They stood precariously upon the precipice thrust out above the relatively calm ocean. The soft, sibilant wind caressed their cheeks, and the descending sun warmed their tense bodies while giving a breathtaking sheen to the water’s surface. Waves crashed against the jagged rocks seemingly protruding from the ocean’s depths. The grass beneath them swayed gently, and the blue sky, which became ever darker as the sun receded from its place above, became a mirror of their emotions.
Beautiful though the panorama was, the experience was anything but joyous. She did not despair, nor did she weep, but she nevertheless felt disconcerted by the plight of her contemptible contemporary.
”What saddens me most is the ephemerality of the view,” he said. “Soon the sun shall vanish, and with it the luminous hope of the sky.”
She did not move. She waited for her thoughts to at least dissemble coherence before she spoke: “Why did you bring me here?” she asked.
”To apologize,” he said solemnly.
”For what do you need to apologize?”
With a great effort, he uttered the painful words: “For feeding you mendacious hope.” He swept the landscape with a methodical hand. “This is not reality. This is the foolish hope for which people reach. A prosperous future. A painless future. A beautiful sunset. Folly.”
She looked at him flummoxed. “What do you mean?”
”None of this exists. This is all an illusion of the naive mind. Myriad times I have told you your circumstances would ameliorate. Myriad times I have given you hope for the future. Myriad times I have painted over your bleak prospects with a misguided brush. Misguided because I believed that by lying, I would be saving you. Eventually I realized that by lying, I only contributed to your destruction.”
Her hands began to tremble, and her voice with them. “Why are you saying this? What is wrong? Tell me so I may help.” Her dilated, brown eyes, which beheld the world with a dying love, began to glisten.
”No one can help me.” He turned to face her. “Not even you.”
With great compunction for leaving words unspoken, and the resolve to better the life of the other, he embraced the jagged rocks and the crashing waves.