The breeze was like any other breeze, though it was a wind. It pushed her hair and her face, her white blouse whipped around her. Allison wondered, for a moment, how she’d come to be there. Thins had been so normal, so calm, so this is like every work day of your life.
She thought back to the day before. That had been similar. She drove Tyler to school, he had only been eight back then. His mop of sandy hair–he was going to grow up to be such a handsome young man–and after she’d dropped him off she was going to (his father would pick him up) and then Brent was there. Brent in a rather dusty suite. For some reason it was appropriate and as Tyler stood there in front of St. Mary’s and all the kids were streaming into the school, Brent walked right up to her. His suite was dark blue, but faded, and his pants khaki with a crease. She was still holding Tyler’s hand, his so small in hers. Brent had walked right to them, his left hand pulled something from his pants pocket. And that was when Allison realized what he was going to do and she realized that she would say yes. Up until that moment she hadn’t thought about it. But in the time it took for him to walk to her and then to kneel, she had done a lot of thinking.
Time was slower than anyone gave it credit for.
A breeze kicked up and tossed her hair back behind and out and around, just like the day before. The view beyond the tops of buildings was beautiful. The shimmer of the Hudson, the reflection of the morning sun. It was beautiful.
The breeze made a rushing in her ears. A strong whoosh. A scent of Aspen. Of cool snow and mountain air. A memory from her childhood. How many breezes like this did you get? No more than one. And most people probably less. And Allison had two.
She should think herself lucky, she told herself. She should feel as though her life was among–oh, maybe–the top five lives ever lived. Two moments she’d had of complete art. Not even Van Gogh could claim that, she guessed.
Below her people stared up and watched. Time for them moved as slow as for Allison. A homeless man in ragged, torn jeans–old Levi’s left over from his sober life–watched with dawning comprehension as she fell. He couldn’t tell it was a she. It was just a person. There was so spin to the decent, just a calm, pure plummet. His tongue found the open place where he missed a tooth. He’d lost it recently and couldn’t stop–like a boy picks a scab–even when it started bleeding again. When he looked back on the situation he wouldn’t recall much, not at first. It all happened so fast, he’d say. It all happened and I was high. Thought it was just bad dope, you know? Just bad stuff I picked up in the park and at any moment I’d wake up. But he never did. And Allison never did either.