I actually wrote this for an English assignment on point of view (we had to read A Separate Peace), and then thought I should put it up here. I don't plan on continuing it.

Special thanks to my English teacher, who not only created the assignment, but also gave me feedback which made this better.

Disclaimer: I do not own A Separate Peace.


My hands grasped the wooden rungs, and I scampered up the familiar trunk, prying myself away from the iron grip of gravity. I could hear foot connecting with wood as Gene faithfully climbed beneath me, even though he seemed to have an aura of anger about him.

It didn't take long until I made it to the limb, the limb that had witnessed the jump of each member of the Super Suicide Society of the Summer Session. This branch had loved us, had allowed us to become something more than we had ever expected. I pulled myself up, feeling its unconditional strength offering me to the heavens. I felt, rather than heard, Gene approaching the limb behind me, and the tree shivered, miniscule tremors inching up its spine. I grabbed a nearby branch, even though it was flimsy, because I thought of what a pain, what an embarrassment it would be to fall out of the tree and into the rushing river before the planned jump.

"Come out a little way, and then we'll jump side by side." I instructed. Gene complied, and for a moment we just stood there, equals, admiring the beautiful world. Devon looked quaint and ordinary beneath us, and the countryside was illuminated by the dying sun, looking more like a painting than reality. The land was still, holding its breath, waiting for us to make our move. We were gods. We were untouchable.

But right at that moment something shook the earth. The limb, our limb, bounced, and for one precarious moment I let go of the smaller, flimsier branch, my safety net. My arms swung about, trying to regain my equilibrium. I turned my head, glancing back at Gene. He had the most curious expression on his face, like he was shocked, stupefied by what he saw. I found myself lost in his deep eyes, wondering what he was going to do. After all, not so long ago our positions had been reversed, and it was he who had lost his balance. And without thinking I had reached out to him, jerked him out of harm's way. But now he just stood, frozen, unable or simply unwilling to help me.

And for an eternity we stood there, examining each other's faces. I scrambled to get my feet back into position on the limb but my body was slow and clumsy as I faltered beneath Gene's unwavering stare. I wanted to grab him, to pull myself back to safety, but as I moved my arm forward my final bit of balance deserted me, and I careened to the side. My eyes involuntarily snapped shut for a few moments as I swiftly fell, and when I opened them, I found myself on the ground, my body crumpled, and intense pain flooding from the ground up, sending pulsating rays of agony through me. I tried to breathe, to sob, to call out to anyone, but my lungs were crushed and were completely deprived of air.

Distantly, I heard a splash, indicating that Gene's departure from the tree was far more graceful than mine.