Riptide

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Chapter 15

The pillows were lined up along the ground as I prepared myself. “It’s just physics,” I thought to myself as I threw my arms above my head to gain thrust. I repeated the action, only this time, I jumped and tucked my feet in and flew backward, turning my body around in the air and landing swiftly on my feet, dizziness flooding my brain. I fell back onto the pillows and landed on my back, unable to breathe.

Eventually, I recovered and tried again, and again and again. I didn’t notice the sound of footsteps approaching the door or the sound of my sister’s password as it was entered into the door lock. I flew through the air with my legs tucked in close to my chest as the door burst open and my sister stepped into the house. The sudden brightness and the sound of the door as she slammed it open threw me off guard and I landed flat on my stomach with a groan. I quickly pulled the hood higher over my head so she couldn’t see my hair underneath. “I’m okay,” I said, moving my arm up and giving Charlie a “thumbs up.”

“What the heck are you doing?” Charlie asked me as she held out her hand to me.

I took her hand and thought for a moment on how I should answer the question. “Uh, I was… dancing,” I said.

“Without music?”

“Yes.”

“Why?”

“Because… the best dancers can dance with only the music in their soul,” I said dramatically.

She scoffed and ran upstairs with her backpack. I cleaned up the mess and followed her. She was sitting on her bed, texting with her best friend, presumably about my strange behavior. I sat down beside her. She scooted over to make room and put her phone down. She seemed to realize my want to connect with her. “Hear about that new superhero?” she asked me.

I smiled. “Yeah,” I said. “How’d you hear about her?”

“Are you kidding?” she asked. “She’s like the only thing people talked about, all day,” she said. “Plus she’s all over MeTube.” I nodded. “She needs a better costume though,” Charlie commented, becoming excited about something for the first time in a while.

“Yeah?” I asked. “What should it look like?”

She hesitated for a moment before digging around in her backpack. “My friend drew this in third period,” she said. “Her little brother was rescued while she was at the store,” she explained as my mind flashed to the little boy I flew out of the burning building. “She asked him what she looked like and let her imagination fly,” she said. It was an excellently done sketch of me as I flew off. I had a short skirt, tights, boots, and half a shirt on.

“It seems awfully uncomfortable to fly around in a short skirt,” I said.

She agreed but pointed out a part she found cool. “But I like the symbol on her wrist,” she said, pointing at the raindrop shape with a cursive capital “R” inside on a bracelet. I heard Chloe’s familiar steps as she walked up the sidewalk to the house. I thanked my sister and went to the door, waiting for her to knock before opening.

Chloe greeted me and stepped inside. I returned her greeting and invited her to sit down, as clearly, there wasn’t a chance of keeping her outside. She walked over to the grey-blue couch which sat in the living room patiently waiting to be useful and sat down. I plopped down beside her. She stared at my shaded face. “Are your eyebrows blue?” she asked and reached for the hood on my head.

I stopped her just as she was about to grab it. “I was trying a new makeup look,” I said. “What do you think?” She didn’t answer and instead simply raised her eyebrow questioningly.

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