“Some are destined for greatness . . . others for pure unadulterated misery.
“I’m going to put you down now,” his soft voice cracks. “You can open your eyes.”
I open my eyes as my feet touch the ground, and I cannot believe what I see. We are standing at the edge of a cliff, which juts out about twenty feet above the ocean in a cove.
“Ready to jump?” Brooks asks as he takes off his shirt and shoes.
I take a step back. “No way! I’m not jumping! I don’t know how deep the water is!”
“But I do. I have jumped off here at least a couple hundred times, I’m sure. You said that you trust me, remember?”
He steps over to the edge of the rock, so close that I am certain a slight breeze would send him hurdling toward the water. He faces me and holds out his hand as he looks directly into my eyes. I finally kick my sandals off and place my hand in his, feeling the butterflies invading my stomach again; although I am unsure whether the butterflies are caused by the impending jump or his delicate touch. He mouths the words “trust me” as he pulls me to him. My heart is racing as I peer at the rolling swells below.
“We’re jumping on the count of three. One . . .”
“Brooks, I don’t know if I can do this.”
He smiles and wraps both arms around my waist. “Two . . .”
“Oh my goodness,” I squeak.
Brooks locks his gaze with mine and pulls me tightly against his chest, and I can feel it heaving against mine. His mouth so close that I can feel his moist breath on my cheek.
“Three.” he whispers as he bends slightly to pick me up, and we take flight.
I thought I would be scared, but I feel perfectly safe in his arms. We fall for what seems like an eternity, and the feeling of the wind whipping around me is exhilarating. Just before we reach the water, he releases me, and I hold my breath. The cool, salt water engulfs me, and as I slightly open my eyes, I see a school of fish scatter. As soon as I break the surface of the water, I begin laughing hysterically and swim toward the shore.
“That was amazing! I haven’t ever done anything like that before!” Expecting a reply of some kind, I turn around to look for Brooks and am shocked to find myself alone. After looking in all directions, I dive back underwater to search for him. If he is playing a joke on me, drowning will be the least of his worries. At first, I struggle to open my eyes in the stinging salt water, but I force them open anyway. I still can’t see him.
My foot grazes something behind me, so I turn around, hoping I touched a tiny fish rather than a ferocious shark. However, what I saw was not a fish or a shark, although it was much more shocking. The unexpected sight causes me to let out the breath I was holding, sending me scrambling back to the surface. Just as I take in my first gasp of air, I hear Brooks doing the same.
“Where . . . are . . . your . . . shorts?” I ask in an uneven, ragged breath.
“Ugh . . . I was hoping . . . you didn’t see that.”
“Hard not to see . . . when it was . . . right in my face,” I begin to giggle breathlessly.
Tasha Ivey is a literature fanatic, whose love for the written word fostered her development into the writer she has become. A lover of an extremely erratic mixture of literature, she has been influenced by authors from Jane Austen and E.M. Forster to Charlaine Harris and Alyson Noel. But her biggest influence and literary hero? Nicholas Sparks. Aside from writing, since she doesn’t have anything other than a shriveled up prune on the left side of her brain, she prefers to spend her time being creative in other ways like painting, cake decorating, and various types of crafts. That is, if the constant voices streaming through her head allow her to stop making up stories for a while. Lucky for her, she has a huge supportive family, including her amazing husband and two kids, who doesn’t complain too much when she hangs out with her characters more than she does with them. She is currently working on her second novel, Every Breath, which is due to release this year, and she also plans to start a sequel to her first novel, Destiny Ever-changing, this summer.