Blue Jay

“I don’t want to go on the damn Ferris wheel Libel,” Marge said, her dimples pulling back toward the smooth white curve of her jaw. Although she adamantly tried to pull herself from the line, Libel’s steady hand kept her next to him, because he knew she was lying. He could see her eyes follow the orange carts into the middle of the sky in wonder. But then again, she was afraid of heights.

“Relax, I’ll be right there with you if you need a hand to hold onto,” Libel said, attempting to reassure her. Despite her clear reluctance, she saw that he could hardly keep a smile from his face. “Just keep your eyes on me.”

With this, Marge quit complaining, she knew she had lost, by any rate. The couple had entered the line a half an hour ago, and had already weaved through most of the metal guardrails that led up to the attraction. Now, only a couple more groups stood between them and the moving carts.

“It’s our turn,” Libel finally said, when their cart was in front of them, a few dark-skinned foreigners stepping out of it quickly. Libel ushered her in, taking her hand to help her in, and she plopped right onto the plastic seats. Sweat gathered on her palms as he stepped in, the pod swaying from his weight. The door shut with a small click. No way to get out now.

“This will be a great way to end the day, you’ll see,” Libel smiled, his shining face managing to calm her down a little. Although he was shorter than her standing, his bronze colored eyes were now level with hers, his tan, jar-shaped face able to face forward. The cabin lurched as they left his ear-length brown hair swaying along with it. His massive hand took hers, her hands were small birds within an interlocked cage of dark skin and strength. He told her to breathe and she did, the tension releasing from her shoulders with every one.

They began a bit of small talk, reminiscing for a bit on past dates and such. It had been but a few months since the couple had come together, and it had been great, filled with crazy clubs and a few silly dates like this one, but Marge couldn’t help but feel a little doubt about all this. It had gone too fast.

Libel, catching her in one of her moments of deep thought, put his hand to her chin to keep her gaze with his. “Don’t worry about the thing last night. I’ll convince your parents. Trust me.”

Oh, she knew he could. It was whether she wanted all of this. The one who had sowed a seed of doubt in her parents had been herself. She was worried for her grades at her High School, worried for too much commitment when it all might disappear in a year when she went to college. The bright summer sun behind Libel proved blinding for her, so she looked to the side, into the Cincinnati skyline.

“It’s beautiful, isn’t it,” he said, looking with her. The sky was terribly blue, almost fairy tale blue. Marge wished for a cloud or two, but none came.

Then, something caught her eye, she turned to see a flash of blue, black and white, a blue jay, scurrying for a tree. Once it halted, it stared at her with an innocent black, beady eye for a few seconds. Then, with a rush of a wing, flew away, and disappeared behind a flurry of leaves.

Marge took one hand from Libel’s and placed it on the hot glass, staring at the place where the Blue Jay had disappeared. For a second, she imagined her fingers as wings, wishing she could feel the rush of wind pull her hair back. Her chest felt like it was fluttering.

Before she even realized it, the tree-line came back into the view, green leaves swallowing the sky. She looked back at Libel, who seemed perfectly happy with the ride, and felt something stir in her. She didn’t know what.

The ride finally came to a stop, and she left the ride without taking Libel’s hand, though he didn’t seem to mind. She looked back at him, at his beautiful skin, his large, stiff hands, his bronze eyes. He was absolutely glowing in the sunlight, a large, brass body.

“Is anything wrong Marge?” Libel asked, seeing the confused look on her face. She looked away, and looked at herself, imagining the pattern on her dress forming o the slight curves of her body and turning into the wings of a bird. She let out a deep sigh.

“I’m sorry,” she said, sadness welling up from the bottom of her heart. She knew the words she was about to say, but she didn’t want to say them. Her insides burned as much as the sun did on her skin. She took in a few deep breaths as Libel hurriedly got her to a bench. He was worried for her. She knew he loved her. But…

“We’re breaking up, Libel,” she said, finally, letting tears escape her eyes. She buried her head into her hands until she could no longer hear Libel’s protests. After nearly half an hour, he silenced himself, and disappeared.

Finally, as evening approached, she stood, finally allowing herself to be proud of what she had done. She headed home, grief and strength heavy in her heart.

And above the tree beside the Ferris wheel, she spotted a Blue Jay flying away.

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