Mike: OK. Now youíve had all of your classroom instructions. Today is the big day, Dawn. Do you have any questions?
Dawn: Yes, do I have to do this?
Mike: Of course not. This is for fun and thrills. You told me right from the beginning that you werenít sure this was for you.
Dawn: I did tell you that, didnít I?
Mike: Look before we ďtake the plungeĒ (Dawn groans) why donít we just sit down here and talk about it for a bit.
Dawn: Iíd like that. (They both sit on bench)
Mike: Why donít you tell me what youíre so afraid of.
Dawn: Well, Iíve never jumped out of an airplane before. Itís not exactly an easy thing to do.
Mike: You are absolutely right. The first time is probably the hardest. But itís also the most exhilarating. Thereís nothing like your very first jump. No one forgets it.
Dawn: I can believe that. (Sarcastically)
Mike: I remember my first one. I closed my eyes and just jumped out as far as I could. I remember pretending I was jumping into a pool. After I was out of the plane I opened my eyes, and there was my instructor free falling right next to me giving me a thumbs up.
Dawn: Then what happened?
Mike: I just kept watching him. He was having a great time floating like a bird so I followed his example and it was great. Pretty soon he motioned to me to pull my ripcord.
Dawn: Please tell me your parachute opened.
Mike: Perfectly. And that was even more fun knowing youíre floating effortlessly to earth with a parachute over your head is a great feeling.
Dawn: Iím sure it is. I guess a lot of people have done it and survived.
Mike: Of course they have, not only survived but theyíve had a wonderful time. Look at me, Iíve jumped over 300 times now.
Dawn: Wow. Have you ever had your parachute not open? NO, donít tell me!
Mike: Dawn, Iíve never had my parachute fail. I always pack it myself, just like Iíve taught you to do. Youíre one of the best students Iíve ever had; youíre a natural at this.
Dawn: Except I havenít jumped yet!
Mike: A minor technicality. What do you say we give it a try?
Dawn: Right now?
Mike: Right now.
Dawn: What if my parachute doesnít open?
Mike: It will, but remember youíre hooked to me. Between us we have four parachutes. Weíll both be fine. I promise you. Remember I have as much at stake in this as you do.
Dawn: You wonít unhook me in midair will you?
Mike: How can you ask such a question? Donít you trust me Dawn?
Dawn: Yes, I trust you.
Mike: OK. Up we go. (They both stand on bench again.)
Dawn: Itís not the up part I mind!
Mike: I bet after your first jump youíll decide to become an instructor too.
Dawn: I hope youíre right.
Mike: So, here we are at the open door of the plane. (Dawn groans again)
Dawn: Can we just close the door and forget this whole thing?
Mike: Come on, Dawn, weíll do it together.
Mike: Now on the count of 3 we are going to jump out as far as we can. You close your eyes if you want to. Iíll make sure everything goes as it should.
Dawn: Just one more thing.
Mike: Whatís that?
Dawn: Instead of counting to three could you count to 300.
Mike: You can do this. (Mike takes her hand) Here we go. Close your eyes. One, two, three! (They jump off the bench)
Dawn: That wasnít too bad.
Mike: See, I told you that you could do it.
Dawn: My parachute didnít open.
Mike: Tomorrow it will.
Dawn: Youíre sure?
Mike: Iím sure.
Dawn: We have to really get into a plane tomorrow, huh?
Mike: Thatís the idea.
Dawn: OK. I think Iím ready. But just in case things donít go as planned can you keep this?
Mike: What is it?
Dawn: My last will and testament.
Copyright John & Joanne Miller, all rights reserved.
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