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by Atsuko Yuasa

I'm gonna jump down there???
After he opened the parachute suddenly the silence fell around us.
Naomi and I had been waiting on the weekends for fine weather since we knew each other's interests and finally we got some perfect weather last Saturday. We went to Pitt Meadows to sky dive. We left downtown at 10:00 and an hour and a half later, we got to the Pitt Meadows airport. First, our tandem pilot showed us some important points. It took only 20 minutes. Actually, it was less difficult then I expected. Then after that, we wore a uniform which looked like that of an astronaut. Naomi did it first. While we did it we were supposed to take pictures of each other, but when she jumped there were four more people in the sky, so I couldn't tell her from the others. I couldn't know even which one was tandem or not.

When my turn came and I saw the airplane that I was supposed to get on, I turned pale because that was the one we had laughed at. When I first saw it I thought "Oh it was cool!" But when I saw it next a pilot just tried to get it running. Then only one of the propellers worked. Something like oil ran from the propeller. Finally the pilot managed to make both of the propellers run but the other one worked slowly so it looked like the one which we see in comedy movies and then I definitely said "who was going to get on" and "nobody might want to get on" and something like that. Anyway I expected that I would get on the same airplane has Naomi. But I was wrong.

At about 3:00 I left the ground on the scary airplane. There were nine other people. Two of them were my tandem pilot and cameraman who was supposed record me while a jumped. When we came to 12,000 feet everybody was gone in an instant. Our turn was supposed to be last. The time came when I might make a decision. First I got my legs into the sky. I saw the ground which looked like miniature under my legs. Then I really knew how high I was. But I didn't do anything like holding onto the door. I just did what the tandem pilot said. After I shouted "okay!" We jumped into the blue sky. I do know why though I didn't feel fearful, but it was really hard to breathe because of the air pressure. It was really strong. Actually my cheeks were almost like clay. It was really funny. I found it on the video.

After he opened the parachute suddenly the silence fell around us. I only heard the wind blowing calmly. The sound was just like that of a pipe. The scenery that was under my eyes was incredibly gorgeous because as the sun was going down the ground was dyed light red by the setting sun. It was only a 45 second freefall. But I felt I was in the sky for a much longer time. I'll never forget what I felt during that jump.

I decided to send a videotape to my mother without telling her about it. She doesn't know I jumped yet. I hope she doesn't faint. She might think what is my daughter doing in Canada!? Anyway one of my dreams came true!





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