Rupert was a rich man, a dying man, and an old man. But a Fortune 500 rich man nonetheless.
He looked down at the river. The sound of the rolling water echoed in the canyon, filling the silence within his mind. His heart raced, and his legs began to shake. Heights was one of his fears. Today he was to conquer it.
"Are you ready Mr. Gold?" said the bungee instructor behind him.
Rupert didn't turn around. His eyes were fixed on a single rock protruding in the middle of the river. It was alone, and there were no other rocks like it.
"Mr. Gold?" said the instructor now standing next to him.
Rupert turned to the instructor, a young man in his twenties, seemingly older because of the thick beard hanging on his face.
Rupert Gold was sure of a lot of things. He was sure of the stock market plunging, and then reaping a hefty reward for selling short.
He was sure that his marriage was a sham, so he divorced his wife like a bad business project. He was sure that his children would grow up as leaches, so he abandoned them to their mother.
He was sure that he would die alone. And soon.
"Yes. Yes I am."
"Then go for it Mr. Gold."
Rupert turned back to that one rock. He took a deep breath like it was his last. He jumped from the ledge. He could hear the hollow wind filling the inside of his ear. He felt the air cradle him in space. He was flying – but not the same flying as in his private jet.
And then he was falling. The sudden fear squeezed his heart. The blood rushed to his head, and made his face red. He wanted to scream. So he did.
His voice echoed in the canyon. He screamed louder. His voice, bouncing off from the rocks around him, elated him. The fear was losing its grip, and Rupert let out another resounding yell.
The lonely rock came nearer and nearer. Rupert reached for it, but was far enough not to split his head open on it. The rope that tied him to the ledge yanked him up. As he floated back up in the air, the canyon was filled with laughter.