On Wanting To Fly

June 18, 2008
By Elise Koomen, Newburyport, MA

The boy stood there, looking upward, his arms raised and his eyes closed. He felt the wind on his face and he sighed. Slowly, his eye lids parted revealing soft blue eyes, determined and unaware. He muttered something under his breath again and again getting louder each time: “I’m ready.”
And he took off at a run.

He had been planning this for weeks. He could see their faces as clear as daylight and the looks on them when they realized what he was capable of.
“I’ll get out of this town. I’ll be somebody. I won’t be invisible”
These thoughts got him through the crowded hall of his High School. He fell asleep to the sound of their seductive whisper, and when he closed his eyes he saw the sky.
Freedom. Change. Escape.
He knew he was destined for something greater. He could feel it.

These dreams of flying became more real to him than the squeaking of his sneakers on the linoleum floors of his school; more real than the lectures his teachers started to give about getting into a good college, more real than the tires on the pavement as his dad drove off to work. Every day was the same. After fourth period economics he would walk home dragging his feet. Dropping his backpack by the door, he would walk upstairs to his dimly lit room to download pictures. All he could think about was their heads: the star who really wanted to be a model, the object who had to sell herself just to pay the rent. “Poor kid” he would think “in a women’s body” which he is bound to see every inch of as she searches for fulfillment in an empty world. “That’s not me” he would think “I’ll make it out of here”

His father was a cold unemotional man. The space he created between him and his family caused the boy to see him as some kind of higher being. Without knowing it the prayers the boy said at his bedside out of habit were directed towards his father. This “God” he prayed to was one more person who looked right through him. One more person he would prove wrong.

He kept running, the air filling his lungs and going out through his mouth. He ran faster than he has ever run in his life. This was his moment. And then it was over. Face down in the dirt, he couldn’t look up, he couldn’t face himself now that he had failed.
He had just wanted someone to see him.
Finally he got up, leaving the dirt on his face as a sign of defeat. He walked past a kite stuck in a tree and further on to a baseball mound. He lay on his back, not ready to go home. Watching the clouds he thought of all the invisible children, all the heart broken who keep on going when the worlds to busy to care. He thought of all the people who don’t stop praying after they realize that there is no God; the people who smile even though it hurts. The sky used to be his liberation, but all he can see now is a mosaic of lost dreams, broken smiles and a universal blindness. All of this hope he had tied to a string and sent into the heavens, at last crashed.

And he couldn’t look up anymore.

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This article has 1 comment.

rainbow said...
on Sep. 21 2008 at 1:17 pm
Wow! What a powerful story! Keep up the good work.

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