The narrator is a woman, half drunk and walking along the edge of parapet in the dark, and suddenly a stranger calls her behind her.

'I don't think you should stand there.'

I half turn, and catch a flash of a small pale face on the fire escape, dark eyes wide open. In shock, my foot slips on the parapet, my weight suddenly the wrong side of the drop. My heart lurches, a split second before my body follows. And then, like a nightmare, I am weightless, in the abyss of the night air, my legs flailing above my head as I hear the shriek that may be my own-

-After You by Jojo Moyes

Here, I don't understand the meaning of the part marked in bold especially because drop has many definitions and also I don't get what "wrong side" means in this context.

Also, what's the verb omitted in the bolded part? is it slip?

1 Answer 1


The drop in this context is meaning 4a from this dictionary: the distance from a higher to a lower level - [Example: It's a twenty-foot drop from the top of the fence].

The omitted verb is simply "is" (most likely - I suppose you could argue other alternatives). "My foot slips on the parapet, my weight is suddenly the wrong side of the drop".

And "the wrong side" is simply the side with no parapet underneath her, which results in gravity taking over and the narrator falling off the ledge.

  • Thanks. I now understand what it means but still think it's weird to say "wrong side of the drop", not "wrong side of the parapet". How can it be wrong side of the drop when drop itself suggests a falling off from top to bottom(which is already a wrong, bad situation for the woman.)?
    – dbwlsld
    Feb 17, 2020 at 8:51
  • "The drop" here doesn't suggest the actual falling. It just suggests a vertical distance down which one could fall. Feb 17, 2020 at 9:01

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