A scruff. Knees scraping. Bottles softly clinking as they touch the ridge. The climb up. A huff, and a final push over the staircase. Finally, we reach over the edge and unto the rooftop we arrive.
And the view.
A sprawling, endless desert of fire and machinery. Fire and metal. A sea of yellow and orange, and boilers and distillers and molten steel. Exhaust pipes that made constant clouds, each more formidable than the last.
This was the city and that was its skyline.
We sit, seven faces in the dim night on the rooftop, bodies flush with alcohol and wrought with sentiment. Fearful – of the world that awaited us. Terrified – of losing this fragile bond between us and getting lost in the drudgery of everyday madness. The last of the irresponsible drinking and days of pointless laughter and cheap highs.
We look across into the fire afar, each hoping to find meaning and rationality and hope for the future. A future we didn’t welcome, happy to stay in this depraved cocoon of ours we called a school. Happy to shut the world out, content in us and ours. What did they have, that we wanted? We, who lived and laughed and shared as one? In silence we sit as the wind hums, bringing tidings of the day ahead.
This is our great ending and a new beginning. Hope and dread. Light and dark.