Third grade. The curiosity of falling piqued my interest, so I jumped out of the second floor college building.
Elementary pupils were forbidden in that area of the school. Given the case, that crossed the main entrance out of my limited options. I headed to the back building as my alternative. There was a ladder attached to the wall. It was rusty. Its white paint was peeling off. It was, I remember, connected to the fire exit door.
With heightened excitement and anticipation, I moved close to the ladder and enclosed my palm round the rung. I pulled myself up, and, slowly, took my ascent — rung after rung, step after step. But instead of utilizing the fire exit door and risk being caught, I took the ledge, walked sideways, and eventually latched myself on the second floor.
Then, after balancing myself, I jumped. I did not stretch my arms, I simply looked down, looked ahead, quickly examined the barb wires and electric cables, and jumped. I landed on the broken hallow blocks.
Heat and numbness seeped my palms and feet as those parts of my body collided with the impact. There were no broken bones. No broken fingers. No major wounds aside from few bruises on my arms and scratches on my shoes.
That day, I have learned what falling feels like — it was exhilarating. The wind rushing past your ears. The world rushing past your peripheral vision. The ground beneath your feet. The broken hallow blocks against your skin. The waves of adrenaline. The satisfaction of a third grade recklessness. The feeling of being most alive. To have these, all it took me was one, courageous jump.
You have been asking me for days and nights on end. A leap, one more time. Except this time, it is higher. It dwarfs the height of my second floor adventure. And, in the process, it will cost me more than a few bruises — change of perspective, splice of innocence, days gone wrong, bitter endings, and maybe a thousand broken hearts.
But I will cross it. For you, I will. One great leap into the future. I will hold your hand and we will take it — together or not at all. The world will run past our visions, people will come and go. The wind will run past our ears. Time will cut across our dreams.
Except this time there will be no hollow blocks, no ground, no nothing beneath our feet. Because, contrary to what I had back in the third grade, this time we won’t fall. This time, darling, we will fly. All it takes us is one, courageous jump.