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Her mother’s words echoed through her mind, “be careful”.  Don’t run too fast, be careful!  Careful now!  Take care will you?  You should have been more careful!  That’s what happens when you aren’t careful!

She’d grown up a fretful, insecure, nervous type.  Every decision had to be weighed carefully.  No jumping in the deep end of the pool for her.  She’d stand and watch her friends run and cannonball into the pool and have fun doing it, then whoop up a storm afterward.  While she on the other hand, she stood dipping her toes in the water, testing the temperature before splashing water over her skin lest it was too cold and the shock too much .  You couldn’t be too careful after all!

Yet, as she watched her friends, she yearned to be as carefree as they were.  That heady freedom they seemed to enjoy.  Taking it on the chin and trying again. New jobs, new homes, new men!  Their lives seemed so rich and full!  While hers seemed dull in comparison.

It was time to break free of the bonds that held her tightly in place.  She squirmed, wriggled, tossed about, and slowly the bonds began to loosen, and she breathed a sigh.  This felt good, this felt real, this was indeed a possibility.

Taking a deep breath in and out, in and out, she raced to the cliff’s edge and cannon balled into the water below.  Only this was the occasion when she should have been careful.  Hidden below the water’s edge lay jagged rocks obscured in the shadows of early evening.

They found her body a couple of days later.  Her closest friend stood looking at the spot from which she’d jumped, “What was she thinking?  She should have been more careful!”



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