Still falling

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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 father’s death, clearing out the place I called home and trying to get settled in my new surroundings. Now it was spring and a good time to find myself again.

We parked 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, started taking pictures of almost every one. I was so 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 image of a person falling was exactly how I was feeling. Since my father’s death I felt like I was mid-air. I did not feel grounded or settled any more. That’s why I took my shoes off, to feel the ground beneath my feet and somehow feel rooted.

I sat there for a while, until 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 on a rock that stuck out of the ground and fell to the floor. I knocked myself out for a couple of minutes.

When I opened my eyes my knee hurt very much. My head was also quite sore. I had hit the ground, properly, with my whole body.I retrieved my phone from my pocket and called you. Within a few minutes you found me and took me straight to hospital.

Later that night, I limped out of hospital. I had stitches on my head and a bandage around my knee.I had finally hit the ground and woken up to reality. My father was dead and I had to get on with my life.

This story won the Dorset Digital Short Story Competition in 2015.