Hanging

24 Nov

I am swinging.

Up and down, up and down.

I push with my legs the way daddy taught me way back when I could barely get onto the swing by myself, when my legs looked so small stretched out in front of me that I thought I’d never get to the sky.

And I sure do want to. I want to touch the clouds.

I want to jump off the swing and land on top of one, just like the kids in the books on my shelf always did.

I’m a pretty good traveler so naturally I’ll find myself a rainbow to slide down when I’m done. There won’t be a pot of gold at the end though – that’s just a silly fairytale. However, I do hope there’s a bus stop because my parents won’t be back from work until dark and I always eat dinner at six.

I open my eyes. I’m nearly there. It’s right in front of me. The perfect one. I’m ready. I’ve waited for so long. It’s time.

I take a deep breath and shift to the edge of the black plastic strip holding me up so high in the air. I loosen my grip on the rusty old chains at my sides.

And

I jump. I reach out.

My hands catch nothing. Nothing at all.

There’s nothing there.

The cloud doesn’t catch me.

The illusion is shattered.

I feel myself falling.

And suddenly I stop.

I’m left hanging in the air.

Thank God I wore that old sweater with the frayed ends and loose strings.

Because I’m being held up by a thread.

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