Starling Cloud

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
A short story about an amazing experience :)

Submitted: January 21, 2014

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Submitted: January 21, 2014

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“How long do we have to sit here and wait?”

“As long as it takes, just watch.”

Kate sat back on the hard bench looking at the sky. It wasn’t exactly a nice day and she feared that any moment it would start to rain. The sky was dark and clouded and Kate shivered pulling her coat tighter around her.

“Isn’t it nice to be out?” Said Peter pulling his camera out of the bag and placing it on his lap. Kate felt instantly guilty, Peter was an outdoor man, always had been. He loved the cold air and always told her how invigorated he felt after a shower of rain.

“It’s cold.” She said. Unable to come up with anything else to say she knew her response was short and most likely quite rude but she just wanted to retreat back to the house and hide again.

“It’s not cold, it’s crisp. The wind is wonderful, makes you feel alive. Please Kate, just try and enjoy, for me.”

“I don’t exactly know what I’m supposed to be enjoying. I’ll tell you one thing I certainly don’t enjoy being cold.”

Peter looked at her his eyes soft and caring. Kate felt the pangs of guilt stab at her again. Peter had been so good to her, so kind and caring, but she could see that her inability to enjoy anything was taking its toll on him. She turned her head away from him and let the wind sweep a tear across her face. She loved him. But even her love for him wasn’t enough to lift the feelings of inadequacy and panic she felt daily at the thought of leaving the house. He was so patient.

“Why are we here Peter?”

Her voice was wobbly, the tear that had been blown away threatening to turn into a waterfall.

“You’ll see just now when they arrive. It’s spectacular.”

Peter moved his camera on his lap before rubbing his hands together. She loved the way he could withstand the cold. She loved the way his camera was almost like an extension of his hand. She loved the little quirky things he did when he was excited. She hadn’t seen him as excited in so long. She wished hard that she could make him more excited than she did. It had been almost five years since they had met. She’d been late for a lecture and in her rush she had tripped over a young man’s bag strap and gone flying. Peter was the young man and had put his bag down to take a picture. He apologised and even offered her medical help but she refused his cushioned plasters and rushed off blood spilling down her leg. Peter had found out who she was from a friend and had even managed to get her mobile number. It took him four attempts to get her to go on a date with him but once they had been on that first date it was no turning back. Both of them knew they were in love. Kate had been a bubbly young woman then, no fear in the world, they both did as they pleased and there were thousands of photographs to prove it. Kate hadn’t let Peter take a photo of her for over a year, although when she wasn’t paying attention he managed to snap a few.

"How much longer do we have to sit here Peter?"

"Not much longer Kate, just relax."

She watched him fiddle with his camera, something interesting was about to happen. Knowing how relaxed and yet on edge he was, a childish excitement glowing around him, Kate began to relax a little. She moved a little closer to Peter, and leaned her head against his shoulder.

The anxiety began not long after Kate graduated. Left in the big wide world with no idea of her future caused an extreme panic inside her. Several rejection letters left her feeling inadequate. Peter noticed her change after the third newspaper she applied for sent a rejection letter and an apology. He first noticed the lack of confidence, then the panic attacks, the lack of sleep and then finally the refusal to leave the house altogether.

It was the first time she'd left the house in almost a week and although she was filled with panic the cold air began to feel good, she could see why Peter enjoyed walking in the cold. She closed her eyes letting her mind wander, the cold air filling her lungs, Peters bony shoulder pressed into her cheek. As she relaxed into sleep she was suddenly jolted back to reality by Peter.

"Look Kate! Look at them! Isn't it magical?"

Kate looked up as the flock of dark birds flew directly above them. Peter began taking pictures capturing the memory, he moved closer to the railings to get a better shot leaving Kate alone on the bench.

She watched the birds move in breath-taking patterns, never crashing but moving like one unit. More birds joined blending seamlessly into the already large flock. Unable to move, and unable to speak all Kate could do was watch in awe. She felt herself get up and turn full circle. For the first time in two years she felt the same childish thrill that Peter felt almost daily. Kate felt alive. Everything felt clear, felt crisp, felt real. She stood for what felt like an eternity before the birds settled under the pier. As Peter walked towards her she smiled and took his free hand.

"Let's go for a walk."


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