Fly Away

May 14, 2008
By Alyssa Olson, Clarkston, MI

Every bird must leave its nest as its wings become strong. What makes a bird a bird is on its first jump, does it fall?
His broad muscular shoulders sagged as if you could see the unyielding weight pressing down upon him. He was 17 years old with green eyes and dark skin even though his parents were Caucasian. He had a delicate jaw line with thin lips that rarely smiled

Knock, knock, knock! Jennifer walked in not waiting for a response. Blonde wavy hair that danced to her shoulders, and baby blue eyes that could turn to daggers without a moments notice. She stood there smiling. Jennifer had been his girlfriend for over a year and for a couple of kids just out of high school that was a big deal.

” Well, are you gonna sit here all day or are we going swimming?” she smiled, plainly poking fun that he was gonna sit here all by himself.

The boy Tylor shrugged in his usual nonchalant fashion, “Yeah, I guess.” Grabbing the keys to his old southern car and his worn baseball cap, he followed her out of the noisy house. His three younger sisters were trying to jam away on his guitar hero, likely it wouldn’t be in one piece when he got home tonight.

Slamming the old car’s door and letting the motor roar, they left the noisy house for some peace and quiet. Only to drive down the country road to the pond that they knew, the engine died. Silence.

Walking down to the water, cool blue-green and tranquil, Jennifer dipped her toe and quickly took it out. Tylor laughed taking his shirt off in which outlines of tone hardened muscle rippled as he moved. He kicked his sandals off, and ran to jump in the water.

Flipping his long hair back from his eyes Tylor called, “You wanted to be here so, you have thirty seconds to be in this water or I’m throwing you in myself!” Jennifer answered by gingerly walking another inch in. Hands on her hips she pretended to be an old farmer’s wife yelling,
“You will do no such thing Tylor, not while I have my clothes on!” She looked very serious but ruined it by breaking into laughter as Tylor came after her. He was smiling!

“Well then you have thirty seconds to have only your bathing suit on or you’re going in with clothes with an attitude like that!” Tylor awkwardly ran out of the water, as Jennifer turned taking off her skirt and shirt and double checking all knots on her bathing suit. All the while she kept running, knowing he would sooner or later throw her in the water.

Arms encircled her waist as he lifted her into the air, throwing her over his back like a sack of potatoes he started toward the water. Kicking and screaming she tried to fight back but nothing was going to stop that broad shouldered football player from letting her go. The cold water engulfed her and consuming her in a mass of bleak damnation she reached for warmth and found it. Clinging to Tylor’s hand held on she held on for dear life. Past feelings of hopelessness flooded through to her. He pulled her up.

She saw his face without its smile and she wanted to weep inside, “Jeez Jenn, you act like you have never gone swimming before.” Tylor looked at her in concern.

“I just didn’t realize that I was that close to the water I was staring at your back after all,” she said trying to catch her breath, “not that you warned me or anything.”

Then, he chuckled, and for that moment in time everything was perfect. The sun was playing ticks with diamonds in the water, as the water lapped against their bare skin in playful kisses. The wind tossed sand into the water like a little girl playing with friends. And he smiled as if to say “I see you Jenn, I see you and I love you.” Tis perfection in a moment.

As the English proverb said “All good things must come to an end.” For Tylor’s smile faded and he cleared his throat.

“Dad wants me to go west for the summer, says I’ll make more money than in Michigan.” His eyes looked into hers. “It’s only a thought though.”

“Do you want to go?” Jennifer didn’t look at him, “That’s what matters.”

“I don’t know, it’s just a theory.” Tylor pulled her chin up her blue eyes looked watery. “I would be able to send you money.”

“I don’t want money.” She held on to him and hid her face in his neck. “I only want what you want.”

“I only want you, to be with you, I only want to see you happy.” Tylor murmured into her wet hair. His arms pulled her closer in, there was no room to cry he held her so close that all she could do was feel him and the water lapping against them as they let the water move them till the sun began to set. Silence.

“I'm thankful for the weekend but two days in Heaven just ain't gonna do. Yes, it's gonna take forever, darlin' girl, I just got started lovin' you” James Otto sang on the radio as Jennifer got ready for school Monday morning. Pouring coffee in two coffee mugs and fretting over the math homework she still hadn’t bother to even look at. Her mind was spinning with dread of Tylor possibly leaving to go out west, and the thought of his mother finding out he wouldn’t be planning on attending college was another worry on her mind. With a low growl of a motor entering the driveway Jennifer grabbed her work clothes, kissed her mother goodbye and trotted out the door to Tylor’s waiting car.
“Hey babe, how did you sleep last night?” She asked as she bent into the door way setting everything down so she could get in. Slamming the door shut, he scrubbed his hands through his hair.
“I went to bed at midnight,” Now that she looked at him he looked as if he had been sleeping out in a briar patch, “mom found out about dad’s plans somehow and she want to know how I felt about it and talk it over.” He made that last bit in a mock of his mother.
“Great, how did she take it exactly?” Jennifer signed taking a hold of his hand.
“Like she always does, ready to tear my head off and she wonders why I want to move out.” He said just staring out the door window.
“Well, it’s what you want babe not what everyone else wants, besides you only have a couple more months till you’re eighteen. All they can do is love you from then on.” Jennifer said playing with the radio.
“And his heart belongs to that sweet little beautiful, wonderful, perfect All-American... And when they got married and decided to have one of their own!” Carrie Underwood’s vioce must have been heard a mile down the road.
“Jesus crist turn it down!” Tylor yelled between grinding teeth.
“I’m trying I’m trying!” Jennifer pushed the volume button down, “ why the heck was it so loud?”
Tylor just started ahead solid like a rock, quiet like a man. Silence.

The sun painted the sky with shades of pink and purple on the banks of the pond. Sitting together in silence Tylor aked,“Jennifer whats it mean to be young?” Jennifer looked at the ground in thought.
“ It means to make mistakes, good and bad. To be young is to jump from the nest not knowing if there is a pile of leaves to coshin you, should you fall, or a wolf’s mouth.”
Nodding as if satified with the answer she looked at up him and then gasped.
“ Jennifer, would you marry me?” He held out a small ring.
She jumped from the nest .

A bird jumps from her nest to meet with another, one who she knows. Together they shall fly, and together they shall fall.

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