Thank you, Kristian, for the challenge. I so love these!!
Jackson had lived in his condominium for a little over 4 years. He loved his condo. Everything about it, except the spiral staircase which led to the roof of his building. Living in the big city had its pros and its cons. One thing he did miss about his last house, was the backyard. He enjoyed gardening and sitting out back taking in all of his hard work. Luckily the condo had a rooftop open to all residents. It had a quaint sitting area and container gardens surrounding it. He loved to watch the sunsets from the rooftop. There was nothing quite like it. At that height, he felt like he could touch the sun. It was a sight to behold.
The one problem with the rooftop was that the only way to access it was by using a spiral staircase. Granted it was only one floor worth of stairs but they were narrow metal stairs. Jackson had never had an issue with stairs, but that was before his fall. Several months earlier he had lost his balance and toppled down the last four steps of the metal staircase. The fall had turned his world upside down. He ended up in the ER and needed spinal surgery to repair the damage done by the fall. Though he had recovered nicely from this surgery, he still hadn’t conquered his bathmophobia (fear of stairs or steep slopes).
He had taken the elevator every single day since recovering from his surgery to the staircase. He would tell himself each time, that today was the day. The day he conquered his fear. He was never able to get past the first step. He would get there and feel his world spinning out of control. Several times he went into a full-blown panic attack.
He hated feeling such fear. He felt paralyzed by it. How he missed watching those sunsets each evening. He longed to see the sky turn all of its magnificent colors as the sun kissed the world good night. To feel the breeze on his face. He longed to be surrounded by this beauty again.
Ever since his fall on the spiral staircase, his world seemed to be in a downward spiral. Every night he would sit in his condominium and watch the sunset through his window. Longing for his beloved rooftop. Some nights he would even dream about it. That night he would dream about his fall. It was surreal. It was like reliving the fall all over again. Now usually when he dreamt of the fall, he would awaken in a full-blown panic-attack. But not this time. Something was different.
He got up and changed out of his pajamas into his street clothes. He grabbed his keys and headed to the elevator. The elevator seemed to be taking its time getting there. When the thought entered his mind to turn back, he took a deep breath and dismissed it. “Not this time,” he thought. “Tonight, is the night, I take back control of my life.” The elevator doors opened and there before him was the staircase.
Jackson walked towards the staircase gingerly. He stood staring at the staircase for a several minutes. He took a deep breath and lifted his right foot onto the first step, then his left foot onto the first step. He could feel his heart beating faster. His breathing was rapid and the beads of sweat gathered on his face.
He lifted his right foot a bit quicker than he had for that first step. Then his left foot. Something seemed to take over. He was on a mission. The next step, then the next and so on and finally he was at the top. He leaned against the wall, the tears rolling down his face. He had conquered his demon as he liked to call it. He leaned against the wall for several minutes to collect himself. He stepped over to the door that led to the rooftop. Though he would not be watching the sunset at that time, he knew that tomorrow was a new day. The sun would rise and it would set and he would enjoy every second of it from his beloved rooftop.
Now, I shall choose a picture and if anyone reading this would like to take up the challenge and write a story about it, please be my guest.
I nominate YOU, if you’d like to.