How to save a life

Ava and Luke have been best friends for 11 years, but Luke is drifting away. Depression has taken over him and his multiple suicide attempts have left Ava with only one option; to show her friend that life is worth living before she loses him completely.
Follow them on their journey through Lukes bucket list.

Based off the song by The Fray.

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5. Step 5 : Break with the ones you followed

The paper was titled, 'Lukes death-bucket-list-whatever.' I'd read it over 10 times today, the 10 things he wanted to do before he died.

I'd have to choose the five I'd make true for him. That was my plan to show him life was worth living. I'd called his mum to tell her, and she'd offered me money to help out. So had my own mum. Even my sister had took out her piggy bank and handed me a few fifty pence coins. That had tugged on my heartstrings.

I pulled a green pencil from the pot just below my window frame, which I sat in as usual. Then read it over again.

1) Go paint-balling

2) Visit London

3) Go skydiving

4) Swim with dolphins.

5) Go on a colour run

6) Go on the UKS biggest roller-coaster

7) Learn Mandarin Chinese

8) Go to a drive in movie

9) Kiss a girl

10) Get a black belt in karate

I'd burst out laughing in the middle of PE at number 9, making Pearl think I'd gone suddenly insane. The thought of kissing Luke was just too much to handle. And not in a 'man, he is too hot!' fashion. Not that he wasn't, It was just terribly awkward.

I ticked five at random and dialled Lukes number. Then I grinned, and laughed. And laughed and laughed and laughed.

 

 

***

 

 

"Are you still scared of heights?" Luke grinned. Then did the most unexpected thing I thought I'd see a boy ten thousand feet in the air do, he started jogging on the spot like he was warming up.

My breath hitched in my throat, my hands shaking. "N-No" I stuttered, though the words came out warbling, which was a give-away that I was very terrified. The two people who were diving with us, and the two instructors who'd strap us together then probably push us from the plane, were stood across from us, holding onto bars on the metal ceiling. The shaft was open, leading out to nothing but cloudless blue sky and a very, very big drop.

Sky diving. He had to write sky diving?

Why couldn't it be just diving? Like in a swimming pool?

"Ava, you look terrified." He said gently. He took my hand. His sleeves were rolled up, revealing faded but scarred arms. I avoided staring at them.

"You don't have to jump?" He offered.

I shook my head violently. "No. I'm facing my fear. And I want to see you when you scream like a girl on the way down." I grinned, trying to sound confident despite my bottom lip quivering.

He smiled at me. "You're great for doing this Ava."

I smiled back as much as I could. The engine was getting louder as the plane slowed over the landing zone, a would-be-giant red circle that looked like an onion ring from this height. That was where we aimed at.

"Hey, check out this view!" He laughed. He looked genuinely happy. It was just a shame I was too stiff to the spot with fear to fully enjoy that.

He drifted dangerously close to the shaft, so the wind blasted his hair from his face. Every feature was clear when his hair wasn't covering it. His curved lips, the T shaped scar above his nose where he'd smacked it on a table in year four, and his stunningly blue eyes...

Alarm bells went off in my mind.

"Woah, step the hell back here!" I cried, grabbing his shoulder and yanking him back to me. I shuddered.

He smirked and raised an eyebrow. "Nice to know you care" he winked almost flirtatiously. "Little miss paranoid."

"Hush!" I chuckled. Then did a double take at the sheer fact that I'd managed to laugh even slightly.

One of the instructors strolled over, her combat boots making thump noises on the ground and the harness she held whacking against her leg with every step.

"Hey guys. Step into here" She smiled, guiding us into the harness and strapping me to Lukes front. The top of my head was level with his mouth, so he leant his head on mine. I smiled slightly. It was comforting having him there. No matter how awkward. And most importantly, he was happy.

We stepped closer to the shaft, guided by the instructor. We had to shuffle to keep up with each others footsteps so he eventually gave up and lifted me under the armpits.

"Hey!" I cried, flustering. He just laughed and placed me at the very edge of the shaft, holding my shoulders so I wouldn't fall forward and send us both flying.

"Hey look a bird."

"Hey look an idiot." I retorted.

He chuckled and planted a gentle kiss on my head. That sent chills down my spine, and sent a billion thoughts through my mind, but I said nothing. It was just a surprise that he'd kiss me like that.

Weird how a blank expression and a wavering smile can hide so much.

"Right. Count to fifteen seconds then your parachute will automatically ready itself from your pack, pull this black string -" the instructor gestured to what looked like a shoelace attached to the backpack on Lukes back, the one containing the parachute, "- To launch it. You will be sprung upwards then you'll slowly drift down. Ready?"

Oh, man... If he doesn't pull that thing...

"Go!"

It all went far too fast. For a few short seconds I squeezed my eyes tight shut, the wind rushing at me, then I slowly opened them. I was plummeting through a vast sea of blue to a distant patchwork quilt - as it appeared. Rolling hills, forests, towns, different shades of green and brown moulding together into a colossal stitched blanket.

And I was surprised that I felt no real fear, not the terror I had on the plane. The plane that now seemed so far away. My hands had stopped shaking, the sickly feeling in my stomach was gone.

I wasn't afraid of the drop, just the fall.

Luke hooted and laughed. "Whooo! Yeah!" He cried through hysterical laughter. I grinned. Seeing him happy was worth anything.

His callused yet gentle fingers found mine and twisted through them. Just knowing he was considering my feelings through everything took away the last of the doubt and fear I had... And her laughed and laughed and laughed.

There was a light 'puff' noise from the pack, and Luke pulled the string.

We were launched back up, a bright red parachute filled with air above our heads. Like we'd suddenly grown wings that had carried us up, now elegantly floating back down. We were flying.

The view really was breathtaking.

"Feeling okay?" Luke asked, still gripping my hands instead of the two ropes above him. I smiled slightly, gazing out at the endless mountain range and perfect crystal sky. It was 6pm on a Saturday, the perfect time. The horizon was a mixture of purple and sunset orange, bright blinding light cutting through like heavens gates had opened. A clear point, just off what seemed from here to be the edge of the world. It reminded me of grandmas villa.

"It's kind of perfect." I confessed. "I never thought dangling 10,000 feet in the air by a few bits of string and Velcro would be quite so enjoyable."

I thought I heard him chuckle again, however I knew he too was captivated.

"See the world does have beauty." I added, remembering why we'd come. He tightened his grip on me. "Yeah. The world does. The people aren't quite the same."

"Some are." I argued, trying not to sound too whiny. I twisted my head to look at him and raised my chin indignantly. "You have me. I must count for at least something?" I teased.

He smiled. Not mocking, or sarcastic. Just gentle. Full of compassion.

"You count for a lot." He whispered.


 

 

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