Let Me Fly

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I peered over the edge of the rock, suddenly frightened of heights. My brother was behind me, talking to my little sister. She was talking herself out of cliff diving, even though I hadn't said anything to make myself climb back down.

From far away, Hogan's cliffs looked so endearing, innocent. Just a few rocks piled up on each other without any dangerous intentions. Three of the four children on the lake trip wanted to jump off of them.

My brother, two years my senior, decided to do it first. He was effortless in jumping, doing a flip before bending into the straight pencil-dive necessary to land in the water two stories below.

I was next. I climb the rocks, not realizing the only way back down without potentially hurting myself was jumping. I felt the top of the rock, wondering what the fuss was about with my sister, who was two years my junior. Her twin was at the bottom, pacing anxiously, waiting for us to splatter on a rock and not dive gracefully into the water.

Something overwhelmed me in those seconds. I felt okay, like nothing could wound me while I was about to dive to what I thought would be my death. Calm took over me as, while everybody's backs were turned, I jumped.

My stomach dropped to my knees, and my limbs flared out, flailing as I plummeted. I wanted to let out a scream, but my lips seemed to be sewn shut. I suddenly felt the calm escape and flutter away like a plastic shopping bag left on the freeway.

My body clasped into a tight pencil dive as I fell through the surface of the water, feeling my half-buttoned life vest pull me up back to the surface. My foot scraped the sharp rocks on the bottom, just for a second, before I made my way up to the surface, my back roaring in pain.

It turns out I sprained my back that day, and I couldn't walk around for a week. My bottom half felt bruised beyond belief, but at least I was alive. One more second falling without a pencil dive and I would have surely broke my limbs.

I keep thinking about the calm sense I felt while jumping. It was like an angel clutched me and let me fly. And in those seconds falling, I didn't feel like I was plummeting to my death. I felt like I had wings, and I was...flying.

As though an angel carried me to the surface of the water, dropped me in, and left me to swim. Beliefs, or no beliefs, I say I flew that day. And every other time will never be the same.





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