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Adrenaline Rush

The wind pushes my lips against my teeth, pulling my smile into an expression more grimace than pleasure. It stings at my eyes and the resulting tears fly up to mingle with the air. I’ve never felt so free and yet I’m trapped, the air below my body seeming more solid, in this moment, then the ground ever did beneath my feet.

The wind is solid and I must push into it to advance, moving further and further down, the world blurring below and around into one solid streak of color.

I watch the water below move closer, seeming to slide towards me across a flat plane rather then move upwards. In that moment it becomes almost a question of if I’ll hit it at all, rather then when.

But I do, hitting the surface with a sound loud enough to convince me bones are breaking as the impact reddens my skin. Water sucks in around me, tugging at my hair, at my skin, at my bathing suit. I open my mouth to let out a belated scream and water fills that too. For a moment before I kick back to the surface I open my eyes and watch the green-blue rays of the sun filter through the dark water.

The liquid holds me gently, rocking me a little like a soothing mother’s embrace until the need for air is too great and I uncurl, swimming through the gentle current towards the inverted ground that becomes sky as my head breaks the surface. Cold air slaps my reddened cheeks and fills my lungs and I do scream then from the cold, accompanied by the whoops and laughs of my friends from the cliff above.

Scowling up at them I swim to the shore and haul myself out onto the rough dirt and soft grass, each sensation distinct after the numbing cold of the hidden pool. A splash alerts me to my friend’s equally traumatic dive into the water and when she comes up for air I flick water at her.

“I hate you!”

She just laughs and pulls herself up onto the bank beside me. “Sure you do.”

“I am /never/ doing that again.”

“Sure you aren’t.”

We lie there in the sun again for a while, warming numbed limbs and watching the boys make their jumps, and sure enough the craving stirs in me. Before I know what I’m doing I’ve climbed the cliff, rocks cutting into my hands and feet, and stand again on the edge overlooking the now-small pool.

“I can’t.”

She’s there behind me. “But you want to.”

“But I can’t.”

“But you have to.”

She’s right.

With a whoop and a few running steps I catapult into open air. Again.





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