His heart was beating fast, knocking furiously against his chest. He had never felt his heart thumped so violently, and loud. So violent, he swore his shirt was fluttering because of it, and not the high wind. So loud, it was the only audible sound amid the screams of fear within him.
He dared not look beneath his feet, lest his strength would be sapped away from propping him up. He didn't want to fall out of dizziness, or wobbling feet. Trying desperately to calm his racing heart, he took a deep breath, and another, and another ... trying to inject a dose of sedative calm into him. One more inhale, and he held it. He opened his eyes and casted his sight forwards, careful to snap the view in front, and not below. Then he let out his breath slowly.
It was not the most magnificent view he had ever seen. But without a barrier of any solid form to prevent him from taking a step into thin air atop two hundreds feet, it was breath-taking.
From afar, the different shades of blues of the sky and the ocean drew a perfect horizontal line. The crashing waves splashed a vaguely visible white wriggly line between the ocean and the beach. The greens of the few rows of tress guarded the sandy white beach from the encroaching civilisation of roads, tall buildings, houses, cars and their occupants. Under the morning sunshine, above two hundreds feet, it was grand. But could it be the last scenic view of his life? He did have his fear.
As overwhelming as his fear was from two hundreds feet, his worldly worries were always lurking behind his mind. A sudden, but not unexpected, loss of job was the trigger to his predicament. Its entailing loss of income magnified his financial burden to a suffocating level. The mortgage loan grew in its weight on his shoulders. Installments on the cars, the piano, the home theater system which once seemed insignificant hung heavy. The insurance premiums, his mother's medical bills, the kid's tuition fees and school supplies, the credit card debts, the uncertain future ... were all simmering his heart.
"Arrrghh ...." an anguish shout rang through the air.
He drew in another deep breath of the thin air, focused his eyes squarely to the front, clenched his fists, muscled up his guts, knelt slightly, spread out his arms and pushed his leg back with all his might. He jumped.
As the earth pulled him towards the ground in accelerating speed, he forced open his eyes. Whoosh! He saw only blur. He heard nothing but the howling air. Whoosh! His face twitched uncontrollably. His internal organs were being churned. Whoosh! His limbs were stiff. His fists clenched tight. Whoosh! Million thoughts flew by his mind, millions thoughts crushed. Whoosh! His fear was so overbearing, it crushed itself. Whoosh! His mind went blank. Whoosh! Then he let go ...
The surface pressed towards him fast, as was his rush of adrenalin that displaced his fear. He could only scream towards such concoction of extreme sensations. As the surface crashed into him, he closed his eyes. Then it happened.
He felt a tug at his leg. His fall broke. As the grip on his legs get tighter, his dive slowed. Then he stopped. The howling stopped. His thoughts stopped. The world stopped. He opened his eyes.
Before he could give out another shout, he was yanked back towards the sky. At the top of his flight, he finally managed to shout again, in delight. He punched his fists in the air. He laughed. He did it.
After a few more bounces in the air, he was hanging about ten feet above the ground above a huge airbag. His feet tied to an elastic cord dangling from the top of a two-hundreds-feet high crane. At that point, he was looking at the world from an unfamiliar angle - upside down. As he hung waiting for the bungee jumping crew to get him, his worries seemed distant and minute. In fact, nothing seemed insurmountable.
When he finally stood on the ground looking upwards at where he was a few minutes ago, his wife and kids rushed towards him, and gave him a supportive hug. He is ready to take on the world again.