Welcome to the first feature of the week series. For the very first feature, I chose the flash fiction piece by Lisa Reily.
Like a Bird
He was a fanatic. Always the daredevil, the jock, the sports star. She could hardly remember why she ever liked him. They had met in high school, and twenty years later they were still married.
She felt his body pressed against her from behind. Why the hell did he need her to do this? She was well and truly over the role of subservient wife. Yet here she was again, indulging her husband’s desires and jumping out of another ridiculous plane.
She’d lost count of how many times they had done this together. He thought it was a bonding experience. But to her, it was another example of the monotony of married life.
She looked out at the wide world around her, the beautiful green hills and mountains. She longed to be part of it, her own two feet on the ground. Instead, she was here with him, plummeting to earth through the blue. She didn’t even like the colour anymore. It just reminded her of the years she had spent living his dreams.
Most of her friends had the same problem with their husbands. Some of her friends laughed and fantasized about leaving, but no one ever did.
She remembered their first jump. She did not want to do it. He held her tight and she had felt safe in his arms. How consumed she was by the feeling of falling. Attached to him now, his closeness just stifled her.
Falling rapidly towards the earth, her cheeks flapped with the force. Her goggles pressed hard onto her face. She knew they would leave marks for hours on her delicate skin. Enough was enough. This time, she was leaving him.
As the world came closer, she unlocked the harness that attached her body to his, and let go. She cupped her hands and spread her arms out in the air like a bird, and flew away from him.
She looked back at her husband, his face pale with shock, his body spread-eagled against the sky. She watched as his parachute exploded its colour without her.
She was free.
Lisa Reily can be found here.