It was the Easter weekend and you were fed up with sitting around inside and watching TV. So we decided to take a drive to Portland and walk around the quarry. It was a fairly warm day and the air was fresh and full of new beginnings. We both had been through a tough time. You supported me through my fathers’ death. Clearing out the place I called home and trying to get settled in my new surroundings. Now it was spring and it was a good time to find myself again.
We parked up on top of the hill and walked towards the quarry. You were walking too fast as usual whilst I was trying to take photographs. As we entered Tout quarry from the south there were already quite a few sculptures. I was impressed, so I started going round taking pictures of almost every sculpture. I was completely lost in photography and my surroundings that I did not notice you walking off. After a while I turned round and you were gone. I started following, what seemed a main path through the quarry. I called your name.
As I took a left turn the path narrowed a bit and became quite rocky and uneven. Nevertheless I followed it, as I was now intrigued by what was round the next corner. And there it was in front of me, almost life size on a large rock. A person falling. I was so drawn to that sculpture that I sat down opposite it. This sculpture of the person falling was exactly how I was feeling. Since my fathers’ death I felt like I was mid-air. I did not feel grounded or settled anymore. That’s why I took my shoes off. I wanted to feel the ground beneath my feet and somehow feel rooted.
I sat there for a while, when I remembered that I was looking for you. I put my shoes on and started walking again. I got back to the main path and started shouting your name, when somehow out of the blue, I tripped and fell on the floor. The fall somehow felt like it was in slow motion. I tried to get composer and somehow find my feet, but it did not work. First my hands touched the floor, but they could not bear the weight of my body, then my knees touched the floor, which was really painful and then my head knocked on the floor, well not the floor but a rock that stuck out of the ground. I knocked myself out for a couple of minutes.
When I opened my eyes I could feel my knee hurt very much. My head was also quite sore. I hit the ground, properly with my whole body. I sat up and started shouting your name really loud. Then I retrieved my phone from my pocket and called you. Within a few minutes you found me and took me straight to hospital as my knee and my head were pretty badly bruised and bleeding.
I limped out of hospital that night with a plaster on my head and stitches, but at least I wasn’t still falling.
This short story was published in: This little world, Stories from Dorset writers (ISBN 9781518718267). Under my previous name Britta Eckhardt-Potter, but I am now Britta Freemantle.