The large auditorium was slowly filling. The lights were on, but not bright. A slow, warm glow guiding people to friends and seats. Right on the top balcony of the Aotea Centre it was quiet, easy, relaxed. The voices from the masses drifting up to greet the few who had found their seats at the top, then falling away again.
She walked down a few steps to the railing on the top balcony, a relaxed and easy smile covering her face. Her eyes bright. She walked with an ease, her summer cotton dress swirling in rhythm with each step. She was wearing sandals. In hindsight that was an odd thing to wear on this wet, cold day.
She lifted one leg over the balcony then the other with an ease that suggested she knew what she was doing, that she belonged there, this was her job. She turned and nodded at the people sitting in the front row behind her like this was the most normal thing in the world.
She said nothing.
….into a growing roar swelling up from the ground floor. The roar from the crowd below who, on mass, released a safety net of sound to catch her, a blanket of sound they could wrap her in.
It was not clear to any one why she jumped.
They did not know she was jumping into the arms of the boy she loved.
They did not know the boy had never met her…
….He wasn’t even there.
Jim Mora walks on to the stage, the lights dim to black as he introduces Australian author Tim Winton. A new hour begins.
Tension that is not easily resolved is interesting. We don’t go to our graves with all the loose ends tied up. Tim Winton, Auckland Writers Festival, 2015.