It was early morning in Pokhara, Nepal. I was standing atop the roof of the Hotel Snow Leopard, breathing deep, taking in the view, and trying to come to terms with my life. A life which had brought me on a whirlwind tour of seven Asian countries, torn up my relationship of two and a half years, and spit me out here: 23 years old, alone, standing on a rooftop in Nepal. Gazing towards the Annapurna Range, hidden behind a thick layer of haze. Looking for something which didn’t seem to want to reveal itself to me.
I walked to the edge of the roof. Put my toes over the edge. Looked down.
Five or six or seven stories. A fall might kill me, I thought.
But what would be the point?
I had money to spend, mountains to see, and a relationship I could probably salvage, if I really turned myself to it. I had a family who loved me, a college degree to my name, and 65,000 words of an unfinished book manuscript on my hard drive. Friends back home who missed me. Not to mention, if I got home soon, I could still catch the tail end of ski season—an activity I had grown to love after spending a year in Vail. Plenty of reasons not to be melodramatic.
Fate had brought me to Nepal for a reason, and it wasn’t to throw myself off a roof.
I shook the thought from my head without much effort, and stepped back from the ledge.
Just in time too, as a middle-aged Nepali woman climbed up the ladder to the roof, and looked somewhat startled to see me there. The section of the roof I had climbed up to—which housed the solar heater, laundry lines, and other mechanical apparatuses—wasn’t exactly equipped for guests. Then again, it also wasn’t signed or locked off, the way such places usually are in the US. So I didn’t feel I’d overstepped my bounds terribly, especially since I was one of only a few guests at the hotel.
Still, probably for the best the poor woman didn’t encounter me staring off the edge.
We smiled, awkwardly. She had no English; even if she did, I wouldn’t have been in the mood to talk. She had a basket of laundry to hang. She set about her task, and I climbed down the ladder and off the roof.
I returned to my room, took a brief (cold) shower, and headed out in search of coffee and breakfast.