“One step forward. One more step forward.” I talk to myself, trying to make at least a little way forward. The silence around me is deafening — all I hear is my own wheezing breath and muffled footsteps falling heavily on the tiny stairs carved into the cliff. My heart is beating like a bird gone mad. After three more steps, I stop for a quick rest. As my head spins and temples throb, I desperately try to catch my breath and inhale as much air as possible. However, my body doesn’t listen. My strength evaporates like smoke.
“One more step.”
I sit down after making one more difficult step.