tagNon-EroticBefore the Fall

Before the Fall


Robert stood looking out the window, carefully pondering his decision. The explosion had happened a few minutes earlier and a few floors down. Apparently a plane had crashed into the tower. A fluke accident, he had thought. Then the second plane hit the other tower.

Word had spread quickly that his floor was cut off from the ground floor. The elevators had stopped running and stairwells were destroyed. So, people began to jump.

As he looked out the window, more and more people began to fall past him.

"Fuck it, then," he said as he stepped off the ledge. His eyes closed and he drifted back to one of his fondest memories.


It was Christmas, and he and his girlfriend were curled up in his living room enjoying some brandy before the fire. "I love you, Jill," he said. "You know that, right?"

"Of course, Bobby," she replied with a kiss. "I love you, too."

"Then prove it."

"How can I do that?"

He had planned for this moment. He pulled out the Harry Winston ring he had bought the previous day. "Will you marry me?"

She gasped when she saw the ring. "Oh, Bobby! I don't know what to say!"

"How 'bout 'yes'?"

"Ok, then, yes. I will marry you." That answer was followed up with a night of passionate love-making.


He opened his eyes quickly and saw that the ground was coming up fast. My God, he thought, what have I done? He closed his eyes again, hoping he wouldn't feel anything.


He paced the waiting room anxiously. He had tried reading, but gave up after reading the same line six times. It had been seventeen hours and thirteen minutes since Jill had gone in, and he hadn't been able to calm down for a minute of it. Countless cups of coffee were the only way he could cope with the stress. Normally the father would be inside while it happened, but Robert felt as if he'd only get in the way.

A door slammed open and he immediately snapped his head around to see a doctor striding in.

"Well? How is she?" he asked.

"Relax, Mr. Jacobs," Dr. Hartley replied. "She gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. Your wife is in room 6103 with him."

The elevator couldn't have gone slower as Robert ascended to Level Six. It gave a cheerful "Ping!" as the doors opened. He rushed down the hall to his wifes room and burst through the door a little too quickly--the nurse on the other side was nearly knocked over.

His expression immediately softened when he saw his wife cradling their newborn son. "Hey, honey," he said. "How are you feeling?"

"How would you feel if a person just crawled out of your ass?" she said with a smile. "What should we name him?"

He walked over and took the baby in his arms and looked at him. "Marcus. For my father. Marcus Daniel Jacobs."

"Little Mark," Jill said.


He opened his eyes again and saw that he had a few seconds to go before he hit. "What does one say at a moment like this?" he asked himself.


It took about two seconds. Robert shook himself from his thoughts and stepped back from the ledge. "Fuck it, then," he said as he walked toward the stairwell.

If there was a Hell on Earth, Robert had found it. People were screaming, there was fire everywhere. But the stairs were there. He ran as fast as he could down four flights before he found the gap. He looked down to judge the distance--about fifteen feet. He had done a stint in the 82nd Airborne before college, so he knew how to handle this. He could hear a jumpmaster screaming in his ear. "GO! GO! GO!" as he leapt off the stair. He hit the ground and let himself crumble like a sack of potatoes.

Then he ran. Flight after flight of stairs passed. When he knew he was about to hit the ground floor, he felt the vibration. Whatever it was, it sure as hell couldn't be good.

Adrenaline does funny things to the human body. Robert ran faster than he ever thought he could. He slammed through one of the front doors and ran until his legs gave out. He looked behind him and saw the second tower collapsing. He pulled out his cell phone and dialed home.

"Hello?" his wife was almost hysterical.

"Hey, Jill."

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