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Chasing Down the Feeling I Get When I Touch the Sky
I could see waves gently lap the sandy shoes from the high ledge. the salty air brushed my cheeks and tousled my hair. Everything was at peace. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see a flock of geese fly overhead in that perfect “V.” I began to feel a restlessness bubble inside me. There was a sudden prickle that spread from the base of my spine to the nape of my neck. A hand touched my shoulder. I practically jumped five feet in the air. “Sorry,” my mother said as I whirled around to face her. “I didn’t mean to scare you.”
“Geez, Ma, haven’t I told you that I’ve got the nerves of a newborn rabbit?” She smiled at my response apologetically, “It’s just been so long since I’ve seen you...”
An awkward pause. She didn’t like to bring up their divorce much.
“What do you think of the place? The subject had changed. I grimly turned my attention to the lighthouse. It was old-- paint peeling, floors and doors creaking, the works -- but it had one h*ll of a flashlight. It looked pretty run down, seeming to be only an empty shell of what it once was. Years of being by the sea had weathered the exterior. The lighthouse seemed sad. “Yeah, it's alright,” I decided, thinking of the beach below and the forest a few hundred yards away. “It’s just that--”
The sound of an annoying ring-tone interrupted me mid-sentence. “Hold on, sweetie,” Mom said, digging her cell out of her purse. “Hello? Oh, Bob, darling, it’s you! Yes, I have time to chat.” She gave me the single finger that meant for me to wait until she was done. I grimaced. Of course she had time to talk to him. When it came down to him or me, guess who won out. I couldn't stand it another second.
“Mom, I’m going for a walk,” I mouthed. She nodded and turned away from me. For a moment, I stared at her back with a cold stare that would freeze fire then fled into the woods, running as hard and fast as I could. I had to get away from her and her stupid boyfriend. That’s why I didn’t want to be here this summer. Ever since Mom and Pop split, she’s been to wrapped up in her social life to even remember why I was here: to spend “quality time with my mother.” Or, that’s what the school counselor told me after I almost got suspended for fighting... again.
I finally stopped stirring up my angst enough to try to take in my surroundings. Every pine tree, branch, and rock looked the same. Great, I thought miserably, now I’m lost. However, I continued anyway, finally coming to a startling drop-off of a hundred feet from icy water and weathered rocks. I knew what I was going to do. Shaking off my jean jacket and shoes, I tried to ignore the strange biting cold wind of mid-September, but it brought be back to reality. The rumble of distant rolling waves comforted me, bringing about a new kind of peace. I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and dove off of the cliff. My stomach didn’t drop at all this time; I was a pro by now. Right before I was dashed to pieces by the sharp rocks, I unfurled my long white wings, letting them catch the wind the way a parachute would. I immediately started pumping them. Higher and higher into the sky I flew, feeling invincible. There was a thick cloud ahead; I soared toward it. The inside was wet. Really, really wet. I was soaked to the bone. Shivering, I emerged above it and into a vast blue of the sky. For miles it stretched, nothing but a mix of pure white and baby blue. The wind wasn’t gentle up there either. It blasted frigid whirlwinds against my face and arms. I could feel the water on my face freeze. Suddenly, I wished I had my jacket. My fingers began to turn blue at the tips, and I was sure that my lips were purple, but this was the most alive I’ve ever felt. Every tip of my nerves were tingling. The air I breathed was chilling me inside and out. There was a blizzard raging in my stomach.
I plummeted down toward the rolling waves again. This time, though, I stayed low, skimming the water. The salty sea air filled my nose, bringing memories of building sandcastles with Mom and Dad before the big D, frolicking in the waves with my childhood friend Hunter. However, they were disrupted by a spray of ocean that blasted my face at the unfortunate moment I decided to sigh. My tongue was coated with a heavy, salty tang I tasted the night of my parents' big fight. I couldn't stop crying then. That was when I decided to end the flight. Tilting the off-white tips of my wings slightly, I arched around and headed back in the direction of the beach.
Eventually, I drifted down onto the soft sand. The warmness seemed to heat my whole body, fighting the cold. My toes curled, and my eyes closed. I let myself relax.
“What are you? An angel?”
I heard a voice in front of me. My eyes fluttered open in surprise. Staring at me with a dumbstruck expression was a boy about my age. From the tip of his golden hair to his bronze colored toes radiated pure light. I swear, I thought he was the sun. His hazel eyes narrowed, scrutinizing my windswept, wavy, dark hair that probably resembled a rat’s nest more than hair of an angel. I wasn't much to look at, with my muddy brown eyes and pale, freckled skin.
“No,” I replied cautiously. “What would possibly make you think that?”
He laughed, and everything else seemed to fade away. “Well, you do have wings,” he said, wearily eyeing them. Cr*p. I quickly tucked them in, but it was futile at this point.
“What wings?” I countered, feigning a look of confusion and innocence. “It must have been a trick of the light, silly boy.”
“Yeah. Sure. Whatever.” He didn’t sound too coninced. “What’s your name, Angel?”
I could have lied. I should have but instead I found myself saying, “Brianna.” He smiled. Everything inside me melted into a mush.
"Will you be attending Monroe High this fall?"
"Yeah," I said.
"I guess I'll see you later." With that, he disappeared, humming an indistinct tune.
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"Life is like a bowl of spaghetti. Every once in a while, you get a meatball." - Sharon Creech