The Edge of Never

By: J.a Redmerski

To lovers and dreamers and anyone who hasn’t truly experienced either.


NATALIE HAS BEEN TWIRLING that same lock of hair for the past ten minutes and it’s starting to drive me nuts. I shake my head and pull my iced latte toward me, strategically placing my lips on the straw. Natalie sits across from me with her elbows propped on the little round table, chin in one hand.

“He’s gorgeous,” she says staring off toward the guy who just got in line. “Seriously, Cam, would you look at him?”

I roll my eyes and take another sip. “Nat,” I say, placing my drink back on the table, “you have a boyfriend—do I need to constantly remind you?”

Natalie sneers playfully at me. “What are you, my mother?” But she can’t keep her eyes on me for long, not while that walking wall of sexy is standing at the register ordering coffee and scones. “Besides, Damon doesn’t care if I look—as long as I’m bending over for him every night, he’s good with it.”

I let out a spat of air, blushing.

“See! Uh huh,” she says, smiling hugely. “I got a laugh out of you.” She reaches over and thrusts her hand into her little purple purse. “I have to make note of that,” and she pulls out her phone and opens her digital notebook. “Saturday. June 15th.” She moves her finger across the screen. “1:54 p.m. – Camryn Bennett laughed at one of my sexual jokes.” Then she shoves the phone back inside her purse and looks at me with that thoughtful sort of look she always has when she’s about to go into therapy-mode. “Just look once,” she says, all joking aside.

Just to appease her, I turn my chin carefully at an angle so that I can get a quick glimpse of the guy. He moves away from the register and toward the end of the counter where he slides his drink off the edge. Tall. Perfectly sculpted cheekbones. Mesmerizing model green eyes and spiked up brown hair.

“Yes,” I admit, looking back at Natalie, “he’s hot, but so what?”

Natalie has to watch him leave out the double glass doors and glide past the windows before she can look back at me to respond.

“Oh. My. God,” she says eyes wide and full of disbelief.

“He’s just a guy, Nat.” I place my lips on the straw again. “You might as well put a sign that says ‘obsessed’ on your forehead. You’re everything obsessed short of drooling.”

“Are you kidding me?” Her expression has twisted into pure shock. “Camryn, you have a serious problem. You know that, right?” She presses her back against her chair. “You need to up your medication. Seriously.”

“I stopped taking it in April.”

“What? Why?”

“Because it’s ridiculous,” I say matter-of-factly. “I’m not suicidal, so there’s no reason for me to be taking it.”

She shakes her head at me and crosses her arms over her chest. “You think they prescribe that stuff just for suicidal people? No. They don’t.” She points a finger at me briefly and hides it back in the fold of her arm. “It’s a chemical imbalance thing, or some shit like that.”

I smirk at her. “Oh, really? Since when did you become so educated in mental health issues and the medications they use to treat the hundreds of diagnoses?” My brow rises a little, just enough to let her see how much I know she has no idea what she’s talking about.

When she wrinkles her nose at me instead of answering, I say, “I’ll heal on my own time and I don’t need a pill to fix it for me.” My explanation had started out kind, but unexpectedly turned bitter before I could get the last sentence out. That happens a lot.

Natalie sighs and the smile completely drops from her face.

“I’m sorry,” I say, feeling bad for snapping at her. “Look, I know you’re right. I can’t deny that I have some messed up emotional issues and that I can be a bitch sometimes—.”

“Sometimes?” she mumbles under her breath, but is grinning again and has already forgiven me.

That happens a lot, too.

I half-smile back at her. “I just want to find answers on my own, y’know?”

“Find what answers?” She’s annoyed with me. “Cam,” she says, cocking her head to one side to appear thoughtful. “I hate to say it, but shit really does happen. You just have to get over it. Beat the hell out of it by doing things that make you happy.”

OK, so maybe she isn’t so horrible at the therapy thing after all.

“I know, you’re right,” I say, “but….”

Natalie raises a brow, waiting. “What? Come on, out with it!”

I gaze toward the wall briefly, thinking about it. So often I sit around and think about life and wonder about every possible aspect of it. I wonder what the hell I’m doing here. Even right now. In this coffee shop with this girl I’ve known practically all my life. Yesterday I thought about why I felt the need to get up at exactly the same time as the day before and do everything like I did the day before. Why? What compels any of us to do the things we do when deep down a part of us just wants to break free from it all?

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