August 12, 2008
By Kathryn Ludlam, Happy Valley, OR

Bungee Jumping: v. A horrible mix of death, despair, crushing fear, unknowing, untrusting, dieing, ect.

My definition of bungee jumping is quite different than the one in bold print in our dictionary at home. Of all the things in the world, bungee jumping is the worst. My two worst fears are the fear of heights and the fear of water. Bungee jumping is these two things combined.

Today as I was walking home with my best friend Alecia, we passed a bungee jump. She paused and that evil smile I know all too well appeared on her face.

“No way,” I said. “No way.”

“Come on, it can’t be that bad. Remember that slip you had to hand in today? It has your mom’s signature on it. We could forge it and give the form to the people who own the bungee jump. Let me see the slip.”
Reluctantly I handed it over. “Um, I don’t think this is a good idea Alecia.”

“Sure it is.” She said confidently. “You need to get out of your comfort zone and I need a good laugh. Here, take this paper and give it to that man over there. Go on!”
I began to walk over to the man. My hands fumbled with the paper and I kept looking around nervously as if forging my mother’s signature was a crime. What if she finds out? My hands were shaking as I held out the paper for the man to see. He looks up at me, smiles, and waves his hand for me to go get in line. I stumble into the crowd of watching people, pushing my way to the front. If I have to do this at all, I want to do it quickly.
I am third in line. Minutes pass. They jump, they scream, and they laugh. It’s my turn now, on top of a 50 foot high bridge about to jump into oblivion. Maybe it won’t be so bad. Maybe it will. I won’t know until I try it.

They’re harnessing me up now, strapping and hooking a strange contraption on my body. I look back at Alecia. She gives me a thumbs up sign and I smile weakly in return. The iron platform under my feet is rusted from excessive use. Through it I can see the aqua water rushing and pushing around boulders protruding out of the water like imperfections on a smooth surface. In a few seconds I will be able to see my face on its glassy skin. I take a deep breath.

“Go!” Comes a shout from behind me and a brain shattering push connects with my back, sending me flying into open space. Tears stream from my eyes and the air is filled with my screams. The seconds seem to stretch out into years. I glance at the sunset in front of me. A strawberry streak flashes across the golden backdrop. It’s beautiful. Maybe bungee jumping isn’t that bad. My screams mix with laughter as I grow closer to what could have been certain suicide. Why am I not slowing down? A look of horror crosses my face. Then… oh no…

“Triss Sanders was a wonderful girl and loved by all.” Says the pastor on Sunday morning. There is much sniffling in the chapel. “We shall never forget her bravery. The cord that snapped was God’s will. He wanted to bring his little girl home.” With that, the pastor closes his book and steps down from his pedestal.

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