I shook my head, “No.”
“Come on, Mae!”
“You’re usually the one that’s up for anything!”
I couldn’t say that I had a bad feeling, I didn’t want them to laugh at me. The goose bumps on my arms were not from the wind at this elevation either. Something wasn’t right. My cheeks were numb from my salty, windblown hair whipping.
Cameron squinted his eyes and tilted his head, “What’s wrong?”
I bit my lip, it was chapped. I crossed my arms and sunk in a little. My yellow surf tee was dried already. “I don’t know.”
He dropped his hand from my elbow, turned around and made the motion to Alex for us to get out of there. “Something’s not right. Let’s go.”
“Your girlfriend use her ESP to tell you that?” I held in my disgust as Alex came too close into my space.
“She’s not my girlfriend, and it’s not ESP, it’s intuition. Man, you know her, if she feels like something’s wrong, there’s gotta be something wrong. I think we can trust her.”
Alex bowed his back in defiance and got too close in Cameron’s face, “And you know me. I don’t trust anyone.”
Before I knew what he was doing, Alex pushed Cameron off the cliff.
“NO!” I leaned over to see where Cameron entered the water, turned to Alex and punched him in the nose, “What’s wrong with you!” I didn’t care what happened with Alex, I took a deep breath, stepped back and catapulted myself off the ledge. No matter how much you train, nothing can prepare you for jumping off a cliff. I did my best to force my body to straighten and let me sit as I hit the water. I took a deep breath as I plummeted to the surface. I wished that I’d brought my lifeguard rescue float.
I yelled his name when I resurfaced, “Cam!” North, South, East, West. I searched again. “Cam!” I dove under looking for shadows or bubbles. I dove down quickly at his entry point, blinking nonstop so I could clear my eyes.
That’s when I saw him. His hair waived like seaweed, his arms floated above him. I saw blood coming off his body somewhere as he faced the cliff wall. I swam to him as fast as my body would let me.
I was afraid to look him in the eyes, if they were closed, he’d most likely be unconscious, but if they were open-. Instead of letting myself think the worst, I dove down to look at his feet. They weren’t caught on anything. The cliff wall would give me enough of a push to get us both out of this water as quickly as possible. I swam to the wall, crouched on it, pushed as hard as my legs could push and grabbed Cam as I torpedoed out and up. As scrawny as he was, he was dead weight, even in the water.
I didn’t care that my calves were cramping, that my lungs were convulsing, or that my eyes burned. I needed Cam to be okay.
Finally, after what seemed like an endless height, we reached the surface. It’s here that I got a look at Cam’s face. His eyes were closed. Tears formed in my eyes.
There were people staring off the edge of the cliff, but I couldn’t make out their faces with my bleary eyes. I swam us to the beach to the left of them.
When I got him on the sand, I noticed his ankle, knee, and shoulder were busted wide open and bleeding. He must have hit a rock under the surface. I began CPR, and the most blessed sound was his coughing. I sat him up as best I could. “Just breathe, Cam. Calm down and breathe.”
He squinted his eyes, looked out at the water, and then to me. His expression changed several times. “I knew you’d come get me.”
“That was a cheap way to get me to jump.”
I was wrong, the most blessed sound wasn’t his coughing, it was his laughter. And the most blessed sight, his smile.
My eyes teared up again, “Cam, if I’d have lost you-”
“Don’t go there.” He pulled me closer to him, and kissed me for the first time.
My heart soared. The one word I could think of to describe the moment was ‘home’, something I’ve never felt, and it was something of which I never wanted to let go.