Longing

By , Singapore, Singapore
“Hurry Lint! The hunter is catching up to us!” Seth shouted, dashing across the sunlit rainforest. I could feel my heart palpitating wildly against my chest as I desperately flapped my wings, one of which was injured with blood oozing out uncontrollably. Behind us was a short, chubby man in green with a sniper held in both hands.
“Bang!” the sound of the gunshot was loud and ear-piercing. There was a stinging pain on my right wing as I felt something burning hot and metal-like graze against my emerald green feathers. As the pain began to spread across my wings, the harder it was for me to flap my wings and before I knew it, I could feel the dry, rocky soil right beneath my feet. I no longer had the energy to fly and I knew that my only hope was to run, however small and weak this pair of legs was.
“Lint! Watch out! Behind you!” I heard Seth’s shout ahead of me. I turned to look, only to see the same man, just that a hundred times bigger than before from above, swooping me up with his net. He swiftly threw me into a medium-sized birdcage that hung on his belt and said, “Job accomplished. Green Violetear captured.”
“The boss is going to be please with me!” I heard the man said as he trotted down the rainforest trail which made the birdcage swing left, right, front, back and in all sorts of other directions, causing me to hit my head against one of the metal bars and lost conciseness.
When I came to, the first thing I saw was a small girl with blonde hair tied up into two pig-tails and green eyes which shimmered like my emerald-coloured feathers behind metal bars, starring straight at me.
“Chirp..?” was the only thing I could let out at that time, not knowing what to do with such big, beautiful eyes staring at me. Her eyes instantly lit up with glimmer and a wide smile slid across here chubby face from one ear to the other.
“Mommy mommy!” she cheered in delight as she jumped up and down elatedly, “Mommy look look! Mint is up! Mint is up!! She even chirped at me just now!”
“See Rose? I told you she would be fine. She just needed some rest after a long journey away from her home,” I saw a tall lady with blonde hair and azure blue eyes patting the girl on the head.
‘Mint..? Is that my new name? And just now the lady called her Rose.. That must be her name… Rose.. What a pretty name,’ I thought as I looked around the area. I was in an enclosed place where everything was pink with orange clouds that remained stationary and I thought, ‘I didn’t know the sky could turned pink and clouds were orange in colour.. and where am I anyways..? I want to go back..’
That was when I turned to see what was behind me and saw the blue sky that I used to soar in and the white fluffy clouds that moved in the direction the wind blew to.
‘Wait a minute… If that is the sky I know.. Then what is with this pink sky?!’ I thought shocked to realize that for all these years I’ve been soaring through that azure blue sky, never knowing that there was more than one sky.
“Okay Rose. Mommy is going to work now so be a good girl and play with Mint alright?” I heard the lady say to the small girl and kissed her on the forehead before opening a hole through the pink sky and walked out?!
“Bye bye mommy!” the girl said, waving at the lady enthusiastically until she could no longer see her. After closing the hole up, she ran straight to me and said, “Hey there Mint! My name is Rose and I’m 5 years old this year! From today onwards, Mint will be Rose’s best friend and we will do everything together like sisters! Mommy is usually out so we can play whatever we like!”
‘I see.. So this girl is usually at home alone when her mother is not around.. She must feel really lonely.. Just like me before I met Seth..’ I thought and chirped back, “Nice to meet you!”
“Hehe!” She giggled as though she understood what I said, “What shall we play first?? Board games? Fetch? Or read books? Oh oh! There’s also freeze and melt!”
I just stared at her blankly, not knowing a thing about any of the games she just mentioned. What Seth and I usually played was to see who could suck the most nectar within a minute or who could gather the most worms in five minutes. But humans could not drink nectar or catch worms. ‘I mean they can catch worm but.. I just really want to go back to the rainforest..’ I thought.
“Oh.. I see.. Mint does not know how to play these games..” she said in low spirits and said, “I know! Why don’t we go take a bath first!”
The instant she removed some of the metal bars, I flapped my wings at full speed, totally forgetting about the fact that it’s still hurt from the gunshot. Nonetheless, I was so close to being free as I bolted towards the blue sky, not realizing there was something invincible preventing me from escaping from the pink sky.
“Mint! Are you alright?! The window is closed so you cannot get out of the house,” Rose gently held me in her warm palms.
“I’m sorry..” I managed to breath out.
“It’s alright. I’m just glad that you’re okay,” she said like she really knew what I meant as she stroked my head lightly.
After many moons, I was still within the pink sky which always changes suddenly from daytime to nighttime and back to daytime. Although I love Rose a lot and appreciate all that she has been doing for me.. I still longed to be free one day, soaring up high in the beautiful sky I once loved and still love till now. I often starred out of what she calls the ‘window’ and wonder if I belong here or there. I didn’t want to disappoint Rose but I still feel that the vast sky is my home and that I should be there, not here in a birdcage. The day then came where Rose brought me out into the wild for the first time..
“Mommy said that the condominium we are moving into does not allow pets.. So I’m sorry Mint.. I cannot bring you along with me…” she said, I could see tears trickling down her red, puffy cheeks as she walked down the dim-lit pavement, “But I am sure we will meet again right?”
It was my first time in two years since I was able to see the sky I love so much. Although I was happy that I was finally going to be free, I cannot help but feel sad that I will be parting with Rose.
“Yeah.. I am sure we will meet again..” I chirped out, hoping she would understand me like she had for the past two years.
“It is a promise then..! Do not forget to come visit okay!” she said, beaming away as she opened the door of the cage, allowing me to be free once again. I hopped towards her, up her shoulder and gave her a light kiss on the cheek before taking off from her shoulder.
I could finally feel the breeze that brushes lightly against my emerald feathers once again and the feeling of soaring up higher than any other living things. I glided through the vast sky above the town Rose lives in when I heard a familiar voice that I could not make out, “Lint!!”
I turned to look, only to see my good old friend, Seth. Gleaming with elation, I cheered out to her, “Seth! Good to see you again!”
“You dummy! Do you know how worried I was looking for you?!” she rushed straight to me, giving me a peck on the head. I then explained how I found out there was more than one sky and about Rose, the girl who took care of me.
Although I was finally free, it did not feel the same as when I was with Rose. I kept wondering day and night about what was the difference. Slowly, I realized.. It was the love that Rose had for me. I missed the feeling of being loved so whole-heartedly and treasured as though she could not live without me.
While I was in your birdcage Rose, I longed to be free. But now that I’m free, I longed to be loved once again.





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