Standing there waiting for his turn. Everyone would be watching. They always did when it was your first time.
He tried to remember the instructions he’d been given. They’d seemed to make sense at the time, but then he hadn’t really understood them. He’d just taken in the words and hoped that they’d form some sort of meaning when he got to the foot of the ladder. Now, they all seemed incredibly vague. Something about going up there, stepping forwards, getting your balance and, what? Jump? Lean into it?
Behind him, a line of kids, all in swimming costumes, some with arms folded to keep out the slight chill in the air. The pool was heated, and it shouldn’t be in the least bit cold in here, but either there was a draft, or it was an illusory chill, born of fear of the high dive.
Ahead, the next boy climbed the ladder. Everyone watched his ascent, which took a good 20 seconds. Reaching the top, he glided to the diving board and flew off it like a bird of prey seeking its prize.
This wasn’t going to be easy. Fear was making him shake, and he felt like everyone else knew how to master the high dive, except him. Just him.
The whistle blew. It was his turn.