He stretched his hand to help her climb that steep mountain to catch their guide that waited a few steps away from them. “I started to think it was not a good idea coming to this mountain for our anniversary” he whispered in her ears. She looked up at him and said with a big smile in her large brown eyes: “I disagree. It is a beautiful place. I love it. I have to admit it is a bit exhausting but I enjoy every step with you.” He smiled back while putting his arm around her waist to support her through the uneven path. She welcomed his strong arm as she started feeling shaken at knees but refused to ask for a rest so that they would make it to the top in time. The soft rubbing of their bodies gave her butterflies in her stomach. She wondered how they could keep their spark alive still for more than a year. She remembers the first time they met. It was in a Cuban night club where he asked her for a dance. His first touch when he wrapped his arm around her waist felt exactly like now. But she stopped wondering about the feelings she had for him. She could not explain why she loved his coarse hands, his approval gesture or even his silly, childish singing when he was taking a bath. She knew it was a fact like “Earth is round”. She just knew she loved him and she didn’t question it.
She woke up from her thoughts when he gently withdrew his arm to catch their guide to ask him a few questions about the remaining part of their trip. She started widening her steps trying to catch up with them when the soft sound of nearby running water touched her ears. She headed a little bit on the left and walked for a few steps to find that small waterfall running down the mountain. Running water has been always her weakness that she couldn’t resist. She always followed the sound of the murmuring water like an enchanted creature. She stood on the tip of a cliff watching the waterfall with great enjoyment. “Do not move!” She heard the voice of their guide firmly ordering her. Her feet were mesmerized to the ground. “The ground is not stable here. The tip of the cliff might collapse in any moment.” She felt really frightened but then she heard her husband saying: “I’ll come slowly towards you. When I tell you, reach out your hand behind you to catch mine”. “Okay,” she said with shaking voice. With careful steps he drew closer and said: “Now”. She slowly turned around to catch his hand when the cliff collapsed all of a sudden but he jumped to catch her hand before she fell off the cliff. She screamed: “Do not let go!” while dangling in the air. “I won’t!” He screamed back while clutching her hand. It started to slip off his hand. “I cannot pull you up. I’ll have to go tie a robe around me so that I can descend this cliff to pull you up. I want you to hold on to this branch” he waved his head towards a dry branch a few inches away from where she was dangling. “It won’t hold,” she desperately screamed. “Don’t let go. I’ll fall!” He said assuredly: “No, you won’t. Trust me!” He directed her clutching grips to the dry branch while quickly yet carefully withdrawing to tie the robe their guide already attached to a tree around his waist. He approached the cliff with cautious steps. He lied down on his stomach and was about to descend the cliff when he saw her falling with the dry branch in her grip. He screamed with horror: “NOOOO!” while trying to catch her hand but it was too late. The last thing he saw of her was that terrified look in her face when she fell to rest on a protrusion off the mountain almost seven meters down. She didn’t move. He wasted no time and started descending the cliff till he reached that protrusion where she motionlessly lied. With the help of the guide, he lifted her first and then he was pulled up. He put his hand beneath her head and started gently shaking and calling her. She released a moan but didn’t open her eyes. He pulled his hand from beneath her head when he felt a strange feeling on his hand. It was blood. He examined her head to find a thin stream of blood coming out of her right ear. He looked in disbelief to the guide whose eyes were wide open with shock. “What does this mean?” he asked the guide with trembling hands fearing the answer. The guide hesitated for a moment and then said: “It means… there is a serious damage in the brain. I am sorry!” “Can we get any help? Call someone? Go back?” he said with desperate voice. The guide seemed sorry while saying: “I am sorry but there is no radio in this zone. And the way back would take at least three days while it is a matter of hours and she…” he didn’t dare finishing his sentence so he looked down and said: “I’ll build us a tent to make her rest in it. I am really sorry but there is nothing we can do”.
He looked at her face… her closed eyes and felt his tears coming down. This cannot be the end, he thought. They have their life still to live, more love to give, more moments to share. He drew closer to her ears and whispered: “wake up. Wake up, please!” Her silence almost drove him off the cliff off madness so he bit his lip so hard that he tasted blood in his mouth. He gently carried her into the tent and placed her in a sleeping bag. He kneeled by her side shaking the dust off her face. He was grateful their guide chose to build his tent away from theirs. He wanted to be alone with her. He held her hand and pleaded: “Don’t let go! For our sake, don’t let go!” He buried his face in the palm of her hand when he heard her moaning. He looked at her face with hope when she tried to open her eyes with obvious great effort. “What happened?” she said with almost a whisper. “It’s okay, honey. You fell… but it is going to be alright!” he tightened his grip on her hand assuredly. She smiled faintly at him and said: “would you carry me out? I do not want to … I do not want to stay here”. He gently carried her and took some steps towards the running water. He knew how much she loved its sound. He made sure not to come close to the cliff. After walking for several steps, he softly put her down. He leaned on a huge tree and rested her back on his chest. “It is beautiful, isn’t it?” she said with her whispering voice, “Nature is beautiful. I wouldn’t choose a more beautiful place to die in.” He interrupted her with trembling voice: “You are not dying.” He tightened his arms around her in a possessive embrace. She smiled and patted his hand while saying: “It’s okay, dearest. You know it is time.” He could take it no more. He burst in tears while saying: “It’s my entire fault; I let go of you, I didn’t hold on enough to you, I let you fall.” She could say nothing so she raised his hand and kissed his fingertips whispering “I love you” after each kiss. “Tell me you love me” she asked him with a faint smile. “I adore you, sweetheart”. She exhaled, rested her head on his shoulder and closed her eyes.