I stand balanced on the edge, gravel grinding under my feet. The sharp breeze teases my hair and swirls the mist into beguiling and alluring shapes. I stare out, watching the fleeting images of castles, mountains and laughing faces form and dissolve in the tendrils of vapour as fear and anxiety gnaw at my stomach.
I shift my tense body; my feet performing a nervous shuffle yet keen to commence a walkabout. I am drawn closer to the edge as sounds drift from the fog, snippets of laughter, the crash of waves, lonely birds cry and machinery grinds out of the thick translucent mist. Curiosity draws me to the brink, the edge crumbling at my feet, stones bouncing in the swirling, seething
mass. Try as I might the sights and sounds elude
my control, I can not grasp their meanings.
Emotion boils out of the fog sending shudders down my spine, tangible wisps of love, hope, excitement, adventure, heartbreak and anticipation. My heart pounds in excitement, its shiny new pink scars holding out against the welter of emotions encircling it. They become overwhelming pushing me back and forth from the heights of joy to the depths of loneliness, I do not know whether to laugh or cry. My skin itches as the emotions well to the surface threatening to drown my sense of self and burst the shiny new scars.
I glance over my shoulder to where my family stands
together, smiling through tears. My mother’s words drift through my mind as I smile tightly at my flesh and blood, an unseverable bond.
“There are many times as a parent when you wish that you had a magic wand to fix everything for your children, but unfortunately magic wands are in short supply! Hang in there! And remember that we are here for you.” The flood of emotion disappears to a trickle, relief. The fog becomes menacing, the edge crumbling away from my soles, I step back as I hear my friends whisper “We will miss you!” I should turn back, there is no other place for me!
Return to the warm embrace of friends and family, to the unconditional love of the piece of my soul I have left behind, her emerald eyes watching me reproachfully from my father's arms. Take comfort again in the solid dependability of my life, the routine and simple enjoyment of my own space. The cool wind tickles my neck as the ghosts of the past rise behind my family and friends, memories of hurt, pain and regret swirl around my confused mind. The ghosts drift forward enveloping my ties with family and friends;
twisting and turning the bonds into the shape they want. The sounds from the fog become louder, beckoning me to turn offering escape from the memories and the manipulation of ghosts that hold sway over me.
My life leans heavy against my leg as my world contracts and expands, my focus pulled by the lure of the fog, the edge becomes more enticing. The mist sneaks into my chosen uniform of black through the layers searching for the hurts and regrets. The ghosts subside and the siren voices from the fog sing to my troubled heart and soul. My lungs are filled with the sweet tang of the unknown as I breathe in the creeping vapour. I draw a deep breath and leave the shadows of my past behind, wrapping my family's love around me like a coat I step over the edge and into the unknown.