“We could go you know? Come with me,” he said. “Hawaii. We never could before, but now… honestly, it wouldn’t be easy, but we could do it.”
“No… I don’t know… no. It’s impossible,” she said.
“Impossible? I mean… well, it just isn’t. It’s not Narnia. It’s not even slightly allegorical, it’s totally real. They have flights there and everything.” he said.
She looked at him, eyes glistening with tears.
“It’s impossible,” she said, “because I’m in this hole”
“It’s… yes, you are in a hole,” he said, “But it’s quite a shallow hole.”
He peered down into the hole. She looked back up at him and shook her head sadly.
“I’m in this hole and so we can’t,” she said. “I can’t. I’m sorry.”
“I could help you out, if you’d like,” he said.
“Out?” she said, incredulous, “You?”
“Well, “ he said, “I mean, I could just sort of reach my hand out and you could hold it and I could just help you out of the hole. It might work.”
“But… What if it didn’t? Or, what if it did? Then what would happen?” she said.
“I can’t honestly say for sure,” he said. “But you’d be out of the hole, at least.”
“I might fall back in,” she said.
“Yes,” he said. “You might.”
“Or a bus might drop on me.”
“If I was with you, and out of this hole, so many bad things could happen.” she said.
“Yeah. I’ll admit the bus thing simply never crossed my mind.” he said.
“I’d probably be best just staying in the hole until you’ve gone away,” she said. “In case of buses, or whatever.”
“So you want me to…”
“Or evil squirrels, with throwing knives. They can’t get me in here. Hey! You should go to Hawaii without me,” she said, seemingly brightening a little. “You’ll love it there and you’ll meet lots of great people, and you’ll have fun and all the people you meet will be better than me, because they won’t be in a hole. And you’ll be happier.”
“I don’t think that’s true,” he said. “Do you think that’s true?”
“I love you,” she said. “Goodbye.”
He stared into her eyes, eyes which were once again filling with tears. Tears for whom, he couldn’t say. He looked away, then turned and began to slowly walk away from the hole, in the general direction he imagined might lead to Hawaii. He made it five steps away from the hole before stopping, turning and stepping back again. Now he was crying.
“I can’t leave you,” he said, “This hole, it’s not that deep. And I could get a rope. Or a ladder. I can get a block and tackle. Or balloons and helium. A big plunger. Some kind of lever, just flip you out of there like a, like a pancake, or, I… please, just take my hand.”
He reached his hand into the hole, fingers outstretched. His tears were falling, falling into the hole like rain. She raised her head, looked deep into his eyes, looked down again, looked up once more. She smiled, and he could no longer tell if the tears on her face were from her eyes or his. And…
One hundred years later, they were both dead.
The Hole by Harris
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