My Leap of Faith
I timidly approach the top and step-by-step I inch closer to the eerie water. Adrenaline pumping through my veins, I reach up high to the heavens, hands trembling, fingers growing clammy and legs stiffening. Climbing the merciless ladder that will lead to my extinction, I begin to dread the moment when the glassy surface will seize me and drag me under. The rough, sand paper board impresses thousands of tiny markings on the soles of my feet. The water’s sheer face preserves a facade of unmasked confidence and retains the front of a misleading endurance. The hairs on the back of my neck stand erect like the coarse bristles of a brush.
I approach closer and closer to my death sentence, tentatively but with the understanding that there is no turning back. I predict a slow, but agonizing death awaiting me below. My heart quickens its pace to a humming bird’s heartbeat, pounding its way through my fragile bones. A deep thundering escapes my chest and as I take my last steps, my heart begins to wheeze uncontrollably.
Now I stand higher than the summit of the tallest mountain, not just merely a child standing on a sunkissed hilltop. Beams of light break through the clustered clouds and lie upon my glowing skin. I control fate now. I have my fate wrapped in my hands like a king has his beloved disdain atop his crystalline throne. No courage can be superior, not even that of a lion on the yellow brick road. All power has been placed in my hands as I reach the end of the line, a bittersweet feeling, as I realize I have nowhere to go but down.
My heart begins to flutter its last beats; the thundering drums are a violent ring and leave a subtle humming in my ears. Time has slowed. Every motion can now be seen by the naked eye. Looking down I see: a child swinging his arms mechanically with each time his foot meets the hardened earth. The textured concrete below him vibrates ever so softly as he charges forward like a wildebeest during a stampede. He finally leaps into the air with a pounce of a puma and he meets the glassy enclosure and is swallowed whole. As I look around I see: on the other side, a young, statuesque woman, much more graceful, leaping into the deep hallows of the structure. A natural beauty. She makes the dance so peaceful on her way in by pointing her toes and elongating her figure like a ballerina. Within the thousands of sharp green points, those of blades almost, lay a soft cloth with stripes of a beach ball. Upon it rests a large figure, with a hat of straw and a full piece wrapped around her breasts, stomach, back and hips. This material seems enticing to the water that clings on to it for dear life. I refocus my eyes on the drop and the water licks its lips with a deep pleasure. A taunting temptation, but surely, I will not be able to survive.
The blackening water begins to turn impatient as I ponder my thoughts. Is it safe? Where else could I go but down? It waits for me to fall and the sky begins to hurl gusts of angry wind towards me, with a menacing growl a horrid sensation fills my bones as I am inched closer to my death.
In blind faith I trust my treacherous instincts. In return, the cold water moans in a satisfaction as I take the last step away from my safety zone and part from the aching board that creaks with age. It has watched this same scene on replay hundreds of times a day. My world now plummets into the unknown, leading to an unforgiving defeat. I sink through the oceanic sky as the emerald sun begins to set beneath the fickle horizon. Relinquishing the last of my identity. For surely it has won yet another victory. Another war. Another battle. Another life.
Free falling. Plummeting. Plunging. The blurred figures and colors surround me and my eyes cannot focus on their unpredictable patterns that lie just outside my personal tornado. The wind stabs upward toward my paled skin and with a stinging face and watering eyes the glassy surface rushes to meet me. With a long and piercing cry, the wind whistles in my ears with a growing urgency. Spiraling and tumbling I spread my arms and embrace the black abyss below me.
A surge of water creeps up and then explodes with the strength of a thousand gods on my back. My trembling body cringes as I break the surface that tempted me so easily before. The water forms fiendish hands and velvet fingers lock around me and refuse to let go as it pulls me under, deeper than the deepest sea, and my lungs begin to fail. Never to be satisfied, the waters thirst for death’s sweet poison remains unquenched. The cool clenched fists entrap me and hold me beneath the surface with a certainty. Distorted images cloud my vision as I claw at the water that wrestles me into a headlock. The foggy water shows no signs of mercy or allowing my escape; only hate and bitterness toward my soul.
Pulling me down further and holding me by the legs, I struggle to kick to the surface, but it continues to grow farther and farther away. I struggle for air. The liquid flames licking my shoulders, eyes pleading, but no one sees and no one helps. The water is too strong; there is no turning back and almost as a reassurance, the water rages on. Galloping across my body like horses on a dirt track, the vicious foam stampedes across my bare flesh. Coughing and heaving my lungs try to revolt.
I am drowning in blackness, suffocating. Helpless, I fight for my survival and reach to the top, waiting for my revival. Sickening. Perpetual. Suspicion. In front of an impassive crowd, I seek for the non-existent attention, but there is no response in sight. Eternally searching for a single spot of light but I remain astray. Disconnected thoughts are all that’s left as my muted heartbeat has almost lost its grandeur.
Screams concealed, cries covered up, no one can hear my wailing heart. The slimy concrete catches me and I am now an anchor lying on the waters cold floor. I am unable to see the path that once shown so surely under my feet. Death’s sweet breath becomes enticing, seductive almost.
An excruciating pain begins to fill my lungs as the last of my air is obstructed with the blackened water. Swiftly, my limbs fall faint. With eyes closing I look up to find a sudden brightness has appeared. The sun is crystallized on the waters misleading surface. My soul immediately strives for its mysterious presence and the light begins to fade. I rush to the dimming luminosity as it quickly begins to slip away from my grasp, and suddenly a pain so deep within, earth shattering, rippled throughout me. My body yearned for its closeness.
Realization washed over me and I wanted to pull it tighter within me and hold it there forever. The thick water that had filled my lungs before was cringing from the sudden
gust of air. The water retreated like a fallen angel would have in the presence of God. Releasing me from its horrifying grasp, I had brokethrough the masked surface which taunted me so easily before.
My arms flew across the water reaching for the earth’s gentle caress that would soon be against my pained skin. A calming reassurance of my safety.
The earthen veil finally takes its chance to grab me from the evil that now lay beside me. The concrete, warm and protective, has never felt so inviting before now. My numb but grateful body lay still for a moment to praise the earth for saving me, yet again, during my Leap of Faith off the tall, oblong board of truth.