I Dont Want to Be Afraid.
I’ve jumped off tall rocks and structures before. You stand on top with the water far below. A close friend, close beside.
The rock, the cliff, or bridge, the water… It’s daunting.
You both laugh, poke, pretend to shove one another over the edge like its all a big joke.
Oh, Don’t fall!
You both know its not life or death, it’s only water. Nonetheless, its frightening.
Since neither of you wants to jump first, you both flirt. You flirt with the water. Sick to your stomach in anticipation. The sinking feeling as you fly with gravity. The flood waiting for you at the bottom. Fear.
Eventually the wind picks up, and it becomes apparent to you both; that you must either jump, or call it a day and go home.
On three, or one after the other, you both agree to take the fall.
Leaving the ground beneath you, only to have it soar over your head, is a panic. The air burns your skin, before the surface knocks the wind from you lungs, and the water is all too cold.
One of two things happens.
- I look back up at the sky above me, only to realize, my friend has in fact; not jumped. They found another way down. I am alone.
- Rising to the water’s surface, they are already swimming to shore. No remarks about the journey. My friend is gone. I am alone.
I bob up and down on the waves of impact, staring from a distance with confusion. The water feels so far up into my head, I can’t breath from my nose. I cough. The water is cold, my hands and feet are numb, swimming becomes difficult. I’m alone.
The trip back to shore is much longer than the jump, and the memory thereof aches longer than the climb.
I can only think to myself:
Why did I jump?
Why did I even climb up there in the first place?
Should I have known better?
To be clear; I don’t hate the fall, and the water is not always cold.
But that jump..
The jump will forever be the most difficult part, and hopefully, someday..
I will not be left drowning at the bottom, alone.