Into The River We Fall

Into The River We Fall

A Story by P. Bienert

A short love story between two young women that transcended all.


Into The River We Fall, A Short Story


It was a gloomy spring afternoon. Alice and Cassidy were sitting by the river, trying hard not to shiver in the cold. The dark clouds that hovered threatened a night of torrential rain, but even the opposing weather couldn’t make the view any less wondrous.

From their spot you could see the seemingly endless formation of mountains in the distance, the once bright fiery sun just shimmering inconspicuously farther ahead. It didn’t help either that the forest surrounding the clearing had the thickest and tallest trees you could find anywhere.

Normally at this hour when the sun starts to descend, you hear the wilderness come to life. They were so used to hearing the orchestra of crickets chirping, the hoot of owls along the treetops, the soft movements of some unknown animal lurking in the shrubs �" but this time, the silence was deafening, even worrying.

This was their ‘spot’. Always have, always will. This place had held their unspeakable truth for as long as they can remember. The river in which they had swum in countless of times probably knew them more than anyone did. Every blade of grass, every rock and leaf, were witness to a love that had blossomed, faltered and lasted over the years.

It almost seemed like every inch of it had not aged since the very first day they had set their foot in it. They were very young back then, but each in their own knew how much they had fallen in love with this paradise as much as they had felt for each other. It was quite a walk away from where they lived, but that was the best part about it; only Alice and Cassidy knew about the existence of such a place.

It was the only world in which they could be themselves, far from the prying eyes of intolerant people. It was freedom more than anything else, and they vowed to return here every single day of their lives until forever.

However, today was different. The quiet was disturbing, almost eerie. Both girls were never afraid of anything; this time, there was reason to be. The approaching storm perfectly mirrored their thoughts, as if the skies knew what they were thinking, how they were feeling.

There was barely any sunlight left but neither of them was bothered to get up and leave. Despite the rainclouds, the skies were dotted with orange streaks which they both knew wouldn’t stay for very long. Still, it gave them hope �" even just a little bit.

They had been sitting there for the longest time, not saying a word. Each was thinking what the other was thinking, but they lacked the courage to say their thoughts aloud. It was Alice who decided to break the silence.

“Beautiful, isn’t it? The sunset.”

Cassidy knew she didn’t really mean it. The anxiety in Alice’s voice was unmistakable, the heavy feeling of dread plain and obvious. It was no lie that the sunset was flawless, but she felt that Alice had just wanted to say something.

“It’s dying,” she whispered. That was the truth. The sun was dying with them. No matter how Alice forced herself to believe there was hope, there wasn’t any left. There was no way out. “So, Australia, huh? Maybe you’ll like it there…”

Alice gave her a pained look. “How can you even say that? How could you possibly think I would like anywhere without you?”

“I don’t have a choice. You don’t have a choice. You’re sixteen. Maybe if you were older and had a good job and your own money you wouldn't have to f*****g go!”

Even Cassidy was surprised by her sudden tone of voice, but she had been expecting it from the second Alice broke the news. But in that moment, though a million curses sprang to her mind, she couldn’t really express the anger she felt. She wasn’t mad at Alice for not knowing how to decide on her own, or even Alice’s parents who had learned of their relationship and decided to move away, but at life in general.

It was completely unfair that somewhere in this colossal world of f*****g weirdo’s, millions of people were having the time of their lives and enjoying their sweet happy ever-afters, and theirs was nothing but a sad, tragic ending. It was especially difficult to digest the fact that years and years of it would be put to waste, just chucked in the bin randomly without warning.

Alice had started to cry soft, weeping sobs. Of course she was hurting too, Cassidy knew that. But she was the one being left alone in their miserable past, and Alice would have the bright future they had always wanted. Not that she didn’t deserve it on her own, but they had a vow. It was more than a pinky swear or words carved into a tree �" it was a non-verbal understanding forever etched in the back of their minds.

“Maybe I could stay, you know?” Alice sobbed. “Maybe I could beg them to leave me here.”

“Are you f*****g stupid?” Cassidy gaped at her. “You think your parents would leave you alone? Here, with me? Now that they know?”

“You know I don’t care that they know. We’ve always talked about this. They were always going to find out sooner or later.”

That was also true, and they knew none of the adults were going to take it lightly, but neither had expected one of them to move away. They couldn’t even imagine being apart for more than a day. Both girls wanted to forget what happened, how the words of Alice’s parents were blow after blow and hurt more than the strike of her father’s hand across her face. It was agony.

“But I care,” Cassidy said, defeated. “I want you to have that better life. I’m not lying when I say that. It’s true that I want to be selfish and wish for you to stay, but I can’t.  That’s not my decision to make.”

Deep inside, her stomach was churning. The voice in her head was practically screaming at Alice to say it, to choose. Because although Alice was nearly fully decided on staying as hinted in her words, Cassidy felt like there was still a part in her that struggled somewhere in between. It was in the unsure way she spoke, like she wanted Cassidy to say the words for her.

“You do realize,” Alice sniffed, “that even if I do stay… there will be nothing for us. Even if we run off somewhere far away, no one is ever going to understand us. We would be prisoners in a free world.”

Cassidy looked down at the river and watched the calm water flow over the rocks. It had dawned on them long before Alice said it, but it pained her even more once they were spoken. For years they had shared a love in secrecy without understanding how it had begun and where it was going to lead, but just living in the moment. That was what has kept them glued together until now, not knowing but just believing.

Alice’s father made it clear that it was abnormal, but who was he to say that? He had also said he was going to tell Cassidy’s parents, but it didn’t matter. Nothing mattered anymore. Knowing them, they were probably going to take it worse than they did and banish her. That was one of the things they had in common; they didn’t have the most supportive sets of parents. It must’ve been what drew them together in the first instance.

Alice and Cassidy both shared the belief that love is a kind of religion. It could come in different ways and methods, but it all boiled down to one thing: that faith in our hearts. In fact it was Alice who thought of it first as she was a big follower of God and Christianity and believed that love could come in different shapes but were equally the same. Cassidy wasn’t religious, but had always respected Alice’s faith and never tried to debate with her.

But now, as she looked into Alice’s tear-streaked eyes in the glowing sunset, the faith was gone. The love was there alright, more ferocious and needy than ever, but the enthusiasm for life had dissipated.

“You remember when we were much younger and we didn’t get any of it… I wish I could turn back time and come back to that. If I could make a wish right now, that would be it. More than anything.”

Alice smiled a smile of despair. She looked up at the sky as though recalling her memories.

“I remember,” she murmured with a more genuine stretching of her lips this time. They were so soft and so pink, and Cassidy dreaded the moment of their final kiss.

“I hadn’t imagined it ending like this,” said Cassidy with a sigh, accepting defeat. “You know when we always talked about what we were going to be when we turn twenty-five. When we were kids you said you wanted to be a teacher and I a writer, but growing up we started to get confused and couldn’t make up our minds. We couldn’t decide what we wanted in life.”

Alice looked her in the eyes and nodded softly. “And now I can’t be surer of myself. I don’t want the future. I just want to be here, in this moment… with you.”

Cassidy took her hand in hers, caressing it softly. She didn’t want to let go, not ever. The tears had started to come too, but she didn’t hold them back. If they were the last tears she’d ever wept, it wouldn’t be the tears of sorrow for a love that could have been, but what had been.

“I love you, Alice.”

“I love you, too. More than you know.”

“What’s going to happen now?” Cassidy asked. She knew what the answer was. They could see it in each other’s eyes. There was an understanding there, probably the strongest connection they’d shared.

“You said there was no choice,” Alice said, “but there is. And I choose you. Nobody will understand why I’m making this choice, that I’m throwing my life away. But what they’re most confused with is that you are my life. And if I can’t have you, then I choose to not exist.”

Cassidy couldn’t stop crying. “God knows �" if there is a God �" how happy that makes me feel… but there’s nothing to come back to.”

Again, there were the unspoken words just hovering in mid-air between them, waiting to be said aloud. It was going to be pitch-black very soon. Alice and her parents were supposed to be leaving at dusk, so they had very little time left. It felt like they had switched sides all of a sudden; Cassidy �" now the frightened, weaker one �" and Alice who not a moment ago sobbed like a little child now had that blank, hollow look in her eyes.

“There’s nothing to come back to,” Alice agreed in a quiet but steady voice. “But remember what we told each other before? Love never dies. It’s eternal. I don’t care that God doesn’t approve of us, but He knows how to forgive and I trust in Him as I trust in you. Nothing is going to keep us apart.”

Cassidy couldn’t say anymore, but she nodded in response. Still tightly holding each other’s hands, they got up slowly. The night was young and the wind almost freezing, but nothing mattered to either one of them. They were now lost in their own little world, lost in each other’s eyes and thoughts.

Memories came flooding at an overwhelming pace, but the pain was no longer there. There was no more room for hurt, only for love. For that, the space was endless. It was a place where time didn’t function and there was nothing but greatness and positivity around you, where the definition of physical existence is unknown, but you were there in spirit.

They wasted not another second as their faces came close and their lips met. It was a brief kiss that lasted forever. It didn’t feel like a final kiss at all as Cassidy had feared, but the ending of a beginning and the beginning of an end. Whatever it was, it took away the fears in their hearts and swept away every other feeling but the love they had for one another. And it felt glorious.

There were no more words that needed to be said, for they were now linked by a strong thread of understanding that transcended all. Hand in hand, they took one last look at the setting sun and jumped into the churning waters of the river. Then followed a complete and utter silence as the first drop of rain started to fall.


© 2013 P. Bienert

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Added on January 5, 2013
Last Updated on January 5, 2013
Tags: short story, love, romance, teens, lesbian, homosexual, death


P. Bienert
P. Bienert

Sunderland, Tyne & Wear, United Kingdom

I've been writing since I was about eleven and have always been a frustrated writer. I'm fond of crime/mystery novels, horror movies, and long walks in the park. Yes, I can be the most random person b.. more..