vivid, so crystal clear now.
As I fall, suddenly I almost feel a strange euphoria. In a way, it soothes me to know, that in this final moment I relive my pain for the last time. Never, ever again.
This hurts. These vivid memories hurt so much. The rocks below will seem almost like her soft touch.
I see it all, in my mind. I should have made her cross first.
I see her there, on the bridge. Enclosing darkness ahead of me among the trees, cover, safety, refuge. But she's still there on the damn bridge.
Where's the god damn reinforcements?
I catch a glint from his nightscope, in the foliage on the other side of the ravine. I raise my pistol to fire, screaming "Cloud! Look out!".
I'm too late.
Oh God, oh my God! Its so horribly clear in my mind.
And as I fall, I yell "Stop haunting me!"
I see the flash, hear the crack, see the impact. A burst of lead rips into her neck. She squeals.
Oh God no.
It flashes through my mind again, that image, and I scream. I'm not screaming from the fall. I'm not screaming from the fear of death. I'm screaming... I'm screaming guilt.
I scream out my last breath, scream out all my guilt, my anger, my sorrow, my loss.
A long-split-second, to reach the ground.
I close my eyes, this is it.....
Am I dead?
I feel... oh God I feel her presence, her soft breath on my neck. Surely I am dead.
I feel warm and secure, held in a horse-hug by my beautiful mare. I reach out and hold her, push my face into her mane and cry. Is this what death is like?
So now I open my eyes.
And I'm standing among the rocks, that huge cliff looms over me and bright sunlight streams down into the gorge.
There is not a single living soul in either direction. Nobody, not man or horse. Just this empty valley, and me.
But I know now that I'll never really be *alone*.
Leaving all my guilt, my anger, my sorrow, my tears behind me. I start out on the long walk back to the scout camp. Back to life.
And I pray to her, through my not-quite-broken bond:
"Cloud, never stop haunting me."