With the Wind

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Chapter 2

Now child, one day after Lucy had moved in, I was returning home from a long day of school, and I spotted the sun. It was steadily falling down; it slowly fell into the sea. And I remember it was bright. It was… mesmerizing, but I don’t know why I was so captivated by it. I just remember being pulled by an unknown force, chained by the sun as it lured me into its light.

The streets around me bustled quietly in my ear as I walked, transfixed, towards the end of the town which featured a cliff-side overlooking the sunset. As I climbed over a stone barrier on the side of the dirt road, I spotted the house—the cliff-house that Lucy had just moved into—to my right, jutting out of the corner at the town’s cliff-side. It distracted me from the sunset for a moment; the roof’s bright, reflecting light shown into my eyes and I realized how magnificent it looked against the orange sunset sky. Which, in turn, when I planted my gaze elsewhere, my previous attention to the sun wore off, and I wondered why I had climbed over the barrier in the first place. When I was just about to turn back, something even more amazing caught my attention. A girl, about my age, stood on a grassy ledge of the cliff, close to the edge. Her hair was a series of flame curls flowing with the wind as streaks of sunshine shot off of the crimson strands, making her appear golden in the light. Her clothes seemed plain compared to her natural features, which shined in my vision like the brightness of the mother star. And her pose was striking—she had both arms outstretched towards the sky, her heels rose two inches off of the ground as she balanced as high as she could with just her toes. It was like seeing two brilliant suns, one free in the sky, and one stuck on the ground, forever doomed to reach up, wishing to be beside the other.

And so I saw this girl, and I froze. I know, I should’ve been melting because she was a sun (Wilson winked), but I froze, oddly. I froze because I had never seen such a sight before. It felt as though a miracle had occurred, for when you are young, you never really understand life. You may read about seeing the sky open up in a hurricane, but you never experience it yourself, or you might have seen a picture of a floating man in space, but you never really know what it means to be weightless, unless you dare to jump into it yourself. And in these rare occurrences, sometimes you’re forced to jump before you’re ready. Sometimes the world skips ahead of you and you lose yourself face-first in a wondrous and fearful venture into the unknown. The thing people don’t realize, however, is the numerous times this happens in our lives. After the thing is done and over, we forget about it. The experience becomes a memory of the past as the moment of the adventure zips by like a dream on a moving train, ramping up the amount of coal needed to arrive at its destination, but paying no heed to the rest. And in the moment that I saw this girl, I knew that all she wanted was to jump off of the train. She wanted to fly away, to rise above all the other trains and ascend into the sky where no one had ever been before. But that is impossible. Gravity still exists; the only way to move anywhere is through the train: the train called Life.

Suddenly, I tripped over a patch of grass, resulting in a pathetic yelp! from my mouth and thump! as I hit the ground. The girl, surprised by the sudden noise, was forced out of her trance and began dangerously tilting forward. She gave out a yelp as well, her arms waving around to keep her balance. A moment later, I sat up, feeling the back of my head, and looked over at the artificial teeter-totter on the ledge. All grace had depleted from the scene as she swiped the air, half her feet going over the side. I stared, a little dumbfounded. Then, she actually slipped and began to fall over the side. She screamed and managed to grab hold of a root protruding out of the cliff. Her head still peeked over the ledge as I stared. Then, I noticed something. Her eyes were a glaring color of baby blue-green, not a dark shade, but the kind of blue-green you would see in shallow waters of the Caribbean. The eyes seemed so unnatural compared to her fiery hair, I froze up once again, but not for long this time.

“What are you doing?!” she screamed at me, “Help me!

With a jerking motion, I picked myself up and scrambled over to her. I offered my hand out to her, and she took it forcefully. With a hugnnehh, I pulled her up with both of my hands and we fell back onto the grass, gasping for the sweet oxygen in the air. After a bit of staring at orange clouds, the girl moved. She sat up and looked around her.

Satisfied with something, she made a confirmative hmmm and turned to me, “Hey. Get up.”

I was instinctively scared of her tone, which was surprisingly hard and stern for her age. I began to sweat as I sat up, avoiding eye-contact with the red-haired stranger, staring at the ground.

“Raise your head.” She said, and I complied. Slowly, I peered up from the ground. Her eyes observed me from her spot like the sky would look down on us. Red-tinted gold light from the sunset reflected off of them, creating a swirl mix of red and blue, dancing around each other to create wisps of color in her iris. For a couple of long seconds, our eyes met—my worried, anxious eyes, her shining, fiery eyes. Then suddenly, she closed her eyes, nodded, opened them, and rose up on her feet.

“You’ve passed the test!” She said with a big smile, “I don’t have to punish you.”

I still peered up at her in wonder, “...Eh?... Wait- what test?”

“Your eyes!”

“Huh?”

“They have a good look!”

“W-what do you mean?”

She offered her hand for me to grab, “I mean, I want to be your friend. Come on, let’s go!”

“Heh?!” Without waiting for me to even grab her hand, she reached down and pulled my hand up. Thus, like a ragdoll, I was dragged along the cliffside by a girl that I had just almost killed. My back digging into the ground, creating a trail of torn up grass, I looked forward towards our destination. It was the house on the cliff.

“Uhm!... Excuse me? Do you live in that house?” I asked with some difficulty.

“Hm? Ah, yeah!...” She answered plainly.

“... Um-well, that’s kind of weird!”

“Why?”

“Well, because- ow!” I exclaimed as a rock went under me, “Some people at my school said it was cursed!”

“Eh? How can it be cursed? It’s such a pretty house!”

“That’s what I- ow! - thought too!” The house was getting closer as we went up the hill to get to the elevated cliff. As we went higher, the wind began to get stronger. The girl’s hair began to whip around, and I felt my hair rustling around as well. Then, I noticed something; there were five stacks of stone barriers in front of the house, large and looming enough to completely smash the house if it fell. They reached even higher than the house itself, and it seemed to have been hastily made. A few iron bars stuck out of the sides of it and some bits of stone had been chunked off by the wind, but oddly, it looked sturdy enough to last a tornado.

“Hey, what is that?” I asked the girl.

“It’s a wind barrier.” She replied.

“...Why do you have a wind barrier?”

“Because of the wind, obviously.”

“Well, yeah, I know that, but is the wind something that needs to be blocked?”

“I don’t know. I don’t think it is, but I guess a lot of others do.”

“...Huh,” I said, grass all over my hair, “By the way, could you let go of me? I think my underwear is stretching to my feet already.”

“Oh yeah, sure.” She opened her hand and I fell back suddenly onto the hard ground.

“Ow.” I reacted, already used to the abuse. As I pulled up my pants and got back up, she continued forward until she stood in front of the house.

The entrance was situated on a wide, fenced off porch at the front. Bushes lined the ground around the porch, and the porch itself had a few cracks and dents. Windows lined the walls of the actual building, going up a whole three stories high. Around the side of the house ran a wooden fence to the cliffside that blocked off the entrance to the back, which was property of the house owners. The girl headed straight for the left side of the house.

“Are we not going in from the entrance?” I asked.

“No, my mom and dad would kill me if they knew I brought someone in.”

“Wait, so we’re still going in? Are you okay with this?”

“Obviously. And actually, I lied. They’ll probably only kill you.” She stated blankly. I sighed a little, and started forward. As she came in front of the fence, she lifted a latch that I hadn’t seen before and slid open the fence gate that I had thought was just another section of the structure. We walked through and emerged into a small space enclosed with the fence covering the left side, which was the edge of the cliff, and the house wall on the right side. A few garden plants were beginning to sprout out of numerous pots placed along the fence. The cliff had leveled out, and I saw that the yard we were emerging out to had no fence on the edges; someone could easily fall into the sea below.

The wall to our right rounded out at the corner, and we walked into the yard. A wooden table with chairs sat on a back patio to our right, while a small pool snuggled into the ground in front of us. The sun, now halfway covered by the dark sea, shined its remaining light into our faces, the beam shooting over the edge of the cliff.

“So, what are we doing?” I asked.

“You’ll see,” she replied, continuing forward. I followed as she walked around the pool and picked up an object leaning on the fence.

“What is that?”

She held it up; it was an plain, black umbrella that seemed like it belonged to her parents. I wondered silently what she was going to do with it, her demeanor telling me to stay quiet.

She then walked a couple of feet over to the ledge and looked over. After a few seconds, she turned around and asked, “Do you want to fly?”

“Fly? Why would you ask me that?”

“Just answer the question.” The sun melted behind the sea and it became instantly darker.

“Fly… huh?” I wondered, “...Yeah, I think it would be nice to fly.”

In response, she studied my face for a moment before saying, “Then that’s good enough. Come here.”

I obliged and came to her.

“Closer.”

I went closer.

“Stand by my side.”

I moved to her right side.

“Grab my hand.”

Questioningly, I hesitated.

This is the point of no return, I thought unconsciously. Then, I took hold of her outstretched palm.

Smiling at me, she asked, “What’s your name?”

“Wilson,” I replied.

“Okay, Wilson. My name is Lucy. Remember: This is where our adventure begins… and I think it’s also where it will end.” She opened the umbrella with her left hand, still looking at me. As she did, light showered over the world as the sun propelled up out of the sea, freeing itself from its grasps. Rays of gold penetrated my vision and I squinted, the light proving too bright for my eyes. When I opened them, I saw the girl who was looking forward, my hands still locked with hers, raising the umbrella to the sea, her eyes the color of the impossible sudden blue sky, her hair the color of the red sunset from a few minutes ago; and she glanced at me, leaning forward.

“Hold on,” she said as she jumped, dragging me off with her.

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