The rest of you look away :-)
This scene has been permanently deleted for several reasons 1)Alex is physically injured and therefore incapable of this kind of activity 2)Nea doesn't walk away 3)I wrote this scene seven years ago when Alex was going to save the world, a quest I've since given to his sister. But I like it. I like this version of Alex. Alex before his sister's heroics made him feel insignificant. Alex before the accident. The carefree, laid-back Alex who lived each moment fully. This is backstory Alex.
The steady phwap, phwap, phwap of the helicopter blades usually drowned out the sound of Alex’s heartbeat as he prepared to jump out of the chopper. Not today. He stared down at the snow covered mountain top and wondered what was different.
Ice cold fingers of the altitude tugged at his wind suit while he braced himself in the open doorway. He watched the ground rush past 10,000 feet below. Overwhelmed by the erratic rhythm of his heart, Alex welcomed the rush of adrenaline like the lover’s caress it had always been.
He shook off the aberrant thought and focused instead on the task ahead. With precise movements, he went over the safety measures vital for a drop like this one. He had packed both the main chute and the auxiliary himself. He checked his bootstraps, helmet strap and snapped the goggles into place.
Once he shoved off there would be nothing between him and the mountain but air. The perfect moment in time. He reveled in it, fed off it, craved that moment like he craved nothing else in life. He nodded to the spotter and let go.
Air raced past him with a loud swoosh.
He screamed out a war cry and stood tall on his snowboard.
He curled his body around the wood and rolled with it through the air.
He’d been doing this for years. Jumping out of planes, careening over cliffs, surfing through walls of water to come through triumphant over nature at its most primitive.
Alex let loose with another whoop but it contained little of the fervor of the first. Something was missing.
He executed a brilliant back flip.
No one cheered.
No one grinned back at him.
No one returned his victory salute.
Freefalling through the sky, Alex had his moment of truth.
And it was nothing like it usually was.
His heart still raced, his breath still caught in a combination of awe and ball busting fear but it had little to do with the loss of control skydiving gave him.
There was none of the exhilaration he’d felt in a different moment.
A clearer moment.
He pulled the ripcord and ended his wild ride.
He didn’t want silence, didn’t want to be alone.
All the excitement Alex craved had walked out of his life two days ago.