Angkor Wat, Home of the Dangerous Descent
“I don’t think I can make it down.”
My father pinched the bridge of his nose. “So you’re going to spend the rest of your life up here?”
I shrugged, and tried not to look over the edge. “It’s pretty. And I was hoping you could hire a helicopter or something.”
“Woo-hoo! C’mon, Amy!” One brave girl was sliding down on her butt, step by five centimeter wide step, much to the delight of the rest of her college group. She obviously hadn’t seen the sign at the bottom that said ‘Climb at your own risk.’
I had no problems ascending at my own risk. It was descending at my own risk that was more worrisome.
“Lale. I’m going down. You can stay, or you can come have lunch.”
Lunch. Khmer cuisine, rice and noodles and curry. Stir-fry. Star Fruit. Durian. Mmm.
“I guess…” I looked over the precipice once more, and swallowed. “I guess I could make it.”
My dad rolled his eyes and began the descent. I squatted sideways on the first step and latched onto the rusted handrail. My stomach lurched when it moved a half foot towards me.
Step by step. One by one. Don’t look down. Almost there. One last step—
I tripped into my mothers’ arms.
“Took you long enough,” she grumbled.
My dad laughed. “One temple down, four to go.”
My cheeks felt cold. Dad shot me a sly glance. “Don’t worry, Lale. We’ll find you an elephant.”