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Into the Ravine

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It’s very late at night, or early in the morning depending on your perspective on time. I’m standing on the side of the bridge looking down into the ravine. Far, far down…

It’s time to end it. I just have to fall forward a little bit and a few seconds later I’ll be gone. A miserable end to a miserable existence; missed and mourned by no one. Forgotten in an instant.

I begin to lean when I hear a woman yell out, “Hey, are you all right?” I turn to look at her and she answers her own question. “Of course not, sorry.” She looks and sees my shoes and the note I left, and raises her phone.

“Don’t bother,” I say making a move toward the fall. “No one to miss me anyway.”

“Don’t say that! There must be…” she says taking a step forward, keeping her phone in her hand at the ready.

“No one,” I interrupt.

She halts and retreats that step. “I’m sorry.”

“Why would you be?”

“Because you’re there… about to do that…” she says pointing away from me. “I had a girlfriend that did that because she felt… you know…”

I look back at the ravine and think about how good it would be to be done with this pointless conversation.

“She was wrong,” the woman says.

I turn to look at her. She approached me when I wasn’t looking, halving the distance between us but still far enough away so as not to interfere. I look back at the ravine.

“Please come down?” she asks slightly extending her hand. “Let me take you for some coffee and a talk?”

I look at her hand, and then back at the beckoning abyss. “Aren’t you afraid of the virus?”

I can’t see her shake her head. “No. I’m more afraid of you stepping forward.”

I sigh. “What’s it to you?” I ask glancing at her.

“I have to live with it. One way or another, you’ll have left an impression.” She pushes her hand toward me a little further. “Maybe you could make it a good one?”

I look down. “Impression? The rocks won’t feel a thing.”

“But I will. Please?” she asks extending her hand again.

“Say what you have to say here. I’ve nothing to live for.”

“Don’t you have family that will miss you?”

I shake my head and feel my body moving forward. “Are you dumb and deaf? What part of ‘no one’ don’t you understand?!” I spit.


I close my eyes. “If you don’t mind, I’ll be taking my leave now…” I let my upper body begin to lead the way. But I feel my clothing tug backwards and I fall backward onto the bridge instead. I gracelessly fall into a heap on the pavement.

“You lied. I’ll miss you,” she says.

“You don’t know me,” I say trying to stand with the intention of rushing over the edge.

I reach my feet and feel her arms wrap around my back, her front pressed against mine. “I know enough. Please come for coffee?”

I sigh heavily, knowing a coffee will just have me more awake when I return to finish. “There isn’t a place for miles that’s open at this time of night thanks to the virus.”

She looks up at me, the top of her head barely reaching my chin. “So that’s a yes?”

I close my eyes and take a deep breath. Her scent reaches me and temporarily dulls my senses. “It’s a very temporary stay of self-execution. I’ll be back here soon enough.”

She lets go of me and holds out her hand. “We’ll see…”

I shake my head and roll my eyes. With a sigh I take her hand. She reaches down with her other hand to pick up my shoes and the note, leading me to the car.

When we’re both inside I repeat myself. “Nothing’s open, you know.”

“I know a place,” she says with a sympathetic smile.

She silently drives us to one end of the bridge and soon after into a residential neighborhood. A few blocks later she pulls into a driveway and the garage.

“Will this do? It’s open whenever I say so,” she says with a quick smile.

I shrug and we exit the car. We walk inside using the interior door and she quickly grabs a selection of K cups. “Pick your…” she stops herself and smiles. “Pick whichever you like.”

“Drinking coffee at 2 a.m., isn’t that an etiquette faux pas?” I ask picking one at random.

“You have a story to tell and I want to hear it,” she answers taking the cup.

“What makes you think I want to tell it?”

“You must, otherwise why did you come here?” she asks directly.

I shrug.

She pours water into the machine and sits down. She motions for me to do the same around the kitchen island.

“So, what drove you to the precipice?”

“I walked,” I say folding my arms on the counter and lowering my head on them facing away from her.

“Okay, but…”

“Why did you have to be there? Another minute and…”

“Fate?” she asks. I turn my head toward her. “Dumb luck?”

“Yeah…” The latter I tell myself and rest my head again.

We sit in silence for a few moments. “I was out dancing with my girlfriends and trying to find a guy to go home with. I struck out and found you instead,” she answers without prodding.

I sink into my arms a little further. “A one night stand,” I mumble.

She shrugs. “A canlı bahis hookup. The virus has made it very difficult, but not always impossible.”

I close my eyes and shake my head, choosing not to comment.

“So why do you think no one will mourn your passing?”

“Parents dead. No siblings or any other family at all … No friends, coworkers…” I say ruefully.

“There must be…”

I lift my head and loudly interrupt, “Use your damn ears! I SAID THERE’S NO ONE!”

She backs away and takes the opportunity to retrieve my cup from the coffee maker. She places it in front of me and starts her own cup. Then she sits down and says, “Okay, there’s no one. But what happened to make you want to…” she began, unable to articulate the rest.

“Explode upon the rocks?” I ask, watching her mouth open and slowly and sadly close. I sigh and close my eyes. “I graduated college around two years ago. I had a job that I loved, working my way up. We had a big, new client that we had to impress. Then the client blew a gasket and fired us. Allegations flew everywhere and they landed on me.”

“Landed?” she asks.

I nod. “I was accused of the major screw up that lost the company a million in revenues. It was my team, but not something I was assigned to work on.”

“Then how…?”

“The boss’s son was also in my team. He worked on the item in question. He did it and I took the blame. So they fired me.”

“That’s awful!” she says sympathetically.

I nod. “I immediately began looking for a lawyer because they got unemployment to deny my claim. The lawyers hemmed and hawed me out of their offices. Every job I applied for didn’t even gain an interview since I was completely blackballed. I ran out of money, lost my apartment and car, and…”

“And thought you had nothing else to…” she trails off.

I shrug. “Debt so deep I’d have to swim upwards to start drowning rather than being crushed to death by the weight of it all! Nowhere to live.” I sit up and motion to myself while I say, “I’m literally wearing everything I own.”

Her coffee is ready and she retrieves it. She blows on it and takes a slow sip, placing the cup on the counter in front of her. She thinks for a few moments before she says, “Milligan and Sons?”

I’m taken aback. “Yeah…”

“I heard about something a few months back. Rumors, whispers…”

I drop back onto my arms. “Probably the end of my prospects…”

She closes her eyes and concentrates. “Joe… Joe… Sample?” she asks looking at me.

“H-how did…”

“I work in HR in my company. I saw your résumé. My director told me to shred it and not ask another question.”

I nod against my arms. “That’d be me.”

She lifts her cup and breathes in the aroma, soon taking another long sip. “Are you a pervert? Going to rape me or anything?”

I look at her like she’s crazy. “I was about to kill myself a few minutes ago. Why would…”

“Because if you want a place to live I can offer you a room. I’ll help you overcome this.”

I shake my head. “I appreciate the offer but it’s out of your control.”

“Didn’t you hear me? I work in HR! And my director will give you a chance!”

“Your director made you shred my résumé. I think that ship’s sailed.”

“Fear of his wife might turn the ship back…” she says with a sly smile.

I study her face and the smile lighting it. “You… and he…?”

It’s her turn to shrug, feigning innocence. “I believe it’s called ‘leverage’.” The smile on her face grows.

I sigh. “Don’t waste the opportunity on me. That’s the kind of leverage you’d want to use someday to further your career, isn’t it?”

“Oh, this is the kind of leverage that keeps on giving! Do you still have your résumé?”

I fish my flash drive from my inside pocket and hold it out to her. “You shouldn’t risk yourself for me. You don’t know me and don’t owe me. You…”

“You hush! Dumb luck could just turn your life around!”

“Or it could ruin yours. I don’t…”

“You won’t do anything to harm me! Unless of course you really are a crap employee?”

I shrug and shake my head, sending a mixed signal. “Three promotions in two years and then this,” I say spreading my hands. “I thought I was doing well.”

“Maybe it’s kismet?” she asks. “How temporary is that stay now?”

I lift my cup and take a sip, enjoying the flavor. “I guess we can call it ‘on hold’ instead. Thank you ma’am.”

She laughs. “I guess I deserve that! I’m Aura.”

I glance at her questioningly, but let it go.

“Aurelia if you want to be formal,” she says with a smile, “which I hope you won’t.”

“As you wish,” I say.

“See now? You do have a friend after all!” she says giving me a playful, gentle push on my shoulder.

I shake my head. “I don’t get why you’d do any of this for me.”

“Right place, right time,” she says with a shrug. “I get to help you overcome your dilemma, I hope, and you turn my failed night into something even better!”

“I, uh…” I begin and glance down her body briefly. A little extra weight bahis siteleri but very attractive…

She shakes her head and chuckles. “I’m in HR because I like to help people, silly! That and I get to fire people! I’m odd that way!” She laughs happily for a moment and I at least manage a smile. “Now tell me about you. We’ve got some caffeine to work off!”

We walk into her living room and talk for a while. I don’t finish my coffee and soon feel the weight of the day and the hour fall upon me.

I wake with the sunshine hitting my face. I’m lying on her sofa and feel something against me. Opening my eyes I realize it’s her.

I gently shake her shoulder. “Ma’am… I mean, Aura. Wake up.”

Her head moves against my chest and her left hand moves upward, her elbow moving across my groin. “What time is it?”

I look around but don’t see a clock. “No idea. Morning judging from the sun. Either that or late afternoon.”

She sits up and stretches. I follow suit.

“Breakfast?” she asks.

I haven’t eaten in three days. Even still my appetite isn’t all that strong. “I guess.”

“You guess? Don’t be so enthusiastic!”

“Well then, if I’m going to live long enough to see if you can get me a job I should probably eat something.”

“Good! So go and cook something!” she says pointing to the kitchen.


She shrugs. “You have to earn your keep while you’re staying here!”

“Oh, so that makes me your domestic servant?”

“You bet your ass it does!” she says with a laugh.

“And when did I agree to stay here?”

“The moment you fell onto the pavement. Until I know you’re stable I’m keeping an eye on you, Mr. Homeless Joe!”

“What about Monday when you return to work? All that time alone with many, many sharp objects…”

“Oh don’t you push me!” she says giving me a little shove. “I’ll get my grandma to come here and watch you! She’s old and small, but she’s feisty!”

“You think she can handle me?” I ask flexing my muscles in a classic bodybuilder pose. (It doesn’t even fool me.)

“She’d kick your ass and make you thank her for it!” Aura says with a chuckle.

I stand and slowly walk to the kitchen. “What do you want me to make for you?” I open the refrigerator and see a few cans of diet soda and beer, half a bottle of wine, and a half-eaten bagel.

“Oh, well I guess nothing! I eat out a lot! So let’s go and do that! Then we can get some of your things.”

I look down. “This is literally all I own. I was legally evicted two days ago and barred from my possessions.”

She stands. “Then let’s go grab a bite and get you some clothing! I don’t have anything your size,” she says with a little twist of her body and raising an arm, showing it off.

“My wallet’s empty and credit’s beyond maxed,” I confess.

“Mine isn’t. You’ll owe me!”

“I can’t let you do that.”

“Too late! You already had a cup of coffee! That’s five bucks you owe me already! Plus the ride here; cab fare would have been what, $20? Oh and one night’s lodging…”

I wave my hands in surrender. “Okay, okay! I already have too much debt I’ll never be able to pay! Don’t make it worse!”

“Don’t worry about it! You’re an investment. You’ll be paying rent soon enough anyway.”

“Just how long do you think I’m going to stay here? Don’t you think I’ll ruin your chances of hookups?”

She walks up to me and stares up into my eyes. Then she surprises me by grabbing my crotch and saying, “What makes you think I’m not into threesomes?”

I tense and my mouth drops open. I make a low, long sound.

She laughs and releases me. “Chill! If I want sex you being here won’t stop me! I go to their place so they don’t get clingy and can’t find me!”

I relax.

“At least you left with a suit.”

I shake my head. “I came home from court and another day of rejections, including the big box store and thrift store, to find the lock on my apartment changed. It’s what I happened to be wearing.”

“How much to get you paid up at the apartment?”

“Around three grand. I couldn’t raise that if I sold all my stuff, not that I can get to any of it. Not that I had much,” I say with a shrug.

“Fresh start then!”

“Hardly. The hole I’m in feels deeper than the ravine…” I say looking out the window.

“If I can’t get you a job I’ll drive you back to the bridge myself,” she says.


She shakes her head. “No, because you’re getting the job! I’m taking a shower before we go.” She walks away telling me over her shoulder, “You’re next!”

A while later we leave and she buys breakfast for us. I can’t eat much since my food intake dwindled away to nothing over the last two months, but promise to finish it later. She goads me into telling her where I lived and heads in that direction. When we stop she asks, “Is there a landlord on site?”

“Building manager has an apartment on the first floor but…”

“Good! We’re going to get you some of your things!”

“They won’t…”

“They will!” she says confidently and steps out of bahis şirketleri the car.

I follow her inside and stand beside the manager’s door while she knocks with my back against the same wall. The manager opens the door and instantly regrets it. Aura speaks kindly, then forcibly while she convinces the manager to let me in and get some of my things.

“His only picture of his dead mother is inside!” she lies because we never talked about my mother. “Are you really going to be that callous?”

“If I let him in I’ll really catch hell!”

“He’ll never be able to pay them back if he doesn’t have more clothes than this!” Aura says gesturing down my body. “He’ll owe the same money whether or not you let him in!”


“He lives on the first floor, right?” The manager nods. “We can leave a window open and pop the screen out. It’ll look like he broke in and took the things!”

“Then he’ll go to jail and…”

“Can you prove it was him?”

The manager gives in. “Since I didn’t see who broke in, I guess not,” she says tapping her chin and looking away pensively. “I’m supposed to go in and box it all up today anyway. I guess I can say that I found it that way.”

Aura smiles triumphantly. We exit the manager’s apartment and quickly enter mine. The manager provides a few boxes she liberated from a grocery store and we pack quickly.

“You weren’t kidding when you said you didn’t have much!” Aura says.

I shake my head.

“Where were you supposed to put his things when you boxed them up?”

“There’s a small storage locker downstairs,” the manager says.

“Is anyone going to verify that you stored his things and not a few random boxes of junk?”

She shrugs. “I guess not. In the past I just ended up donating those things I didn’t take myself to the thrift store. He has 30 days and then it’s all gone.”

“It might as well be 30 minutes,” I say. “I can’t pay what I don’t have, and I don’t have a way to raise it that quickly.”

“You could always sell your body!” Aura says with a laugh.

I look down. “No one would pay for this.”

“My husband’s not around… and you do owe me for this…” the manager says.

Aura and I stare at her, not believing what she just said.

“It’s not like I didn’t notice you walking past my door every day. You could be good for a little payback.”

“Payback for this, or something your husband did to you?” Aura asks.

The manager shrugs. “You pick. Either. Both.”

I feel my body go limp. “I ate for the first time in three days this morning. I’m afraid I won’t be much use.”

“Can you get hard?” the manager asks bluntly.

I shrug and shake my head, nearly certain I can’t.

The manager lifts her shirt over her head, revealing her braless breasts. “This help?”

“Ooh! Manager lady has nice tits!” Aura approves.

“Mina,” the manager introduces herself.

“How old are you, Mina?” Aura asks taking a step toward her.

“40,” she says pushing her sweatpants down. She’s wearing nothing else.

“You’re in great shape!” Aura says. “Very pretty!” She looks at me. “Don’t you think?”

“Your turn, Joe,” Mina says.

“Am I a piece of meat?” I ask sheepishly, my head spinning in every direction.

“I don’t know yet. You haven’t shown me what you’ve got!” Mina says pointing at my crotch.

Aura walks over to me. “You were saying that no one would miss you,” she whispers in my ear. “Mina certainly noticed you. Give her a go!” Her lips are close enough to my ear that I feel a bit aroused.

“Are you his girlfriend?” Mina asks Aura.

She shakes her head. “I’m just his friend. But you don’t mind if I watch, do you?”

Mina shrugs. “Join in for all I care.”

Aura looks at me eagerly and sees the look on my face. “I’ll just watch.”

“Watch what? I haven’t agreed to anything!” I blurt.

Aura reaches out to take off my suit jacket. “You know you’ll do it! Look at her! She’s gorgeous!”

“And I’m clean and had a hysterectomy. My bastard husband hasn’t had sex with me in five years!” she says angrily.

“You hear that?” Aura whispers in my ear and begins unbuttoning my shirt. “You can cum inside her! You want that! You can have her without regretsssss…” she hisses and tenderly grabs my crotch. She turns to look at Mina with wide eyes. “He’s ready for you!”

No one bothers to ask me if I’m clean. I’m thankful because I don’t want to share my paltry history to prove it. Concentrating on school and work for so many years…

Mina approaches me and feels for herself. She earnestly removes my belt and pushes down my pants while Aura divests me of my shirt. I take off my shoes and Mina removes my socks. I’m soon as naked as my building manager.

Aura and Mina take a half-step backwards. “Very nice!” they say together, staring at my erect package. I turn a bit red.

“D-do I seriously have to do this?” I ask.

Mina reaches out and strokes my cock. “Don’t you want to?”

I look at Aura. She’s as hungry to watch as Mina is to seek her revenge using me. Aura nods and licks her lips.

I look back at Mina and take a deep breath. At the end, I feel confidence I didn’t know I had and say, “Yes I do!” I reach out and pick her up, quickly throwing her on the bed.

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