The shoot opens and my free-falling body rises with the wind. Suddenly I hear a loud snapping sound from above. My body jerks left. Looking up I can see the parachute's straps slowly tearing, thread by thread. Perhaps the remaining three will hold out until I land. I tell myself not to worry.SNAP! There goes strap number two. I'm still too high up to make out any buildings below. Again I tell myself: Don't worry John. SNAP! SNAP! This is when I begin my slow free-fall towards earth. No back up shoot, no clue what to do, and I tell myself once again not to worry. The wind is rushing past my ears so fast yet everything seems so slow and calm. The peace I'm feeling is pure irony. When I look down again, small squares begin to look like tall buildings. Streets, cars, and people are coming into focus now. I tell myself: Don't worry. Everything around me quickly speeds up until, finally, my body is embedded into the pavement. The sudden darkness is overwhelming. I can hear cars screeching to a stop and people all around me but I can't open my eyes. I'll be okay, I tell myself.
I can hear the ambulance coming. There's no pain. It must be really bad. The paramedics are now lifting me into the ambulance. Before my hearing fades I hear someone ask: " Why did he do it?"
Though I can no longer make out what the E.M.T.'s are saying, I can feel us speeding to the hospital. A sudden stop signals our arrival at the E.R. This is when my vision comes back. Now I see staff to my left and right, wheeling me down the corridor. For a brief second I regain mobility, thrusting upward, gasping for air. Those pushing the gurney are in shock and utterly surprised that I'm still even alive. Up ahead, two men in green scrubs pull me into a room with bright lights, sharp tools, and drills. The light is hanging above my face shining in my eyes. Once again my sight is gone. Though I can no longer see, I do hear a machine constantly beeping beside me. Knives and drills spray speckles of blood on my face. This seems to make the beeping machine go much faster until.......silence. Darkness. I'm free. Or am I? I lose count after the first few days, eventually realizing time is not a factor anymore. Day after day, month after month, year after year; I lay here in my grave. I'm all alone now. An eternity of sleeping awake. I'm now dreamless and left for eternity to think of the consequences of my actions.
The family visits from time to time. It's not always the greatest encounters though. I'll never forget the anger in Annie's voice when she asked: "Why couldn't you have just been having an affair too?" I can hear her tears hit the dirt above and sometimes wish I had. Infidelity is a lot more solvable than suicide.(John Shaff had a lot of problems. Not only was his son dying, but his wife was having an affair. On his way to work one morning he decided to conquer his fear of heights by skydiving. The truth is that he was torn up from the bad news. After a nervous breakdown, what seemed like skydiving was really his suicidal leap from the tallest building in New York.)
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