So it was the second to last day of our New Zealand visit, which btw was much too short. We were sitting at the dining table some time after dinner, and I'm not quite sure how the discussion started, but the twist it took midway and the outcome of it all I definitely didn't see coming. I think Nikks, her sister and I were planing on how to spend the last day. There was some discussion about Waiheke island, but in the end we were settling for a classic day at Muriwai beach. Allways a winner! But then everything changed when Nikks sister incidentally mentioned: "They do skydiving at Muriwai".
Nikks looked at me. I knew that look. I instantly felt shivers down my spine.
"B, you should do it!!!"
I had to react, fast. Defensive strategy number 1, put everyone into the same boat.
"No way Nikki I would do this alone, your sister took tomorrow off work so we can do something together, so if we do it we all do it"
"No no, all good, we come watch you! It will be great!"
Ok, that didn't go too well. But at this point my mind was already doing acrobatics, and there's is one argument that usually works with Nikks, well at least sometimes. Defensive strategy number 2, play the money card.
"Nikki you know we can't afford such expenses at the moment, especially if it's just for me to have 30 seconds of fun. We should all just enjoy a relaxing day together at the beach."
And then Chris, Nikki's dad, jumped into the discussion. As time passes the more and more similarities I see between the two.
"I'll sponsor you!"
He said more than that I'm sure, but I can't quite remember. I do remember trying to reject the offer - this was not a cheap pastime and Nikki's parents already helped us out financially on multiple occasions. But Chris would have none of that. I always wanted to do a sky dive, I live for those kind of things. But you know, I didn't imagine it going down quite like this. Mental preparation and all. But I wasn't done yet. Defensive strategy number 3, voice of reason.
"You know I'm sure we can't just show up there. I mean it's 10pm, I would imagine you have to book at least one day in advance, if not more than that. And then there are also the weather conditions."
Yes! This felt like a winner for sure. No one could argue with this, it's New Zealand summer, tourist peak season, no way we can just show up there for casual 6000 meter jump. But then Nikki's sister pretty much ended the discussion.
"Nick (her boyfriend) knows the pilot! I'll call him and see if he can squeeze us in."
I went to bed with mixed feelings and a lot of confusion. What just happened? How did this escalate so quickly? Although with Nikki things do sometimes tend to escalates quickly. I remember once walking with her in Auckland and seeing a poster about Borneo. A couple of hours later we were at the tourist office booking flights. But still I didn't think anything would come out of this. Those planes are usually tiny, we had no booking and New Zealand weather is unpredictable.
I woke up in the morning by hearing Nikki entering the room.
"You're jumping today at 3pm!!"
And so later that day I found myself watching the tiny door open, as the plane slowed down into a controlled dive that didn't sit too well with my stomach. I watched people approaching the door, and then "whoosh", they were gone. Wiped from the plane of existence. I asked when our turn will be and was told that we are only half way up. I already felt like I'm in the stratosphere. And then came the jump - 75 seconds of free falling adrenaline rush. It was a blast! Chris, thanks again!!