Short Story: Going Together
Five minutes later I wondered what the hell was wrong with me. Why had I been so weak? I’d given in and agreed to do it with her and for what? Mainly because she’d said: ‘Don’t you love me?’ And then: ‘Well I’m glad to hear that. So, you’ll do it with me, on Friday.’ And that was that. She has this magical effect on me which makes me want to please her and not let her down. I want to be her man and not some wimp. I end up being both.
Three days later and I’m standing next to her on the bridge. We kiss and hug for one last time. I can’t tell if it’s Lynn or me that’s shaking the most. When we let go of each other I realise that it’s me. I can see my hands trembling and my knees feel like water while my feet are 20 times heavier than normal. I’m panting and my heart is thumping away. It’s no good me, or anyone else, telling me to be calm.
It’s OK for Lynn to say: ‘Thank you for doing this with me. I’ll always love you. Don’t look so worried, it’ll be over very quickly.
That’s the problem – everything will be over. In seconds.
We clamber up on to the railing and I know that I’m about to die.
It’s a lovely place to do it, a truly picturesque vista of this part of Scotland. We’re surrounded by forested hills in every shade of green as far as I can see. Snaking its way towards us and passing beneath our feet is a small river. It certainly looks small from up here. The sign had said it’s 132ft down to the waters of the River Garry.
I hadn’t appreciated before just how high up 132ft is.
There’s no way I can do this. I don’t want to be part of a suicide pact. Although I suppose it’s more of a murder suicide, seeing as I’m chickening out and don’t want to do it.
Before I can summon the courage to tell Lynn that I’m not going through with it, she steps farther away from me. And does a sign of the cross on her chest and forehead. I groan, she’s not even religious or remotely Catholic but it means she’s actually ready to jump. Another revelation is that I’m in love with someone stark raving bonkers.
I’m saying: ‘Dear God. Oh God!’ Hoping He’s there, listening and ready to save me.
Lynn looks at me and blows me a kiss. ‘See you at the bottom,’ she shouts and then screams as she plunges off the bridge rail .
She still screaming as I find myself stepping into empty air and watching the river grow larger and closer very quickly.
Half-an-hour later she goes again. Not me. One bungee jump per lifetime is enough for me.
Garry Bridge over the beautiful River Garry is near Pitlochry in Highland Perthshire and is a genuine bungee jumping venue.
The first ‘western’ bungee jump was in 1978 by three or four students in the Oxford University Dangerous Sports Club. They jumped from the Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol.
According to some research, the chance of being killed during a bungee jump is one in 500,000.
Statistically, a person is more likely to be killed by a bee sting or by lightning.
Between 1986 and 2002, there were 18 reported fatalities resulted from bungee jumping.
David Western has lived in Pembrokeshire for over 30 years; working for a national bank until his early retirement in 2014. Prior to arriving in Pembrokeshire, he had led a nomadic life, thanks to his father serving in the RAF, and his banking career. He is married to Sandra, (a Mumbles, Swansea girl) and is a father and a grandfather.
Shortly after retiring he revived a lifelong passion for writing by attending local creative writing classes. The result has been a book of short stories, plays and poems for family and friends, and his debut novel Gertie’s War.
Gertie’s War by David Western is available on FeedaRead and Amazon (inc Kindle).
Further examples of David ‘s short stories are available on his website: www.davepw.co.uk