Hands, arms clinging together, inseparably tight. They need to be.
"I love you."
"Do you mean...?"
"I don't say things I don't mean. You know that."
"Hold on to me. I won't let you fall."
"I fell a long time ago, you know."
A pause. A shoulder straining under the weight of another body. A breathless response.
A shudder. A small sound that could be a whimper. Slipping fingers.
"Oh, God, don't let go!"
A swallowed gasp.
Running footsteps nearby. All the breath that's left goes into one last yell.
Help, at last. Pulling, heaving, a weight, almost nothing, still far too heavy for anyone to hold by one hand for too long. Up over the edge.
Gulping breaths. A cradling hug while they wait for the paramedics to arrive.
"I love you too."
A shaky laugh. A brief kiss.
Beta-read by Sara and Carolina. Written May 30, 2010.