Rick wondered what the hell had prompted him to go along with Jason’s hair-brained idea. Jason was a thrill-seeker who constantly challenged himself with more and more dangerous things. He’d been bungee jumping, cliff diving, hang gliding, rock climbing. He was even talking about going sky diving. Rick was nothing like that.
And yet Jason had somehow cajoled Rick into going to the top of the high rise building and to stand on the very edge of the roof. “You need to do this, brah,” Jason said. “It’s better than sex, I’m telling you. When you’re standing on the precipice looking down at the street thirty floors below, your brain triggers an increase in testosterone, as well as dopamine, endorphins, and other chemicals. Your vision narrows, and adrenaline shoots through your body, which increases your heart rate. With the heart beating faster, you get more oxygen. Your body redirects oxygen to the brain as fast as it can. It’s a rush like you’ve never experienced.”
But once the two men were up there, Rick realized that this was not for him. “I can’t do it, Jason,” Rick said. “I’m sorry, but I’m not like you. I don’t crave dangerous experiences like this. I’m fine with the thrill I get from good, old fashioned, and most importantly, safe sex, where the operative word is safe.”
“Brah, you can’t wimp out on me like this,” Jason said. “We’ll just walk over to the edge, look down, and then we’ll be done. I’m telling you, you’ll thank me when it’s all over.”
“Look, if you wanna stand out on that ledge, if that’s what it takes to get your rocks off, that’s your choice,” Rick said, “but my choice is to walk over to that door and head back down to earth via the elevator.”
“Fine, you pussy,” Jason said, “but do me a favor and take a picture of me standing on the edge before you head back down. That’s the least you can do, right?”
“Okay, but make it fast,” Rick said. “It’s cold up here and the wind is starting to whip up a bit.” Rick pulled his phone from his back pocket and positioned himself about ten feet from the roof’s edge.
Jason stepped up on the ledge and inched closer to the edge. He turned around, looked at Rick, and smiled at him. “When I count to three, take my picture.” Jason then lifted up his right leg so that he was balancing his body precariously on his left leg. He had both of his arms stretched out parallel to the ground, almost like he was posing as Christ on the cross. “One, two, three.”
Rick snapped the picture on his cellphone just as a sharp gust of wind swept across the roof. After the shock of seeing his best friend losing his balance and falling, Rick looked at the picture he had taken on his cellphone, which had captured the expression on Jason’s face when he realized what was about to happen.
A few minutes later Rick handed his phone to Jason, showed him the picture, and said, “It’s a good thing that gust of wind was at your back and pushed you forward, because had it come from the other direction, you would have fallen thirty stories to the street below instead of a few feet back onto the roof.”
Jason, whose heart was still pounding in his chest said, “Yeah, brah, and I live to fight another day.”
Written for Sadje’s What Do You See? Prompt. Photo credit: Sean Robertson @ Unsplash.