A little late, but better here than never. Here is part 7 and the last part to “Winged.” I hope you have all enjoyed reading Emily’s little story. Tell me all about it in comments 🙂
I lurched as the boat engine started. I had no such thing as sea legs, and thus I stumbled about like a puppet for a few moments as the fishing vessel headed for shore. I gripped the rail and watched my home grow steadily closer. More accurately, I watched for figures in the window, moving about, making Sunday breakfast. At first I thought I watched because I was afraid they would see. Then, as I looked on and saw no figures, I realized that I watched because I wanted to see them. And the thought of them seeing me did not cross my mind until after many other thoughts. Claudio stood beside me but several feet away. I could tell he struggled to keep his eyes off my wings, and I didn’t blame him. I shuddered under the first gaze from another human besides my parents’ that I’ve ever received.
“Si guarda come un angelo.”
My Italian was not ready and I did not know what he said.
“Si guarda come un angelo,” he repeated, a little slower. You look like an angel.
He smiled as he said it. I blinked at him, not fully sure how to take the compliment. But perhaps it wasn’t a compliment, and he was just stating the obvious.
“Perché ho le ali,” I said. Because I have wings.
“Ma tu sei anche abbastanza,” he replied. But you’re also pretty.
I looked away quickly. What was he going on about? I felt my face warming up, but it wasn’t just from being called pretty. I was ecstatic because it was the first compliment anyone had ever given me.
The boat jerked. My wings caught a twist of wind and leapt into the air. I would have floated away if I was not gripping the rail. I felt a hand grab my pant leg. Claudio tugged and brought me back down.
“Grazie,” I said. Thank you. Claudio simply smiled and pointed at something behind me. We approached the shore, and in my relief of almost being home I suddenly made up my mind. I stuck my head into the cabin.
“Fermarsi qui!” Stop here!
The man gave me one look and stopped the boat.
“Che c’e?” What is it?
“Io resto del modo in il mio.” I will go the rest of the way on my own.
“Che cosa intende dire?” What do you mean?
I did not answer him. I stood with my feet apart on the deck. Claudio and the man looked at me strangely.
“La ringrazio per avermi aiutato. Sono lieto di incontrarmi con voi,” I said. I opened my wings and began to beat them. Back and forth, back and forth. Claudio and the man stepped back from the wind I stirred up. I looked at them with tears filling my eyes. I might never meet another person again. As my feet left the wood, it came to me that I really yearned to be back home. It came to me that I didn’t mind that, too much. Perhaps tomorrow it would bother me again, but not today. I had enough adventure; it was all I needed to discover things weren’t as bad as I thought.
I didn’t look back at them as I flew towards the house. I couldn’t, anyway, or it would have thrown me off. It was difficult adjusting my position to land, and eventually I just spilled onto the sand, but luckily it was a soft landing. At last I did look back, but the boat had already turned. I wondered if they had watched me all the way, or if I was soon forgotten. Whether it was capable of them to forget a girl with wings or not, it didn’t matter. I would not forget them, nor what I said. Thank you for helping me. I was pleased to meet you. Outside of all the scary parts, it was a pleasure indeed.
When I stepped inside the glass door the house was still as warm and silent as I left it. There was not a stir save for the ticking of the grandfather clock in the foyer. I slowly slid the door shut, watching the glass glide over like an ocean wave. I raised my eyes to the horizon and saw the last of the fishing vessel. I wondered if that would be my only chance of stepping beyond this place, stepping beyond my whole world. But I smiled to myself, because my reach was bigger than that. Surely those two would return home and tell all of the mysterious girl with wings they caught in their boat while out on an early morning sail. I had a feeling things would change just a little around here. My secret was not a secret anymore, and still grinning I glided up to my room and wrote the day in my journal.