Jenny's brother, Jason, convinces her to go skydiving for the first time.
|Jenny stared at the open door of the aeroplane, felt the wind on her face, watched as it caused her twin brother Jason's cheeks to flutter as he sat on the edge, legs dangling 13,000ft in the air. How on Earth had he managed to convince her to join him on this dive? Her legs threatened to never support her weight again. With an excited "Woohoo!" he was gone, oblivious to her terror. Over the tipping point.
Jason had chosen the right moment to sell this adventure to her. It was late February. The rain ran in rivers down the window, and their hairs were damp from walking the dogs in the typical British weather. They'd sat at the kitchen table with steaming mugs of coffee and the smell of the wet dogs lying asleep at their feet. The thought of skydiving in the south of France, in July had sounded like a great idea.
The instructor glanced at her and indicated with a dip of his head that she was next. She shook her head and back-peddled with her heels until she was so far against the fuselage that she was at risk of pushing herself into a stand. There were four other divers ahead of her. They could go first. She couldn't trust her bowels. The saliva in her mouth evaporated.
The instructor moved on to the next diver. Jenny hoped he'd leave her until last.
As if he'd read her mind, the instructor did exactly that, but eventually, they were the only ones left in the back of the plane.
"Your turn," he called over the roar of the engines.
She shook her head furiously. "I. . . I can't."
"You'll be fine! Safer than travelling in a car!"
That was easy for him to say.
The instructor changed tactics and joined her on the far wall. He sniffed. "First time?"
"Yeah. Seemed like a great idea," she huffed a laughed. "Five months ago. In Birmingham."
"You should have said." He paused. "How about a tandem dive?"
Jenny looked at him. "A what?"
"Tandem dive. I attach you to me and jump with you."
She considered the proposal. Better than jumping out of a perfectly good airplane alone. She agreed.
"Come on, then. Let's get you hooked up."
They shuffled forward and Jenny waited as the instructor attached himself to her to her harness.
"Ready?" He called.
Not really, she thought.
Jenny closed her eyes and tried to slow her racing heart.
"One. . ."
She took a deep breath. . .
"Two. . ."
And slowly released it.
Before she could react, the instructor pushed them both forward, over the Tipping Point and into the vast expanse of sky.