How to Fly Away
Wake up just before dawn. Check your phone the night before to see what time the sun is scheduled to rise. Don’t set your alarm. You don’t want your husband to wake up at the chimes. Think to yourself “Wake up at five, wake up at five, wake up at five…” until you fall asleep and wake up at five, amazed but not surprised. Roll out of bed carefully. Do not bother with extra clothes or foot coverings. You won’t need them. Soon. You know you won’t need them soon.
Leave out the front door, silently, locking it behind you. Wade out through the flowers, through the wet grass that’s been moaning for a mowing. Close your eyes. Feel the end of night on your face. Hear the trees flapping their hands in the breeze. See the lightening. Behind your eyes. Keep your eyes closed. You are in the midst of a waking-up song. The chitters, cheeps, peeps, trills. Taste the opening of your throat. Do not open your mouth. Keep the song. You don’t want the neighborhood to hear what you’re becoming, and besides, you don’t know the language yet. You don’t know your own
Your body is changing. Each feather takes root in your skin and sprouts into a spreading softness. Your bones, too, are hollowing out. You have never felt this delicate. You steady your talons in the ground, and you take a little hop. The hop pulls you up, up. Why would you try to stop something that feels so good, that feels so right? Your eyes open, they do not break, or pop, or burst open. They simply open and rejoice.
You wheel around your house for a while. You hear your son rising, singing songs to himself, tossing cars around his room. You make several passes across his window. He is safe. Nothing will harm him in there. Your husband is still sleeping, he will wake up soon enough.
And when your husband wakes up, he will be confused you aren’t there, he will call your phone, he will hear your phone buzzing on the nightstand, he will figure you just went out for a run, he will take care of your son, he will start to get worried as the day goes on. He will call your friends, your family.
You will be back. You are not leaving them forever. You will be back in time for dinner. You will weigh down your body with cutlery, and you will pull the feathers out of your skin. You will pick them up something for dinner. You will come up with a reason that is a surprise. You would never, never, ever leave your family forever, only life happened so fast, and you never got to soar over the ocean. Never got a chance to dip a wing as a whale spouted. Never got to perch on the mast of a boat. You never had the chance to feel clouds disappear into your eyes. You never had the chance to see the horizon in all directions. You push yourself up higher, higher, higher, and this time you choose your wind.
Caroljean Gavin's work has appeared in places such as Milk Candy Review, Fractured, New World Writing, Best Small Fictions, and X-R-A-Y Literary Magazine. She’s the author of Shards of a Stained-Glass Moving Picture Fairytale (Selcouth Station Press). She's on Twitter:@caroljeangavin