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The Birds Were Jealous

TaJuan is an aspiring writer hoping to gain experience and growth through publishing passionate works, like this one, online for the world.

I live my life with the past fully behind me. Whatever has happened is through, over, dead. There is no use dwelling on it; there is no use breathing it any life. I do this mainly for practical reasons: the more time I spend focusing on my past is time I could be using towards my present, and consequently, my future. However, specifically towards my childhood, there is another reason I refrain from acknowledging my past: it’s too painful. Of course there were plenty of beautiful moments from back then, but retrieving them is just like traveling through a minefield: a bad memory is potentially a step away. These bombs were more than likely placed by my father, for his negative presence lurks throughout this era of my life, his actions forever ingrained in my head.

For one reason or another, a phenomenon is occurring. Like a zombie digging its way from the underground to the surface, my childhood memories have been flooding back to me: the good and the ugly. With this catharsis of suppressed memories, a diamond was found amongst the rough; a lone star spotted in a dark night. Unfortunately, many details are lost, but the sheer beauty of the moment would make it a sin for me to not share it. Especially since this memory involves none other than the source of my trauma: my father.

A family trip to an amusement park: that already would have brought any child overwhelming joy, and I was no different. However, there was more to my happiness than just that. My family tended to lean towards the dysfunctional side, as if it were formed broken. So, whenever we went out together, and appeared as whole, I became beyond thrilled. Though the park name is lost, as too most of the day, I can recall the closing moments of our time there ever so vividly.

Everyone else probably could have seen the clouds, how they hugged each other tightly, continuously darkening by the minute. Everyone else probably could have felt the wind, how it no longer felt like a smooth breeze, but rather a sign of one thing: a storm was brewing. With that being said, I have to embarrassingly admit that I did not notice any of it. All I saw was that we were about to ride this ride, and my feelings displayed as such.

The ride was simple: you were strapped up to the machine parallel to the ground; then you proceeded to travel around in circles. Basically, it was a ride that imitated flying. For a short while, we were akin to the birds that soared the sky, and to me, that feeling was so magnificent. I am not one for thrills (roller coasters frighten me to this day), but thrilled is the only appropriate word to label that feeling, and even that does not quite fit. Birds fly across the world with little worries; the problems of the world literally beneath them, and we, for a moment, were just like them. To me, that was, and still is, an indescribable feeling.

Sadly, misfortune arose. The weather was already fated before we even arrived. The rain began to tickle our skin slowly, just a few drops. Then it picked up, sprinkling faster and faster, until sprinkling failed to be a satisfying label. To Mother Nature, it was just business as usual, but to everyone else, it meant it was time to go home. However, I wasn’t content with that. The high I received from the ride had yet to fade, and I was not ready to let it go, and I urged for us to experience it one more time. Now, my father hates the rain. No, he absolutely abhors it. But, in an act that completely lacked selfishness, he decided to go with me.

Safely in their trees, the birds watched as father and son ran through the deserted gates of the ride. They saw the ash gray clouds, with no blue to be seen. They felt the wind become stronger, more violent. They noticed that the rain continued to pour as if it were the tears that I used to shed due to my father. But the birds didn’t see any tears from me now, as the amusement workers strapped us in for one more go-around. All the birds saw were my white teeth glistening, shining light even when the sun was vacant. The birds began to hear now. They heard the screams of the father and son. These screams weren’t of terror, but of raw joy. Finally, stationary on their nests, the birds started to feel again, not physically, but emotionally. They felt jealousy; they were jealous of the father and son. For even though the rain was constantly tackling them from every and all angles, as they went round and round, they soared. They soared magnificently. They soared elegantly. They soared as if they were born to do so all along. Yes, I believe the birds were jealous.

It’s truly sad that the bad times are more fervent than the good times. Or that there were so many bad times that suffocate the good times. Either way, it’s sad. Now we both fly in different paths, my father and I, for I fear he’d bring me down if we were to fly together. Hopefully though, in the future, I can soar with him again, and we don’t wish to be the birds, but the birds wish to be us.