She closed her eyes and inhaled deeply. She was standing right on the edge of the precipice. There was nothing but quiet and a faint rustle of the leaves. The wind teased her hair, playing with the loose strands as it pleased. Just like her.

Her eyes. Those striking brown orbs. She had been enraptured by them the moment she saw them. There had been no escape. She couldn’t. How could she? She had to see her almost every single day. She lived with her, ate with her, worked with her and had even bathed with her. Once. In a hotel room in Japan. She had told herself not to look. But how could she not? There her body was, right in front of her eyes, beauty in all its glory. And the instant she looked, she regretted. The entrapment was even more complete. Such perfection. Mother Nature definitely loved her more than the rest.

Those beautiful chestnut brown eyes haunted her. Even in her dreams. She once thought that she could try to draw them repeatedly so that she wouldn’t dream of them. No such luck. Her dreams were even more vivid that night.

She was told that she often talked in her sleep. She could only hope that she wouldn’t let it slip that way. It was a secret. A deep dark secret. One that could never see the light of day. How else could she protect her group? Her group would never be the same again. Perhaps, one day…far in the future, she might be able to speak her mind, to wear her heart on her sleeve but for now, it had to be kept under lock and chain, in the deepest of recesses in her heart.

For now, all she could do was this: jump.

She opened her eyes and tugged on the straps, making sure that she was fastened securely before taking a step forward. She looked down. There was nothing but water below. The ripples on the pristine lake, barely visible from where she stood, seemed to beckon her. This would be her release.

Ready to jump?” the man behind her asked, his tone gentle, no doubt wary of the novice bungee jumper who might freak out and back out of jumping at the very last moment.

I’m ready.” She sucked in her breath and exhaled in a rush. Yes. The adrenaline was kicking in and her heart was pumping faster. For once, it wasn’t thumping because of her.

Alright, all systems go.”

One, two, three!” she shouted the final digit as she jumped off the precipice, entrusting her life to the bungee cord that kept her from plunging to her death.

The wind whooshed past her ears and her blood rushed to her head as her surroundings became but a blur. And in that moment, she was free. Free from her duties as leader. Free from her responsibilities as a popular artiste. Free from the duties of a filial daughter. She loved her family but God, it could get tiring sometimes. But above all, she forgot what it was like to be encaged by her.

If only for a moment, she was finally free.

this piece was written in a 30 minute challenge

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