Why didn’t I just go with Mom and Dad?
Sarah held the corded metal rails on each side of her like they were her last connection to life. As far as she was concerned, they were.
Her eyelids twitched because she stubbornly refused to open them. She refused to. The moment she did, she knew – just knew – she would look down at the waters churning below her. It was bad enough she could hear it! (She couldn’t let go of the rails to cover her ears, after all.)
“Sarah! Suck it up! You’re holding up the group!”
She pursed her lips hard and attempted to glare without opening her eyes. It was his fault she was here and in this ridiculous predicament. He was the one who wanted to take a tour through Tsitsikamma Coastal National Park. While their parents oohed and ahhed at diving whales from a boat on the ocean, she was required to cross the Storms River mouth on a series of rickety, suspended bridges!
And the brat she had the misfortune of being related to knew that they would have to cross them and didn’t tell her. He knew she was terrified of heights.
She could be dropped in a cage into a swarm of Great Whites, have a ten-foot python wrapped around her shoulders, reach out and pet a leopard at the zoo back home, but she absolutely could not stomach walking across a swaying bridge, forty feet over a river mouth with undercurrents strong enough to drag her under and out into the Indian Ocean, never to be seen again…
A girly squeal burst from her lips, her body trembling anxiously.
She heard a heavy sigh that she was sure was accompanied by an eye-roll.
“My dear sister, do you realize or even care how stupid you’re making me look?”
That almost pissed her off enough to open her eyes. Almost. “Excuse me?! How stupid you lo-”
“I mean, really, there’s a super hot chick ahead of us with her mom or aunt or something. What if you are ruining my chances for looking really awesome in front of my future wife?”
Now she opened her eyes. Really, was he serious?
“…has this great style. Totally matches mine-”
“Nate, if you don’t shut your face in the next five seconds, I’m going to have to tell Mom and Dad that you tripped, fell over the edge of this damn bridge and were subsequently dragged out to sea. We might come and throw flowers in memorial for you every few years.”
He glared at her. “You know what, Sarah?”
She narrowed her eyes at him warily, taking a step back. “Nate…”
The last thing she saw was his little smirk as he ducked down, shoved his shoulder into her waist, and wrapped his arm around her legs when he stood to keep her from falling.
Sarah gave a furious shriek, but he simply strolled up the bridge with her slung over his shoulder mimicking a sack of potatoes.
“Nate!” She tried to push herself off his back.
“Sorry, Sarah, it would be rude to keep my future wife and the rest of the group waiting because you’re a little chicken.” He playfully smacked her bottom. “Maybe that pretty tour guide you were checking out earlier will return the favor now that your ass is on display. I don’t know what you see in him, though; he just spouts off useless and random facts.”
“That’s his job, brat!”
“Anyway, this is a great opportunity to flex in front of my future wife, you know, the hot one I mentioned, without looking like I’m trying too hard.”
“What? I worked hard to get this ripped! I should be able to show it off.”
“Put me down!”
“And have you freeze up again? I think not. I think I’ll just carry to the end of the bridges. After that, though, there’s no way I’m hauling your ass up the stairs.”
Sarah slumped down with a frustrated sigh. That’s when she looked down and saw the white water creeping up the rocks with each splashing wave, beckoning her in…She whimpered, closing her eyes and fisting her brother’s tank top in her hands.
He just snorted and started whistling.
When we get home, Sarah thought viciously, he is so going to “disappear.”
Suddenly he set her down, a bit too roughly for her tastes, and she looked around to see their tour group trying not to stare and failing miserably.
She blushed bright.
“Are you feeling alright?”
She turned to find the very pretty – and smart! – tour guide looking at her with concern.
So maybe she should hold out on killing Nate. Just for now, anyway.