That particular morning, I woke early, earlier than my parents, which was quite unusual for summer. I had no idea this would be a small yet very important day in my life. I lied in bed a few moments, sun shining brightly through my metal framed windows, hitting my face, thinking of the beautiful day that waits. I quickly ascended from my queen bed, nearly tripping over the piles of clothes on my grayish-blue floor. I hurried to my bathroom rugs; the painted concrete floor under my feet was chilly, sending a slight layer of goose bumps up my arms.
I came to virtually a sudden stop in the middle of my pink and green polka dot painted bathroom after a quick glance out the window. In the greenery out near the multicolored flower garden, sits a small brownish-grey cluster of fur. With a closer look, I could easily tell it is a squirrel. Like a statue, the miniature creature was absolutely tranquil. I stretched my arm up to lay my hand on the glass, still cold from the shadowy night. With a flick of the wrist, I tapped the window, quickly, but not too loud.
In no more than a second the frightened tiny ball of fur came alive and quickly scurried up the Elm tree in the back yard, no longer in sight. After a silent laugh, I continued on my way. In the small bathroom, just right of the door sat my small porcelain sink with a wooden cabinet underneath. Out of excitement and no intent of going to sleep, I had already laid my clothes I had prepared to wear that day on the sink. I pulled on a white tank top, which still carried the relaxing smell of the lavender and vanilla detergent my mother loved to use.
After sliding my clumsy feet into brown homely flip-flops, I hear my father calling my name. I flipped off the light switch, and hurried out the door. The anticipation only grew in the car ride to the lake as each leafy green tree and yellow line passed. I watched with exhilaration as the lake came into sight. I could easily see the majestic blue water and countless boats, which looked like white specks on the horizon, and I think to myself, “This is perfect. ” I begin to smell the lake as we slowly drive forward on the narrow gravel road, rocks cracking below us, toward our favorite swimming area.
This particular area was extremely special because it was surrounded by stunning bluffs, which I had never had the courage to leap from before. These beautiful, rough rock structures had all shades of brown and tan mixed together with visible horizontal lines from multiple years of rock formation. I opened the car door quickly, trying to grab as much as I could to take to the rough concrete picnic table. The table, situated nicely under a tree, appeared to have bright green moss growing on it, almost as if it had been under water at some point.
The table had an astonishing view of the other side of the lake. From there I could see children wearing bright colored floaters and some playing in the sand. In my line if sight, was a small group of people tossing and bouncing around a red, yellow, blue and white beach ball and the sound of laughter in the distance. I start feeling an empty spot in my stomach as my dad prepared the grill. I could smell the charcoal starter mixed with the blackish briquettes as they caught flame. Looking at the lake from my seat, I could see the rainbow waves of heat from the grill, blurring my vision.
I hear the burger patties sizzling and the smell of the beef cooking that brought back all the memories of summers before. I reach below my seat and open the lid of the cooler, plunging my hand into the icy water to grab a cold drink. As I pulled my hand out, I gave it a little shake to get the remainder of the melted ice water off. My mother handed me a plate and poured the little triangular nacho cheese potato chips to my plate, they are my favorites. She sat a bun she had taken from a bag on my plate and grabbed the deep-red tomato ketchup from the cooler and squirted in an “s” shape on the bun.
Although I knew better, I ate in a hurry, even finishing a can of soda, so I could get in the water. I hurried to the top of the bluff for a quick peak from the very top. I could see nobody below me but the blue-green glass-like water waiting, calling my name. I had decided long before that soon I was going to brave this jump, and today is the day. Being the impatient person that I am, I tossed my tank top and flip-flops in the short green grass atop the bluff and walked to the edge for ‘just a look’ for the last time. I could feel the hot gritty rock beneath my bare feet.
I could feel the anxiousness in the pit of my stomach and the readiness in my mind. I peered over my left shoulder for one last glance at my parents, who were absolutely preoccupied at the time. Knowing I was ready, I wanted to think twice but didn’t. I gathered all the fear inside myself and took one deep breath. I pushed away from the top of the bluff with all the strength in me. Time seemed to stop, and I remembered the children playing in the distance and the boats floating on the smooth water, although I couldn’t have been in the air for more than a few seconds.
I didn’t make a sound except the splash when I hit the water, motionless until that instant. I could feel the cool water all over my body, the adrenaline pumping, my mind shocked at what I had just done. I plunged lower into the darkness as the bubbles I had brought down with me raced to the top. My lungs, empty, began to ache and I knew in a split second I needed to get to the surface for air. I caught my breath at the top of the water and knew I had accomplished one of my own goals and conquered my great fear of heights at the same time. We left the lake late in the evening, just as the sun began to set.
I had hit a small, yet huge milestone in my life. I knew I could do anything, no matter how much fear I feel, if I just set my mind to it. I always think back to this important day when I feel frustrated and remember that I am only limited by what I limit myself. Driving away from the pinkish-purple sunset, I take one last look back and see the sun’s ornamental reflection on the glassy water and realize what a wonderful experience this day has been. I have the memories of the exciting jump and the vivid picture of the colorful sunset forever in my mind.
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