The Cliff

The Cliff

A Story by Niharika Sarma

The world is too hot, too dry, too empty for Sarah. Without Ben, it just isn't the same. And when a chance to escape the world is in front of her, will she refuse?


            The cliff looked like it was almost waiting for her. It seemed to welcome her, seemed to tell her that there was only one suitable end to her story. It seemed that everything was too hot. The sun burned down on her, and her head felt light. Her tears felt hot against her cheeks. The soles of her feet burned from the hot craggy rocks.

            She smiled a small smile. It wasn’t one of genuine happiness, or even a forced one. She was wondering at her own pathetic complaints about pain. She tried to imagine the pain that Ben must have felt. He must’ve screamed, yelled for help. Or perhaps he didn’t have the time to scream. Perhaps he didn’t even see it coming. Perhaps he died before his brain registered the pain. Sarah guessed that she would never know. She would never get to ask him.

            She would never get to talk to her Ben ever again. To her the whole earth suddenly felt empty. There was nothing for her there. It was just a hollow place, that was too unbearably hot. She wanted to feel the wind again, wanted to feel cool. But the heat barely let her breathe. The midsummer sun was unrelenting.

            She was at the edge of the cliff. It was a long way down. The rocks formed an impressive wall, steep and near impossible to climb. Ben would’ve tried to climb them. He was about risk, about adventure. That was why he joined the army. Sarah didn’t like risks, didn’t losing things. But she ended up losing him.

            It seemed even hotter, and she unbuttoned the top buttons of her shirt. It didn’t help. She sat down at the edge of the cliff, her feet hanging over the side. Hesitantly, cautiously, she looked over the side. The water was a deep cobalt blue, and the coldness of the ocean seemed to almost reach her from below.

            It was still hot. She imagined herself, immersed in that cold water. She imagined all her pains washed away by the cold lashes of the sea’s turbulent waves. She imagined escaping from the hot dry Earth that would never feel Ben’s feet above it again. She would escape to that endless expanse of water, and be cold. Her heart would stop feeling like it was on fire, and she would be happy.

            Her hands were behind her, and slowly she started to push herself off the edge of the cliff. She stopped. The fear of death possessed her. She couldn’t risk losing her life, she thought. Then she realized, her life didn’t have much value without Ben by her side. It didn’t have any meaning. Like she felt that the Earth was empty without him, she would be empty for the rest of her life.

            Sarah realized that an empty life is worse than not living one. She stood up at the edge of the cliff. She decided to stop hesitating, to stop being afraid of risks. After all, she didn’t have much to lose.

            And she jumped.

© 2011 Niharika Sarma

Author's Note

Niharika Sarma
This is a story about a girl Sarah, who finds out that her boyfriend Ben, who has joined the army, has been killed. She finds out while she is at the coast, near a cliff.

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Added on January 26, 2011
Last Updated on January 26, 2011


Niharika Sarma
Niharika Sarma

Andhra Pradesh, India

Hey there. This is Niharika, a writer (big surprise there). I sing a little, definitely don't dance though. I play the violin, but I haven't really been that into it lately. Too busy studying and w.. more..