Echo

It was a clear morning due to the rain last night. As Katharina walked slowly through the forest, up to the quarry, she was able to hear the dampness under her feet.
Birds were twittering, the air has been washed. Everything fresh and pure. She went on and on, already feeling very close to her goal. When she saw the rocks from afar, this comforting feeling rose in her. In her spot, under a spruce, at the foot of the quarry, she sat down. She looked at the cliff that was rising high into the sky. She took a deep breath.

Wasn’t it that place, that was the one that she had chosen to find her end, it was a beauty now, her oasis. She often remembered the cold November evening when this happened.
The evening when Katharina no longer wanted to be. She had been determined. For years she had fought, hesitated. The fight was lost now. There she stood, yet she had lost her courage, it seemed. At the top of the quarry, overlooking her city. Her home. She did not think of pain, soon she would not feel any.
She did not think of her parents, her siblings and friends. It were the thoughts about them, her loved ones, who had held her up for so long. She wanted to please them: To keep Katharina alive. The pain in her was like endless cuts of a non-existent blade: „This is all just in your head, Katharina.“
Katharina smiled about that, too often she had asked herself how this statement should help her. Yes, it was in her head. It was right there, the feeling she would no longer be able to fight. Often she had tormented herself with reproaches, while no one could explain what was going on in this pretty, healthy and popular girl. Yes, what was wrong with her?
Couldn’t she just be happy? Whatever that means.

All this had no meaning any longer, so close to the abyss and the step, until there’s nothing more to feel. To be free. A cold wind beat Katharina in her face and ripped roughly through her hair. She shuddered and caught herself thinking: „I should have dressed myself warmer, I’m going to catch a cold.“ A shrill laughter escaped her when she realized how funny this thought was at the present moment. She cautiously took a step forward, that’s not how she imagined that. For years, Katharina had been convinced, once she would have made the decision it would be a run into freedom. A leap, the free fall.
She had not expected to be standing here for so long. What was she waiting for?

Katharina closed her eyes and spread her arms wide, throwing her head back, taking a deep breath. Another breath. She listened to the wind and the sounds of the forest.
An ambulance was going by somewhere and Katharina had to smile again as she thought, „That really would not have been necessary. Thank you though.“ She opened her eyes again and looked into the tumult of leaves that was blown down from the summit. She also had the feeling that the world wanted to show off to her, one last time: „That’s all you got?“ She thought. The thought amused her again, because her choice for this cold November evening was probably not the best.

Cautiously she took another step forward. She closed her eyes again and felt ready. Ready to say “farewell” to the world and ready to shift her weight straight forward, just to fall into the sweet abyss. Now she felt the wind that pushed her back, almost fighting her. She heard voices, it was like the singing of an echo.
She listened, but could not understand what was being sung. The melody, however, seemed familiar to her, like a song from her childhood. Katharina opened her eyes and looked around. Quick widded, she walked two steps back and sank down to the ground.
There she sat quietly, listening to the song, the echo of the quarry. Tears ran down her face. She had never heard anything as beautiful as that before. Minutes passed, Katharina felt overwhelmed by the beautiful sound. She watched her whole life going by in front of her.
How was that possible, was she still alive? Just as she was trying to shake off her thoughts, she saw herself dancing with her little sister. When Katharina let go of her sister’s little hand, her sister grabbed it again and said, „Kathi, no! We’re not done yet! „It was at this moment when Katharina realized: Yes, we are not done yet!

Katharina blinked at the sun that shone through the trees.
She remembered this moment as if it had happened yesterday. Nevertheless, the time had passed. Her life had changed. She had changed. Her fight had not been decided by magic hand for her. The pain still came. However, now it kept fading, too.

When Katharina got up to go home, she heard the sweet melody again.
She closed her eyes and felt a warm shudder going down on her. Slowly she walked towards the path that would take her out of the forest. After a few steps, she turned around, smiling, looking at the quarry while she said:
„Yes, I know. We are not done yet.“

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