Friday, December 16, 2011

A Good-Bye

Three, two, one eyes closed a prayer in her heart, she jumped. She allowed her arms to extend, her lungs took in a deep breath and finally her eyes opened. She was falling from the sky. The 60 second free fall, felt oddly slow and relaxing as if the wind caught her, held her and allowed her to gaze over the city. She looked over at her partner, if she could have said anything, she would have said, Thank you. I’ll remember this experience for the rest of my life. She pulled the string; the parachute opened and whipped her back into the upright position, no longer a bird she approached the ground. Her legs extended she advanced to the landing with speed, her heels digging in the ground slowed the pace then in a sitting position she slid across the grass and just like that they were back on the ground.  Not wishing to face the big good-bye.

They looked over their skydiving pictures with laughter. Goggles, funny hats and wind filled faces were pictures they’d always cherish. The couple spent the rest of the day recounting their adventure, and visiting loved ones. She watched as he made his good-byes, each hug reminding her, it would soon be her turn. She couldn’t understand how one person could be so brave. She wrapped her arms around him, her chin rested on his shoulder, she breathed in the scent on the back of his neck trying to swallow as much of him as she could. Would he be okay out there? Would she see him again? Would he be the same? Would she? The uncertainties flooded her mind and tears swelled her eyes. They kissed, he turned around faced the plane and just like that, another soldier was off to Iraq.  

This post was inspired by Write on Edge. We were asked to write a post – fiction or creative non-fiction – which begins with a countdown. “Three, two, one.” In 300 words.


  1. This is heartbreaking. I know so many families go through this everyday but I just can't imagine.

  2. " each hug reminding her, it would soon be her turn"

    I felt the deepening heartbreak in her anticipation here. I also liked the symbolism of skydiving together and its contrast of his leaving alone (but with her heart). The last line, too "another soldier was off to Iraq" was powerful.

  3. I love the idea of skydiving together as a way to have a big experience before such a sad goodbye. I also related to the idea of how painful it was to watch other goodbyes knowing hers was coming. Nicely done.

  4. Oh I hated this. Of course loving it at the same time. So a bitter thank you, from me... :)

  5. I love the freedom of the skydive versus wanting to keep her man safe at home. Definitely bittersweet.

  6. Yes. What Cheryl said. Such a good choice to juxtapose the two...and a symbol for their mutal falling, and their hopefully mutual return to the earth.

    I love the freedom and floating of that first paragraph, especially.