When you decide to take the risk, it's like [[jumping|1]] off a cliff.
You are convinced that it can't be that bad, [[men don't get abused|25]], you were raised to be tough.
An instinct stirs inside of you and tells you to open your eyes. The ground is suddenly a lot closer than you thought. Either the cliff was higher or [[you fell faster|26]]. Either way your calculations were off.
You reach for him, you reach for the parachute you share, but nothing is there. You weren't prepared to save yourself, [[you relied on him|27]] to complete you and save you.
You desperately grasp at the air hoping [[he will save you|28]] at the last minute. You keep trying because this sort of thing doesn't happen to you. You don't want to feel like you failed at love. You don't want to be another statistic of a failed gay relationship.
Your start to [[serve your love|21]] rather than your love serving you. You feel like a slave to it, submissive to it, and powerless against it.
You've given him everything, [[given yourself nothing|22]], and compromised your values. You feel broken and used, who would want you now like this? You won't find anyone better. You believe this because it's what he tells you.
So you stay. Just give it time and you are sure it will get better. [[It has to|23]].
You know that deep down he loves you. After everything you've done he has to. He just has a funny way of showing it. He's just stressed. You just aren't doing it right. You feel like nothing next to him. But he never [[hit you|24]] so it's not that bad. This sort of thing doesn't happen to you.
The ground betrays you, it is hard and cold. The impact knocks all of the air out of your lungs and you gasp for breath. You hear bones break and the pain is [[excruciating|29]].
It takes a minute to realize that you are actually alive. You never thought [[you could survive|30]] that fall. Despite all your fears, you are not dead, which makes it even more important that you don't give up.
You [[step off|2]] the edge and the freefall begins.
Your stomach feels like [[a stone|4]] pressed against the back of your spine.
The rush of air forces your [[eyes closed|3]] and your hearing becomes useless.
You were told that love wasn't for you, that two men can't love each other the same way everyone else does, so now you have [[something to prove|6]].
You are told that this is what it feels like [[to fall in love|5]], but how do you know? Is it the same for you?
The wind in your face [[skews|8]] your perceptions. You push forward to find that love but it always feels just out of reach.
You feel [[desperate|7]] for that love, you see it as your salvation and redemption.
No one is really able to tell you what this love looks like and all you see on TV are the stereotypes [[you don't want to become|10]].
You keep trying in all the wrong places with all the [[wrong people|9]], never quite sure what you are looking for.
You find him in mid-air falling next to you, wearing the parachute you forgot to put on. [[He made you complete|12]]. He made you safe.
One day you find someone who breaks your [[expectations|11]] and gives you glimpses of something different.
Your world becomes [[all about him|14]] because that's what you want. It feels so right and you wouldn't have it any other way. You are happy.
The speed of the fall limits your oxygen and the euphoria sets in. Yet you feel like a feather [[slowly falling|13]] to earth with a smile on your face.
But what you didn't see [[fading away|16]] was the friend who stopped texting because you can't hang out anymore, or that smile you got when you felt appreciated. Wait, when was the last time you felt appreciated?
Suddenly the world becomes exciting again and life has endless possibilities. Growing old together becomes the goal, the "gay death" at 30 [[fades|15]] into an urban legend.
The solution is so easy, why didn't you think of it before? Just prove that you are [[committed|18]] and everything will be fine!
You know that things will eventually change and be like when you first met. They have to[[......right|17]]? If you only you could talk to him about it and work it out, but that only leads to yelling.
Maybe you didn't get it right, but he assured you that you were close, so you should [[keep trying|20]]. You trip all over yourself to make it better.
You work hard, you love hard, but it never seems to be quite enough. [[Is there something wrong with you?|19]] You just can't seem to get it right. It must be your fault. That's what he tells you so it must be true.
You find yourself standing at the edge of the cliff again, [[wondering|32]] if you can keep doing this......is it really worth it?
Climbing the mountain this time is incredibly slow and painful. You haven't fully healed but at least you can crawl. You are [[determined|31]].
Don't give in. Don't be defeated. Don't be abused. Don't be ashamed to get help. You will be ok. You deserve so much more.\n\n<html><a target="_blank" href="http://gmdvp.org/" style="color: rgb(77, 106, 216)">Gay Men's Domestic Violence 24-Hour Hotline</a></html>: 1-800-832-1901
When you land, no words are necessary, you just understand. The cost may have been high but you learned what real love looks like. Your hands connect again and the [[real journey together|37]] starts from there.
Half way down you lock eyes and open your parachutes to glide silently over the treetops. The sun is setting over the mountain ridge with an orange glow in the sky. The moment feels [[perfect|36]] and you share it together in awe.
Hand in hand you jump off the edge. This time your eyes are open. This time there is no fear. This time you have your own parachute. This time [[you are complete|35]] all on your own.
You look into his [[beautiful eyes|34]] and tell him that you are scared to jump again. He nods in silent understanding and hands you a parachute.
It may have hurt, but you are stronger now. You close your eyes preparing for another blind jump when someone [[grabs your hand|33]]. You open your eyes and see someone you've never met standing there with a cast on his arm. Did he hit the ground hard too?