When she jumped, I fell.

But the question is, did she jump or did she fall?

Does it even matter when you end up with the same result? The thud of my phone hitting the pavement when they told me she was dead. The vision I see of myself in that alleyway unable to breathe from the shock. Pretending to be asleep on a sofa watching my mother pacing because she can’t sleep. Finding out about the previous attempt. Staring at the carpet in a crematorium while the Kaddish echoes around me.

I could write about the tremors or the ripples in the weeks and months after, but tremors and ripples have spaces in between. The pain of her death was constant. It was like a parasite that took hold of my body, the only thing that kept me moving was the solid sensation of parasitic grief.

Now my whole life is a cliche of The Time Before and The Time After. The me before or the me after. The knowledge I now have of the space under my breastbone that feels like a tiny implosion that draws my fist up to it when my world alters irretrievably.

That pain and rage is still there, under the mottled skin of my hands and the tattoos on my back and the red flashes on my cheeks and the scar on my stomach. It lingers.

When she jumped, I fell.

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