Introduction: On my 29th short story in 29 days, I have to be honest and admit that I just sat down and started to write in the hope that something would come out. The well is beginning to run dry when it comes to ideas, but with only two left I’m pretty sure I can make it. Anyway, this is about learning to fly.
The day I learnt to fly was the best day of my life.
It happened by accident. I was wandering along minding my own business, and then without even meaning to, I’d taken off. Somehow I’d gone from walking the streets to walking above them. It was only a few inches, enough that an unobservant passer-by might not even notice, but it was also enough for it to be undisputable, I was flying.
After I got over the shock, it turned out that I was a natural at it too. By that evening, I was dancing across rooftops, leaping from chimney to chimney before jumping into nothingness, back flipping through the air while I laughed hysterically. I’d burst through a cloud and stare up into the bright, star-filled landscape above me, marvelling at its beauty.
When you get up high enough your brain begins to go fuzzy, the lack of oxygen taking its toll. I loved nothing more than pushing myself, going as high as I could before I started to blackout. Then, before I could lose consciousness, I would drop, letting gravity send me plummeting back to Earth. Gosh, there aren’t words to describe the feeling, and there is no cooler look than catching yourself feet above the ground, swooping back into the air to prevent instant death seconds before it occurs.
Even better than that, though, is the freedom it brings. With my feet off the ground, I was faster, more agile and able to go wherever I wanted, whenever I wanted. Unlike walking or running, I never got tired. Whether I was drifting lazily above the city, letting the wind take me where it chose or racing planes, exploding through the sky like a dart, it was all the same. I came back down to Earth, feeling rested and healthy.
It was the perfect month, a month in which the world opened up before me, and I thought I could do anything.
Then, one morning, I couldn’t.
There was no big bang moment. I woke up, got ready for my day and walked over to the window, planning to float out of it. Instead, I remained rooted to the ground, stubbornly unable to move as I stared up at the sky, desperately straining my body in an attempt to return there.
Since then, I’ve tried everything I can think of. I’ve got more bumps and bruises from jumping off things than the most active of toddlers and have engaged in conversation with more than one or two very strange people on the internet. However, none of it works. Whether it’s closing my eyes and jumping or drinking something that I probably shouldn’t have drunk, I remain firmly rooted to the floor.
You know how they say it’s better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all? Well, I honestly don’t know if that’s true. For one month, my life was incredible, and having those memories feels more like a curse than an honour. For a short period, I got to touch the sky, and now I have to spend the rest of my life dreaming of it.