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Leap From Youth
The night was still young, but the patio lights were illuminating the plants and trees in the open front yard. Ron was startled by the sound of his mom’s voice. “So who’s picking you up?” she questioned.
“Paul’s mom. We are all going to Rick’s house. I told you before.”
“Rick lives by the old quarry right? You know they closed it off after that kid drowned with his friends. You better not be going in there.”
“I know Mom,” Ron replied as he rolled his eyes. “We won’t go in there. I promise. Also Rick’s parents will be home, and they wouldn’t let us do that.” Ron had been warned since he was five to not even look at that quarry lake. The cliff that the neighborhood boys would jump off of was almost 50 feet up. But, he was tired of his mom controlling his life.
“I guess you’re right. Be careful though. Keep in touch, too,” she said softly.
Ron turned away from his mom and went to the door as Mrs. Anthony’s sedan pulled into the driveway.
“Bye, Mom. I’ll be home by eleven.” Ron walked into the warm summer night. Without school and grades on his mind, Ron had a lack of worries.
“Hey, Ron,” Paul and Mrs. Anthony said in unison.
“Hello,” he replied. Ron knew there was awkward small talk coming, so he enjoyed the silence while it lasted.
The silence was broken with Mrs. Anthony asking “How’s your mom these days? I haven’t seen her in a while.”
“She’s good,” Ron uttered. The car ride could not get any quicker for him.
“Are either you guys ready for 8th grade? It’s going to be a good year.”
“I am just happy that it’s summer.”
The car fell silent. But then Mrs. Anthony asked, “Rick’s parents will be there tonight, correct?”
“Yes, Mom. There is nothing to worry about,” Paul responded in an annoyed tone.
“Okay. I’m just making sure my baby is okay.” She reached over and grabbed Paul’s cheek sarcastically. Ron couldn’t help but smirk at his friend.
As Rick’s street came into sight, Ron prepared to exit the car.
“Thanks for the ride!” he exclaimed.
The boys ran to the front door and rang the doorbell. Rick immediately opened the door, almost as if he was waiting right there. “What took you guys so long? I’ve been waiting.”
“We came when you told us to. 8 o’ clock.”
“Alright. Whatever. My parents don’t get home from their party until 12. So we can do whatever we want.” Paul and Ron shared quizzical looks.
“But you told us they would be home. We told our parents that,” Ron replied as his face turned as white like a blank sheet of paper.
“Oh, sorry. It’s not like it matters. They let me do whatever I want anyway,” Rick explained. “I’m going to the bathroom real quick. I’ve been sitting by the door for so long.” Rick left the room, and Ron got the chance to talk to Paul.
“What are we gonna do? Rick is definitely wants to go to the quarry. And I told my mom I wouldn’t,” Ron panicked.
“Why can’t we? Its not like she will ever find out. What’s the worst that can happen?”
“I don’t know. But that kid drowned a couple years ago, I don’t know if we should go. I know I don’t want to.”
“It’ll be fine. We’ll be smart about it,” Paul explained. This wasn’t enough for Ron. He still felt uneasy about the situation.
Ron couldn’t help but remember exactly what his mom said. Paul left the room, so Ron was left with just his thoughts. I’ll just go, it won’t be that bad. I just won’t do anything stupid.
“So you guys want to go to the quarry? I’ve gone with my brother so many times, so I know what to do. If we are going, let’s go soon. I don’t want anyone else to be there when we go. The high schoolers start going at like 9. ” Rick declared.
“OK, I’ll go. I’ve never done that before, so you have to go first,” Paul said.
Ron’s stomach dropped like a brick to the ground. This was actually happening. He looked at his friends, who were cool as ice. Ron tried to relax. Nothing bad will happen. Mom isn’t here and I can take care of myself.
“Leave your shoes and shirts here, cause then we don’t have to worry about them when we jump in,” Paul advised.
The boys walked into the brisk night, without any lights. The quarry cliffs were in sight, and they could be seen in the moonlight. Though they didn’t look too threating during the day, Ron saw them as a mountain that could kill him now. If they can do it then I can too. Ron tried to destroy his fear, but it still lingered. His feet dragged behind his two friends.
As the sounds of their feet cracking leaves, turned to the sounds of rock, Ron knew his time was coming. The boys were approaching the cliff, and Rick was getting ready to jump. Just like he had done plenty of times before. The moon was glistening on the water, and the light breeze made the trees whistle. Ron zoned out for a second, but was immediately brought back.
“So, you gonna go?” Rick questioned. “I’m going now.”
“Uh… yeah give me a minute.”
Rick nodded and backed up a little. He started running toward the edge. He’s actually going to do it. Rick’s body was a bird flying through the air. It looked like Rick had done this 100 times. Paul decided it was time for him to go too. Paul started running and jumped out of sight.
Ron realized it was his turn. But his mom’s voice was ringing in his head, “You better not be going in there.” Ron got that out of his head. Instead, he took his few steps back, looked at his friends, and prepared to jump. He took a deep breath, ran and took his leap from the edge. All his worries and fears disappeared after he became weightless. The loud smack of his body on the water brought him back to reality. That felt good.