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Holy crap, I did it!

I did something hard for the first time in my life, and although Chance helped, I still did it. Then pride fills my chest, the smile drops from my face, and the shame thickens like a dark cloud over my head.

Even though I’ve been taught being prideful is bad, I tuck this huge accomplishment deep in my heart.

Rubbing the sore muscles in my arms, I watch Chance, Ethan, and Aaron climb onto the rooftop.

When it looks like we’re not going to rest but keep going, I quickly say, “Thank you, Chance.”

He just nods before walking across the rooftop.

Just because he helped you climb a ladder doesn’t mean he’s your friend.

“Watch me, Jai,” Chance says. “Just do what I do.” He walks to the middle of the rooftop and glances at me over his shoulder. “You can do it.”

Do what?

When he breaks out into a sprint, my breath sticks in my throat the moment his body goes airborne. Pins and needles spread over my skin as shock shudders through me.


For a moment, he flies, his arms wide at his side, then he pulls his legs in and disappears from my sight.

“Chance!” My heart drops, and I break out into a run. Reaching the edge of the building, I let out a gasp when I see him straightening to his full height on the rooftop of the next building. “My freaking heart,” I mutter under my breath.

Then it sinks in that he expects me to jump as well.

Oh, no. There’s no way I can do that.

“I’ll never make it,” the words rush from me.

“You can do it,” Ethan encourages me.

I watch Aaron go next and wonder if there’s a way for me to go down the ladder I just came up with.

“We’ll catch you on the other side,” Ethan says, and then he breaks out into a sprint, and I watch him leap into the air.

They’re all insane! How can they just jump?

My throat closes up as I slowly walk back to where the men started sprinting from.

I’m going to die.

My feet feel glued to the rooftop, refusing to move. I can already imagine my body splatting on the road beneath.

Dear, Almighty. Please help me.

Sucking in a deep breath, I try to encourage myself, “Come on, Jai, you can do this. If they can, you can.” My voice is trembling as much as my body. “Just do it,” I squeal as I break out in a sprint.

Just before the edge, I come to a shuddering stop, my feet refusing to carry me into the air. I cover my face with my hands, icy prickles racing over my body.

I’m going to die!

I’m going to fall, and it will hurt so bad when I hit the ground.

“Jai!” I hear Chance call. Lowering my hands, I glance to the other building.

“Listen to me,” he shouts.

I start nodding, my heart thundering against my ribs.

“Are you listening to me?”

“Y-yes,” I sputter the word out.

“You’re going to be fine. Run as fast as you can and jump. I’ll catch you.” He sounds pretty sure of himself. “I won’t let you fall. You’ll be fine.”

But It’s not him I’m worried about. It’s me.

He hasn’t seen me jump before. At school, I always went under the poles instead of over them. I suck so bad at sports.

“Go back and run. I’m waiting for you.”

With a heavy weight bearing down on my shoulders, I walk back and desperately suck in deep breaths.

Closing my eyes, I try to imagine a straight road in front of me, and I start to run. I pump my legs fast and hard. The edge comes closer, and my heart pounds loudly in my ears.


My heart thunders as I leap into the night. I shriek so loud I’m pretty sure everyone in this city now knows where we are.

A cold wind rushes over my heated skin, and I don’t stay suspended in the air as long as the men did.


I drop fast, and panicking, I stretch my body out as far as possible, trying to give myself more length. My arms slam hard into the side of the building, and pain streaks through them and up into my shoulders. When I start to slide back into the dark night, prickles of fear spread over my body. There’s nothing to take hold of.

“Chance.” I whimper desperately.

Suddenly, fingers dig into my arms, right above my elbows. The hold is firm as I’m pulled up and onto the rooftop to safety. I grab hold of the first thing I can, a shirt – Chance’s shirt. To further my embarrassment, I can’t stop myself from plummeting right into him.

His hands move to my shoulders, and it might be my overactive and terrified brain, but they rest there for a heartbeat before he helps me stand on my very unstable feet.

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