She stood high atop Devil’s Rock, looking down on Lake Timiskaming, high above the surrounding expanse. From her vantage point she could scan the areas all around her, each one holding a precious part of her past. She could remember when she used to jump from this rock into the water below. The first time she was terrified and she had no idea how she had finally found the courage to take the plunge. Perhaps it was peer pressure or not wanting to look weak in front of her friends.
Through the years there had been accidents though, times when people took a chance and didn’t jump far enough out and ended up crashing onto the rocks below. Those ones never survived. Others had been caught by undertows and couldn’t make it back up to the surface for air. While some of them managed to be rescued, others ended up being carried on the current until they landed on some unfortunate person’s beach.
The houses all around her were reminders of her friends; she could associate almost every single one with a friend’s name. Most had moved away over the years and she wondered if they ever reminisced about their escapades, such as the time they climbed to the top of the water tower and sat drinking an entire bottle of Black Label whiskey. They ended up far too inebriated to be able to find their way down and so they slept on the cool surface of the water tank until the morning.
She thought about how each of them had grown and changed so much. As time goes on, people drift apart and start new lives, lives that didn’t include them. They started new families, in new cities, and had almost no ties to the past. She’d kept her ties though and faithfully made the trek to northern Ontario every summer, to reconnect with family and to remember who she was and where she came from.
Like she was doing today, standing here on this rock reliving memories of her youth.
She raised her arms above her head and stood on her toes as she slowly started her dive.