Bolts of pain like electric currents surged my body, throbbing from my heart, blood leaking from my calves. I tried to move my toes. Spasms of pain shot up my entire being and tears quenched my eyes as my sight became blurred. I felt warmth of my own limp body leaking into my boots, blood mixing with water. My DNA Becoming one with the cave. Then, a wave of avid aloofness tore through my body and I softly closed my eyelids.
I drifted into consciousness only for a second, feeling my body hanging in the air, but plodding slowly along. I felt two thick arms jabbing into my rips and folding round my waist as I pressured my own head to check my surroundings. Forcing my head up, I begun to open my eyes. My limp body was collapsed onto another being, carrying me through the corridors in the cave, over the large unshapely, jagged stones. He quietly and calmly spoke to me with meaningful words.
“So long as my heart still beats and I can still breathe, I will do everything in my power to get you out of this cave and get you to safety”
Besides feeling the comfort of his words, whilst drifting in and out of consciousness I felt a sort shock to the fact that Leo was sharing his precious insight with me, let alone bloody carrying me out the cave. Feeling his words, I let my head go limp and then flopped my body into his arms, trying to deceive myself into believing that one man could all make this right again, and that the next day I would be thanking him for saving my life- to which of course he would profusely deny.
After recovering from another stage of swimming into consciousness, I feel my head rest on the awkward angle of my helmet and my spine being compressed by the hard surface of the floor. I sit up in a daze. The group have reunited and are back together in the main hall before the gate, which is currently closed. I only gather that I have been ‘placed’ on the other side of the hall from exhaustion of carrying me. The hall’s purpose is now designed for concerts and the like. I looked around the hall with a grave expression. Such a beautiful cave. I had believed, deep inside, that this was the hall I was to be married in. This was where I’d wear my long white dress and where the love of my life would stand. Where we’d hold such pure love in the moment of truth with each other as we say our vows. It was meant to be a haven for me. Now the cavers were walking to the gate, discussing something. Probably their freedom. Perhaps how they’d carry me through the small, creaky gate. On the other side of the gate I see more cavers. Cave rescue were here. Among them, more SUSS members had appeared. Guy was there, leaning on the stone wall on the other side of the gate, intensely listening to the others. Louise in the background, her back straight and concern written on her brow. One face that stood out the most, Rostam as he discussed matters with the others through the bars, his face turning graver as he nodded and listened into the explanation from the others. He looked calm and collected, did not fumble or hesitate, but only took in what was being told, as if he had complete control of a situation he had not yet been in. I looked around at the dark gloomy corridors as I listened to the murmurs echoing the chamber. The darkness surrounded me as all the light focused onto the other side of the room. I felt excluded and exhausted. I wanted to faint again.
I looked at my suit, it felt cold pressed against my skin. Balancing the weight of my upper body on my limp arms, I could look down and see the suit stained, drenched with my own blood. I stretched my neck behind me.
They were there.
I turned to see an ugly monster sitting behind me. I fluttered my head round more. Like the realisation of how many ants there are crawling around, such were the monsters becoming higher in number, perching on the rocks, crouched on the floor. I felt a sick nervousness spread through me. Heart in my hands, I begin to use the floor to pull my body towards the direction of the others. There was no time to lose.
The terror in my eyes met with Guy’s calm stance. He quickly opened the gate, making a creaking noise that echoed the chamber and pulled the others to the other side, and closed it shut as to not let the monsters hurt the others. I could hear the click of the lock loud and clear, sealing me in. But the sound was my own destruction. He had made a noise that provoked the monsters to move slowly towards me as I dragged myself on the floor to safety. It felt painfully slow, but the monsters had allowed me to crawl all the way to the gate. Only Guy and Rostam stood before me, the others in the background, watching me helplessly. Guy was the first to crouch.
“I’m so sorry.. you know if we open the door again, it’s gonna make a noise that’ll kill us all. You know.. the happiness of the many outweigh the happiness of the few”
There was no remorse in his voice.
He perked himself up, and walked off into the dim light that flooded the entrance of the cave. It was over. He had left. My heart eternally broken. Not only did he not want to save me, but he had no words to comfort me. My love. My love! He had gone. My best friend had gone, to find a better path of life without me. But I had already forgiven him, because I had still loved him. And after all, I had led a good life. I had had a good day: I had gone caving with my friends, I had kissed a girl, I had previously eaten a lot of nice cave sweets. Perhaps it was good enough that I could love someone who so obviously did not love me back?
The others looked down on me with pity. I felt the sound of the breaking of knuckles behind me, the stench of raw flesh surrounded me. A pressure landed onto my foot as I clung onto the bars. I had lost all hope. I called for my last request in a low, stooping voice.
Rostam crouches down to see my face in pain and regret, clinging onto my last hopes. His face remained calm and he placed his hand onto mine through the bars. Not a sound came from his lips. Perhaps he expected a long final paragraph, but I only had one thing to say.
“…Sing to me.”
And he began to sing, as the voices of the other group slowly floated in. It was not loud nor harsh, but a perfect murmur to send me on my way with love.
“ Mine eyes have seen the glory of the Yorkshire underground
I have seen blind fish and shrimps there living far beneath the ground
I have travelled waters deep and swift, a river’s secret womb
Forever I’ll go down”
The group slowly exit one by one, until Rostam is left beside me and we sing alone.
“Oh forever I’ll go caving,
Oh forever I’ll go caving,
Oh forever I’ll go caving”
Rostam sings alone: “For speleology”