Chapter 2: Faith
Jess’ heart raced. Of course she trusted him, she loved him. Her cheeks blushed as she turned away from him.
“Y-Yes. I do trust you. I trust you with my life.”
“Then let’s go.”
James led them down the forsaken path. Every step they took felt as if it could be their last. The rocky path seemed to crumble a little more with each step.
“Ouch!” Jess slipped and cut her hand on a stalagmite. James rushed to take a look at her hand.
“Let me see.”
“I’m fine.” She insisted.
James didn’t listen as he grabbed her hand and turned it over.
“I said I’m fine!” She screamed as she pulled her hand back
“Ok, ok.” James backed away.
The air grew dense. They could barely see a metre in front of them. Thick, brown sludge seemed to coat all of their surroundings. There was a petrol-like smell that reminded them of burning rubber, if it had been mixed with decaying flesh. This place was tainted. They could feel it.
“Look. I’m sorry if I come across as too much sometimes.” James said with regret.
“It’s just, well, all of this, with you, you know? It’s been… It’s been great, I wouldn’t have changed a thing, so I wanted to say –“
“Stop. You shouldn’t be apologizing to me. It should be me.”
They were close now, Jess could practically feel the tension between them, she could hear his heart beating loudly. With clammy hands, she began to tell James the truth.
“The truth is, James, I – I really –“
James began to slip and fall. The floor collapsed beneath him. A great thunderous boom echoed all around them. He managed to grab Jess’s arm before falling completely into the unknown depths of the chasm that now lay beneath them.
Jess tried desperately to cling to a nearby rock. She felt herself slipping. She knew she couldn’t hold him for long.
“James, please, no! It can’t end like this, I – I love you!” She screamed with every ounce of her heart and soul.
Just for a moment, time stood still. Their eyes were locked and they felt pure love radiating between them. They both understood each other’s feelings intimately. Tears fell and wetted their faces.
James felt strangely calm. There was another presence beside him, he was sure of it. It was telling him that everything was going to be ok. He just had to believe it. At that moment, he knew what he had to do, he knew he could trust the feeling of familiarity it emanated.
“Jess, we probably only have a few seconds left, but you trust me, don’t you?”
“Of course I do!”
Her arm was straining now, she felt her muscles strain under the pull of James’s weight, threatening to break at any moment.
“Then please, let go. Let me go, Jess. I’ll be OK, I promise.”
“How could you say that? I can’t! I can’t let you go!” She screamed, through sobs.
“Please Jess, I promise I’ll be OK.”
Jess knew she had only seconds left. She knew she had to let go. There was no other option. She released her hand with love.
James lay back arms spread wide, smiling, as Jess watched him. He closed his eyes to embrace the unknown.
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