I jumped off a cliff. Well officially it was actually a slide but it was a slide with a sheer vertical drop high enough for a long drawn out moment of panic – but I’m getting ahead of myself…
We’d gone out for the day and much fun was being had. Mat and I had already raced each other down the toboggan run until we’d determined that which lane you were in had more effect than technique or even body weight. Then we found this slide.
Basically a vertical drop with a curve at the bottom and a long horizontal section to lose momentum in. It’s supposed to be fun. The people using it were having fun but it still looked jolly dangerous to me.
Then Mat took off and ran up to the slide. I watched, hating watching, as he sat at the top above that sheer drop. My precious boy, taking a risk, and I wasn’t there with him. My heart ached as he pushed off into space.
He slid down, arms and legs akimbo, racing along the length easily. He had a cheery smile as he got up but I couldn’t return it. I hated seeing him risk himself like that on his own when I felt I should have been there too but was too scared.
I’m the first to admit my perception of risk is way off. “What’s the worst that can happen?” is a question that haunts me often; I see the danger, the bad things all too easily. Physically too I’m a mess. I have poor coordination, little muscle memory and incredibly bad balance. Those things that look easy to you, to me they’re actually hard.
It had got a lot less busy when Perrin suggested I use the slide. He knows how much things like that scare me but I figure he knows the real risks better than I do. I figured too I should show Mat I wasn’t scared to try it. So I turned off all self-preservation and went for it. I knew I had one chance. If I hesitated I’d never make it over the top. Up I went and sat on the edge not looking down. But I needed to look, to face the drop, so I did. It looked exactly as I had imagined, sheer and frightening but I could see my loves at the far end waiting for me, all I had to do was push.
I screamed – like a girl!
Free fall is not my natural state. I don’t really remember how I landed although I remember the pain of bumping my head and my sense of indignation. Everyone had said it was so safe and there I was right all along! Then there was shock as everything caught up with me.
All I wanted was to make them proud of me.
I’ve been brought up to be responsible, to be safe, to always have a safety net, to be the safety net for others. I play it safe. It takes a lot to make me let go of all that, to take a risk.There have been a few times I’ve done that though.
My relationship with Perrin started with a big risk but with the wonderful feeling of knowing the reward was worth trying for. That, even if everything crashed and burned, simply giving our love a chance was worth possibly losing everything for. Instead I have been given the world.
My relationship with Mat has brought its own risks too. Again, although my stomach feels hollow as I look down at the depths, I know it was worth launching myself into this place and trusting in his heart to catch me.
All I want now is to make them proud of me.