Before I fall I'm floating. I'm floating in a bright light that I could never have imagined. It's only a light, yet it's one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. I know it's a figment of my imagination but it's uncontrollable. It's not a sign guiding me to the gates of heaven, guiding me to the Saint who will tell me whether my actions are – were – honourable enough to get me into paradise. No, it's my imagination, my unconsciousness protecting my consciousness, shielding me from the pain that I know will be unbearable if I slip into it. I have to keep my head above the surface and cling without slipping. I have to.

I won't last for long, I know that.

I realise I'm not floating, I'm hanging, clinging to the edge. I'm clinging not because I'm afraid of what's on the other side of the light, not because I'm stubborn – I accepted long ago that this was the path I needed to take, that I was going to die. That I had to die. I'm clinging because Kent is calling me and I so desperately need him, I desperately need to comfort him. I hear him above the rest, above my best friends and the crowd I vision around my weak, failing body. I hear him calling me brokenly, his words getting quieter and his sobs even louder.

It's okay, I try to shout. It's okay. You can let go.

But he doesn't hear me. He doesn't hear the matching pain in my voice, the pain that has to make him understand that he has to let me go even though I don't want to and that he has to accept that. He needs to know that he'll be okay without me and that Lindsay isn't really that bad. She's broken, too. He has to be told that we could have been great together, but there's somebody waiting for him somewhere who's more deserving than I. I owe him that.

I accepted I needed to die, that I had been given a gift and had to use it, but nobody told me it was going to be this hard. Nobody warned me that I would feel incapable of doing what I am now faced with.

It has to be done. I listen to them for an eternity until I'm ready. The light beckons me to move away from the edge, to slip away and finally give in.

I manage a smile and close my eyes in my dream. My thoughts are on Juliet now. I do not regret saving Juliet. I imagine her more beautiful than I know, more beautiful than I saw at the first party.

The light fades away, and I go with it, and my friends, the best friends I ever had, their voices are now nothing but a whisper. I allow a sense of serenity to overwhelm me and I let go.

In my dream I am falling.