Daring

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Writing prompt: Daring Do

For many years I helped those in need. From the age of eight I joined St John Ambulance cadets and I was trained in life saving techniques. Most weekends I would volunteer my time, tending to cuts and bruises, handing out sunscreen, gently bandaging appendages and bringing calm to stressful situations. At the age of fourteen I started being paid to do this. The wounds I treated were often superficial and non-life threatening. There was the occasionally heart attack, drug overdose, asthma attack, allergic reactions and once, I even witnessed a woman giving birth in a port-a-loo. That was my job. I helped people.

Perhaps that is one of the reasons it took so long to come to terms with my own problems. I helped others, why would I need help? If I could save lives, surely I could save my own. Some days, when I stood on the platform, waiting for the train to come, I wasn’t so sure of myself. My legs itched to move forwards, to drop onto the tracks. My eyes watched the approaching train, my brain calculating the split instant that disallowed the driver time to react. I imagined the feeling, my bones crumbling, the pain ending. Every time I stopped myself, every time I breathed deep, brushed away tears and boarded the train instead of climbing underneath it, they were perhaps the most daring of times. The times I saved myself.

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