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A Jump for the Ages

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“What are you doing, kid?” a voice screams up at me. “Get down!” I shut my eyes, to blink out the noise. I don’t want to get down. I don’t ever want to move again. But if I do come down, you can bet that I’m jumping. A crowd begins to gather. Some jeer, some pray, and some just stare at me with this look of pure fascination, questioning my invincibility. I wish they would leave.

Before all this, the roof had only been my sanctuary, not a place of questions. It had been where I would go to save myself from my uncle, to protect myself from my cousins. It was my roof. It didn’t judge me with icy glares, or stare at me as if to set fire to my heart. I don’t remember how many days I had just sat there, so close to the edge of death. I had never wanted it to end like this.

It had all started with a cup of coffee. My uncle, who took me in when my grandma died from the crash, decided I wasn’t working hard enough. He grabbed the ceramic cup and hurled it at my head. A throw meant to kill. His eyes were shattered with hatred. It slammed into my cheekbone, crushing the skin under its grasp, and bounced off and shattered to the floor. My eyes were bright with stars and the room was spinning. As it spun, I noticed how loud noise was: and how silent absence of it screamed.

While I twisted with pain, I had somehow, someway, found path to the roof. The anger of the cup was gone now, replaced by a bruise and dry tears. As I sat on the edge, I began to contemplate my life. What am I doing here? What is my purpose? With each question, I sank closer and closer to the edge. The words filled my brain.

My uncle words were piercing; full of hate for the addition he never wanted. My cousins were forceful, mocking their father’s cruel ways. All the sound collapsed on me; the atrocious children at school, my mother and fathers fighting, the teachers ‘guidance’. They surrounded me, meddled with my ideas and notions until I was practically hanging off the edge. Shockingly, a new voice made it through all the ones attacking me. Grandma’s essence surrounded me, and pushed away the entire unspeakable clamor. She comforted me, told me how beautiful I will be, how wondrous everything will turn out.

With this in my heart, I pushed off the edge and flew like a bird until I hit the solid ground.



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