Take That First Step
by Eric J. Krause
Blue water sparkled below. The white wash of the current dashed against the jagged rocks of the cliff face. It was pretty as a painting, as his momma used to say. He was high enough up that he couldn't see the individual waves, so it might as well have been on a canvas.
Up here all that existed was him and the beautiful sights. He refused to turn and look at the landmass. That brought nothing but thoughts of his failed marriage, his soon to be ex-job, and the mountain of debt he'd never manage to claw his way out of. No, his future didn't lie that way.
He'd never been up here before. In fact, he hadn't even known this breathtaking point existed. With so much going wrong, he needed something right in his life. He'd parked his car in a turnout on the highway and hiked up through the rocks and shrubs in the off-chance he'd find something wonderful. His shoes weren't ideal for the terrain, and he knew his slacks were now trash-bound, but he had to take the gamble. If he'd done that with more frequency, maybe his life wouldn't be utter garbage. He'd read that risk-takers often had the most success. Slow and steady didn't always win the race.
As he looked out at the ocean view, he understood how that was true. If he had decided to keep driving, he'd certainly be home by now, but so what? This--this awe-inspiring, life-altering view--would never have existed. For him, at least. If he listened hard enough, he could make out the crash of the waves. And hints of the salty sea air wafted to him, bringing a peace he no longer thought he could have.
All this because he dared get out of his car and take that first step. After all these years, could that be the meaning of life? Take that step. Take the plunge. Yeah, that sounded right. Not just sounded right, but it felt right. That was advice that would fix everything.
Without another thought, he took that first step off the cliff's edge. He took the plunge.