I swam my feelings away
The current of my strokes,
my temporary blanket.
To the night sky I stare
a blank slate it says.
Plenty of tomorrow’s for all,
Time to begin again.
The wheels of the plane screech as it bounces against the ground. Voices grow hushed while some reach higher pitches. The fight against gravity becomes intense. There I sit by the window feeling my heart leap at each bound. While fear or nonchalance spreads through the passengers, I grow excited. I was on my way home.
The plane takes its final leap and rises high. Below, the city lights are a cobweb of glowing orbs all holding different secrets, stories and dreams. Mine no longer theirs to find.
On the ground, a few look up and see a rising plane soaring through the sky. A single window blinking brightly.
Looking away from the openness outside my window I move my attention to the human, her name was Kara. She had an abusive husband, but as she walks down the plane’s aisle, she beams at everyone but hiding under powder was a bruise on her chin.
She was about to perform the manoeuvres that remind the humans in case of an emergency. I take no heed. However, I think of how I would love for a final taste of a cup of coffee.
With some help from Tabitha, a human I befriended from down on earth I was able to purchase this ticket after working a few months at a café. That was when I had the first taste of the coffee.
They came in many different styles and flavours. I loved my coffee black with a few tablespoons of cream and sugar. Deliciously sweet, although Tabitha found it disgusting. It was best consumed with a cake of a sort off course.
I had been introduced to many different types of delicacies, but my favourite was a chewy square block of soft brownie. It was divine, and I had sneaked one aboard. The last piece baked by Tabitha. She had laughed and called me cute at my first bite. She was a colourful soul. One I enjoyed the company of.
She had found me walking the streets in barely any clothes, she had just finished work and had no energy to be taking in a “Drunk psycho” as she had called me. However, her heart was full of guilt so taking me under her wing was her way to make herself feel better.
It was all-new for me, the strange sounds, the way humans spoke but I learnt enough to adapt quickly. Tabitha happened to have lost a roommate and helped me find a job which helped her pay the rent.
Being with humans is very different on earth compared to my usual viewpoint. It was painful but beautiful. I shudder as I recall my time below.
It was hard to be human but…every moment was magic. Every second we laughed the bond solidified. When she cried, I found myself crying randomly a mile away at work dripping tears in someone else’s coffee. When she got her dream promotion, the joy in her was brimming in me. Bursting out by sending me skipping home although my feet were weary.
I soon learnt with every scent of light; there was a shadow. A balance in the universe.
In her oblivious joy and many years of hard work she soon discovers too late that she has a sickness that was beyond healing. Her time had come.
Looking back out the window, the clouds drift past, I could begin to see the other stars sparkling in reach. My heart leaps, and tears slip down my cheeks.
“Excuse me, would you like anything to drink?” says the stewardess politely.
I quickly wipe the tears away and turn to smile at her.
“Yes please, I would love a cup of coffee Kara.”
“Sure, no problem,” says Kara looking at me oddly, “How did you know my name?” she asks. I laugh and scratch my head forgetting again about my bad habit of saying people’s names when not introduced. Then I see her name tag.
“Nametag!” I say, and Kara laughs as she hands me the cup of coffee. “Yes, of course, any sugar and cream?”
I nod my head. As she places the cup of cream and a packet of sugar on my table, I could see outside through the window the world beginning to change.
The sky turns from light pastel blue to a dark midnight hue, and the stars come alive. They begin to form a ring, and as the massive metal bird flies through it, passengers halt in the middle of their actions. Time has frozen.
Passengers with cups halfway up to their lips, couples secretly kissing in the shadows frozen in their embrace, while some frozen in time digging their nose.
Symbols begin to form on every forehead, each symbol glowing, representing a part of them that was part of my home. A piece of the skies and stars the remnant of them that was always searching for something.
Each symbol, if I touched it, would render them to speak their deepest secret, and with each utter of their secret they would be free, but it was not their time.
I took the last sip of my coffee and spoke my secret.
“I of the midnight blue sky, the star in the corner of the universe between earth and sky, protector of wishes and dreams. Fallen but now risen.”
Light begins to seep out my skin, and I explode into a vortex of light, free from my restraints and willingly fall into the embrace of the night.
On the seat beside me, Tabitha’s figure wakes from a dream. She calls out my name as I turn into a bright silhouette.
She stares at me amazed, but I could sense her fear.
“Are you sure you want to know your secret Tabitha?” I ask her barely a murmur in the silence between time and space.
Tabitha sits up and nods, “I want to be free.”
I gently touch the symbol on her forehead.
“I Tabitha Dawn Green, the soul of a hundred and thirty-two lives has reached her end of returns. To become the guardian of the star in the corner of the universe between earth and sky, protector of wishes and dreams.”
Tabitha disintegrates into a cloud of shimmering dust. Swirling around me, giving me an embrace.
The plane flies on, two passengers less and no one to know. Forgotten but never lost and forever a twinkle.
I never imagined I would ever wonder what the lips of another girl would taste or feel like. However, at that moment when our eyes met, I felt the strangest discomfort. I think you felt it too. We did not dare look at each other again. Our transaction became the bridge. Our fingers touched and I felt guilty. I had a boyfriend. I took the receipt and quickly rushed away. I had to get away as fast as possible. I mean what was this feeling?
I had 60 dollars to pass time in that arcade. I’m sure I could survive that. You at that counter, I just had to avoid you right?
I threw some balls but that heavy bursting feeling in my chest kept expanding. My head lost in the clouds. I missed most of my shots. Then I felt you looking, I turned and there you were looking away. Why was it so hard to love someone in this time? Why must I love only one?
I looked away, feeling like a deflating balloon. I had someone who loved me so deeply and with his whole heart who would never hurt me but here I was mesmerized with dreams of lips, not his. Hands on me that weren’t his and I falling deep into the eyes that were not his.
I did try to brush the dreams away but as soon as I returned to earth you were suddenly beside me. Fixing the machine just next door. I could feel your existence just steps away. Hearts racing, eyes avoiding our guilty pleasure.
You know I have someone, you saw him once before, he brought me to this world of the arcade. I loved the old games and the new. There was something about the old merging with the new that felt comforting, that there was hope.
A million miles away we ride with friends getting lost in the wilderness. My hair blown around me by the wind and your arms are around my waist pulling me down, back into our seat. I fall onto your lap and you wrap your arms around me. Nuzzling my ears like no one was watching. I catch sight of our guy friends grinning like buffoons on the mirror reflection. I roll my eyes and snuggle deeper into your chest, comforted by your warmth and smell.
We stop at the top of a hill, we run down like wild spirits falling then rolling on top of each other laughing like maniacs. You look down at me, heat rising between us as our bodies mould into each other. Your lips inch closer to mine, as my hand rises up your waist while yours slide under my shirt. I feel myself stop breathing as your breathing increases. I close my eyes waiting to feel your lips.
The crash of the arcade machine jolts me back to reality. I’m down to my last throw and did not realize. Why do I feel so afraid?