High Dive by A. Klesath

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When I was a little girl, I took swim lessons. On our last day, we had to jump off the high dive. This is something I had not done up to this day. I cried and wouldn’t do it; so no one made me. On that fateful day, I cried, but my tears wouldn’t get me out of it. One of the instructors gently assisted me up the steps. Every step made my heart beat faster and my throat close. Choking down tears and in absolute terror, I slowly climbed each step with my death grip on the bars. I refused to look up, just straight ahead, watching myself get further and further from the ground. When I reached the top and there was nothing else to grab hold of, I grabbed the instructors hand, but she kept pulling me off her and pushing me gently to the edge.

We stood at the edge and with tears in my eyes, I begged her not to make me do this. But she said it would be okay, she would jump with me. “On the count of three, we jump.”

“Okay,” I agreed. One, two, three, Jump! I jumped. I flew through space, waiting, anticipating, the slap of the water. When it came, it was a jolt. I opened my mouth and swallowed chlorinated water. Panicking, I swam to the top. To my dismay, she was not there. I jumped by myself. I looked up and saw her at the top. I lost trust. I swam to the edge and cried. “She was supposed to jump with me but she didn’t!” I screamed. They said she couldn’t because it was too dangerous. I never took swim lessons again and only one other time did I jump off the high dive. Heights aren’t my thing. Swimming is not my thing. I think I can live without both.

As an adult, right now, I will jump off the high dive again. I must make that giant leap of faith and believe that all will be well. I know in my heart this is the right thing. However, I don’t know if there is water at the bottom. And no one will climb up the ladder with me. I will climb all by myself and when I get to the top I cannot see where I will land but in my heart I know I have to jump.

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