Free and Alive

You woke up, and you noticed something was different. It wasn’t your bed, your walls, or your room. You just felt it, knew it. You were supposed to do your regular activities today, going to school, busy day, so exhausting, boring stuffs. But you just didn’t care today, and you felt happy about it. You felt you had nothing to lose, just going on an adventure for one day and escaping your grey circle. It was like a dozen of sirens were singing at you, calling you all at once. You were invited to their party, to be blissful.

You grew wings, light brown with a touch of black on the edges, so graceful. You flapped them, feeling excited to fly. You jumped around in your room, breaking things with your uncontrollable wings. But you smiled and laughed. It’s time to fly, you thought to yourself. The windows were suddenly opened. That wasn’t you, that was the wind, howling for your soul. Then get out and fly, the wind said. Find your treasure, little kite.

You flew out into the cloudless sky, feeling the warm sunlight on your skin. Beautiful morning, beautiful view of the earth from above. You encountered nothing, it was just you and the wind, flying together. At first you flew awkwardly, but then it went smoother. You did several manoeuvres, so elegantly. Your breath was deep, and your heart beat faster. You felt your adrenaline rising, and it was good. Everything felt good.

You heard a scream. No, two screams, three, and more. But then you realized they were seagulls, screaming while flying low above the salty water. White sails of fishermen’s boats right beneath you, seaside bars and houses over there, white sands, crashing waves. The sea was already ahead. You were about to leave the land, to depart from your town. Your adventure had just begun.

It had been a few minutes since you crossed the line between the land and the sea. You had been flying in silence, only listening to the sound of the salty air hitting your ears. But then your peripheral vision caught some movements beneath. In the middle of the vast ocean, you saw dolphins swimming and racing with the flowing current, popping up into the surface and then going down under. There were a few of them, and they all seemed to be enjoying what they were doing. Seems fun, you said to yourself.

I wonder where I’m going, you thought. But you just knew straight away, that wherever you would arrive at, it was going to be wild and wonderful. You were probably going to find an inhabited island full of thick forests and untamed beasts, but something definitely was waiting for you there. It felt obvious when you thought about it more.

But no, your eyes caught no place similar to an inhabited island. Instead, you saw a savanna. Very, very dry and open savanna. There were a group of wildebeests over a large pond, drinking water and chilling. Of course they didn’t notice a lion pride sleeping over a big, leafless tree far away from them. Wild Africa, you thought. Predators and their preys. Everything seemed to be alright for now, so you just kept flying ahead.

Hours later, the night fell and covered the earth. You have flown far and far away, leaving the savanna, passing by an empty desert, back above the ocean, and into a green hill with a small house and a big barn. The lights inside the house were on and thick smoke went out from the chimney. You decided to take a rest next to the barn. You laid your body on top of the grass and your eyes gazed upon the black sky full of flickering stars. You never knew much about stars constellations, so you just tried to find some patterns and lines between the ones you were looking at. Meanwhile, you ears caught noises from inside the house; children laughing and a dog barking twice. It was really faint, but you thought you also heard a man and a woman talking and giggling. A small and happy family. The house is warm and comfortable, you thought.

Today was a beautiful day, and tonight was even more beautiful. You could see snowy mountains over there, at the far end of the hill. And oh, wait! The sky, it… it changed colour! Bursting out of nowhere, a huge wave of colourful lights decorated the night sky like an invisible giant’s tongue.  It bended and squirmed slowly, creating a graceful movement. You were planning to sleep, but now you just wanted to touch the light. You could fly up there, right at the moment. So you flew. You flew high and fast, launching to the sky like a rocket, took a little break to catch a breath, and then shot yourself higher.

The northern lights were your treasure. You had dreamt of it your whole life. And now, now you were up there, touching it. You were literally inside of it, and the cold didn’t keep you from admiring it. You did shiver a little, but you were fine. You were alright and even more. You were one with the sky, and you didn’t even make a hard effort to control your flight despite the wildly blowing cold wind. One flap, two flaps, three flaps, floating in the sky and swimming through the northern light. The time felt really slow, and it was wonderful. It felt amazing. You didn’t feel any fear, any burden. Just… happiness.

You were free and alive.

 


 

 

“Tom, it’s time for your math lesson,” said a middle-aged woman in maid clothes. She touched the boy in the wheelchair’s shoulder gently, apparently trying to snap him back to reality. Her dark hair fell when she bended over a little to see his face.

Tom, who was still in his pyjamas, looked really occupied with whatever was in his head. His eyes stared at the sky outside the window. They looked like they were seeing things invisible to the maid’s eyes, maybe trying to reach to something, or maybe to nothingness. Either way, he sure didn’t want to be disturbed.

But the maid called his name again anyway. She called him again, and again, and snapped her finger in front of his eyes. That was when he finally looked at the maid’s eyes. Her sweet brown eyes met his pale blue eyes. Faint wrinkles appeared on her cheeks when she smiled. Her smile was so calming, pushing the boy to smile back at her. “Come on, I’ll help you change your clothes,” she said.

Tom nodded and looked away from the window. He turned his head and saw clean clothes on his bed. “I don’t like Mr. Kelley. He’s mean and heartless. He doesn’t want me to give him wrong answers.” He moved his wheelchair towards his bed and to face the maid.

“Well then, you just have to study more so you will not give him wrong answers,” the maid responded. She then helped Tom getting off of his wheelchair and to sit on his bed. “What were you thinking anyway? You seem to be thinking a lot these days,” she asked.

“I was just imagining things,” Tom answered.

“About what?”

“About being free and alive.”

After helping Tom change his clothes, the maid pushed his wheelchair out of the room. Right before closing the door, she noticed a bird flying outside the window. It was a kite bird. Its wings were light brown with a little of black on the edges. The bird flew around for a few seconds, and then entered the room through the open window. It then landed on Tom’s desk. The maid observed the creature curiously, watching its movements. The bird stared back at her, and tilted its head.

A kite bird, the maid thought, …was the one being free and alive.

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