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Afraid to Fall This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

I am afraid to fall. For the fall. Who will catch me if I leap? My reckless mind conjures up images of a wild descent to the earth … the rushing wind … the nauseatingly blurred skyscape … screaming out pointlessly in every direction.

My long hair, a point of vanity and pride, is cruelly whipped back, no longer the warm, reassuring silk lovingly draped about my face. Now it is a separate entity. My limbs almost immediately concur with my wayward hair and begin their own fight for freedom. Arms wrench back sickeningly, knobby knees flap against the torrential force of the wind. The arms are winning; I know because I can feel them about to snap off, one sinewy string at a time, and my limbs will litter the emerald earth far below me.

But my mind is back from lunch and decides abruptly to take control of the situation. This dictator in fleshy purples and pinks grabs the steering and fires off a warning round of synapses to the rebels. Perfect soldiers, my hands snap forward, careening my body into an airborne dive that feels swan-like after the uncontrolled free fall.

Although my body now appears to be together, I know it isn't; that had to have been my stomach falling out of my nose mere seconds ago – some feelings are unmistakable. I face the situation at hand. The ground appears to be quite anxious to say hello because it's rushing up to meet my swiftly falling body at what can only be described as an alarming rate.

It is now that I choose to reminisce on the few and rather disappointing fall festivals I went to as a child where various pumpkins were dropped from heights to produce a crowd-worthy explosion of pulpy innards and chunky vegetarian flesh. I wonder idly if my body will suffer the same fate.

What an odd turn of events. When I make it to heaven or hell or wherever I am supposed to remain for the rest of ever, I will tell whoever else is stuck there miserably with me the lesson of my short, remarkable, and unsatisfactory life.

“You never know what's about to hit you,” I'll sniff to my comrade, with a knowing look in my eyes. “One day you wake up expecting to walk into third period and the next thing you know …,” here I will pause dramatically and roll my eyes heavenward, then snap them back to the listener's face with a mysterious twinkle, “BLAM!” I will jump suddenly in the listener's direction, causing a suitable reaction. “You're falling through the atmosphere with no idea what your name is, and then it's all over!”

This thought pleases me so much that as I plummet toward the rocky terrain, I mumble, “And then it's all over, and then it's all over,” in a resolute kind of way. I look down and sigh as I see my life coming to a close. My frail body will surely be impaled on one of the evil-looking rocks dotting the landscape, or perhaps pancaked flat by a more friendly looking boulder off to the left. Personally (and it's my death, so does anyone else matter?) I am in favor of the happy, fat boulder and begin trying to swim to the left in my last seconds before impact in what is shaping up to be my final attempt to exercise some control. Having sufficiently adjusted my position, I brace myself as my body enters the home stretch and rushes toward the not-so-pleasant-looking-after-all boulders.

“Typical” is the last thought that comes to my mind, summing up what I thought was a refreshingly narcissistic view on life, but now I realize is actually just the echo of an emotionally insecure cynic.

With a massive push of self-control I move on and try to think of something interesting before impact. But all that my frenzied mind comes up with is the random fact that sea otters can become so attached to one rock that they keep it with them at all times to break open clams and other resistant meals. I waste a few last moments on the happy thought of wet, furry otter pups and enjoy it so much that I decide to carry it with me to my final voyage.

Now I can see it.

The earth stretches out all around me, waiting, watching, hoping. Silence, so vast and dark, rings out through the rushing in my ears, and coldness seeps under my skin and into the framework of my gangly body. I tentatively stretch out my fingers, one at a time, working the muscles gently to feel this emotion physically.

Thump Thump thumpthumpthumpthumpthumpthumptthump – heart speeds up, breathing haphazardly, eyes wide open leaking dazzling teardrops into the vast ocean sky. Liquid diamonds trail behind me in the azure wonder as I open myself to embrace the velveteen darkness of uncertainty. I am ready I am sure I am hopeful I am here.

And I fall, screaming, wildly to the earth.

Darkness.

Not what I expected. This darkness is warm and regular. Boring darkness, to be sure. Am I in hell? No, too boring. Purgatory? No, too empty. I suddenly feel a bit like Goldilocks in the home of the three bears, trying on things that don't belong to me, but asserting my false ownership anyway. Nowadays I'm almost positive I could be thrown in jail for identity theft if I put on a platinum wig curled charmingly and broke into some woodsman's home.

This happy string of incoherency is interrupted by a smack.

I open my eyes to the blandness that can only mean one thing. I fell asleep in third period again.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.





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This article has 14 comments. Post your own!

chasef0908 said...
Nov. 3, 2012 at 8:27 am:
hi i was wondering since you were from Ohio if you were in power of the pen? Its only for 7th and 8th graders in Ohio but i just wanted to ask you if you were?
 
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SupportingTheWhole said...
Oct. 12, 2012 at 1:09 pm:
I figured some sort of weird ending was going to make me want to reread this to make sure I read it right.  You have some serious talent!  Keep writing.
 
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Sarah Noelle Choi said...
Dec. 12, 2011 at 10:00 pm:
Very good!  I fall asleep in third period ALL THE TIME!  TEAHCER IS MONOTONE!
 
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SwimmerGirl14 said...
Feb. 7, 2011 at 11:33 am:
This is amazing!!!!
 
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Healing_Angel said...
Jul. 15, 2010 at 5:09 pm:
We can all realate to falling asleep in class(or in my case almost) at one time or another. I love how you surprised us at the end! Well done!
 
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goddess_of_the_moon_123 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
May 31, 2010 at 10:45 am:
This made me laugh out loud-- GREAT job! :)
 
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KkrazyThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
May 16, 2010 at 12:23 pm:
whoa. that was intense. i loved it!
 
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elfiewrites said...
Apr. 2, 2010 at 8:48 am:
I love this! Keep on writing! If you get a chance, may you please comment on my work too? Thanks so much.
 
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SilverSnowflakes said...
Mar. 11, 2010 at 2:11 pm:
Wow. this is good.
 
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angelgirl1011288This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Mar. 11, 2010 at 1:21 pm:
This was a great story; the suspense made me brace for the ending and the descriptive words made it come alive. Good job! You deserved to be published in the print magazine.
 
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juicyfan6 said...
Feb. 18, 2010 at 6:51 pm:
I love this. :)
 
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Tatiana said...
Jan. 24, 2010 at 7:40 pm:
I loved it! The writing style was brilliant and descriptive! The title was well pulled off! Great job!
 
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ashley2055 said...
Nov. 8, 2009 at 2:11 pm:
wow, that was really good. It was so suspenseful and then she just woke up. really well written
 
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PurpleMidnight said...
Oct. 24, 2009 at 8:53 am:
This is AMAZING! I love it, I've done the same thing in my sixth period class. I can relate to it so well. LOVE IT! Keep on writing, you got some serious talent.
 
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