The Dive

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
A young man sits on the edge of a cliff, thinking of the mess he has made of his life.
Trigger warning: deals with thoughts of suicide.

Submitted: September 28, 2016

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Submitted: September 28, 2016



The Dive


They’ve put up a barrier along the edge of the cliff. It is a one-slat, piece of wood fence with a warning sign; ‘Danger!’. I don’t think it would put up much resistance if you tripped and fell against it. It wouldn’t take much of an impact to split that piece of wood in two.


Five people have jumped from this very cliff-top in the last year. Some bridges are known as suicide spots – well, we have no high bridges here so I guess this is ours. And that is why the decision was taken to erect this barrier.


It’s really not much of a deterrent, though. I’m not tall by any means but I can just walk right up to that piece of wood and step straight over it. I’d be able to duck underneath it with not a lot of effort too. They really did not think this one out at all!


So here I am, having stepped on over that safety barrier, looking down to the rocks and the sea below. I will just sit it for a while and watch the waves rushing in then drawing back again. I pick a spot right at the edge, sit and let my legs dangle freely.


The sea gulls are out playing games with the wind. They are dipping and diving, always on the lookout for something to eat. These gulls aren’t ones to miss out on opportunities. Not like me.


I could have left this place, made a good life for myself – one where I would have had prospects. It had beckoned to me. So many of my friends saw it, grasped that chance with both hands and trusted to luck. I hung back, clung to what I knew, too scared to face an uncertain future.


There is no future here. Not for me anyway. I thought I could go it alone, make a big success of things. But it seems I thought wrong. The opportunities to do anything have been few and far between, and the few attempts I’ve made have all too quickly led to failure.


And now you have gone! When your parents decided to pack up and move out you chose to go with them. You didn’t have to. You were old enough to live your own life, to make your own choices. You could have stayed and made a future with me and together we would have succeeded. You didn’t even consider it. Even though you cried when we said goodbye it was obvious to me that you were happy to be leaving.


So now I’m stuck in this dead end town. No friends, no chances, no you!


I am going to jump. But I am not committing suicide, killing myself. No, I am trusting to luck. I am a good diver; an excellent diver, in fact. I have the medals and the certificates to prove it. Most of my dives have been done into a pool, it’s true, but I have successfully performed a good few into the sea too.


There are rocks below me; sharp, protruding, fatal to land on. But if I get it right – if I get the right height, the angle – I will clear them and land in the sea. I am a strong swimmer. A sea landing would not lead me to drown.


And I make a decision, a promise to myself. If my dive goes well I will conquer my fears. I will leave this place. I will pursue the opportunities, take the chances, risk the risks. My life will become a success. And if I fail? Well, then it will not matter what opportunities I have turned my back on.


I get to my feet, take off my jacket and toss it aside. And I take my time, work out my angles, my trajectories. I’m going to give success a fair chance. Taking a deep breath, I stretch out my arms.....and I jump.




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