Wings

The sound of his motorcycle was the loudest thing I ever heard. It broke through the noon heatspell that day. Everybody at Wiggly's Sonic just about jumped out of their shoes, or their skates. I watched as he pulled in to my station. My legs wouldn’t move at first. It wasn’t that I had never seen a motorcycle before, I just had never seen anything like him before. Nothing I could pinpoint, whatever made me woozy, it was just him. With wing tattoos. It was so hot he took off his shirt after he pulled in, and I noticed the little feathers in black ink traced along each shoulder blade. The sun was high and everything seemed a little washed out.

He reminded me of the boy that I never let myself know, small dark eyes deep in his tanned face, thick lips a little bent. Most parts of me wanted to follow him.  Only this one was not a boy.

I noticed the little trickles of sweat running down the middle of his back. I tried not to look at his skin, tried to focus on my notepad and take his order. My face felt on fire. I suddenly had a little twitch on the right side, which I tried to smile to hide and only to make worse. He wasn’t looking at me much. He’d pulled his sunglasses off, looking at the pillar with the order menu posted.

He ordered fries and a shake. There was nowhere to put the tray. I stood there, holding it for him while he ate one fry at a time and sipped his strawberry shake slowly. My skates got wobbly. He asked me about fishing. I told him about the supply shack up the road by the bend to the lake access.

As soon as I got off work I skated to the lake. I ate an ice cream, tempting fate to deliver him to me with a mess on my mouth. Sometimes fate doesn’t listen even when you’re testing her. Maybe especially then.

After the sun went down I knew he wouldn’t be coming around. But I sat for a while longer, holding in the feeling of waiting for him. Trying to mold in my insides the swell and groan of that hope. The air felt wider, my skin more alive, my eyes could see more than what was, into what could be or what once was, maybe in another universe. Maybe it was all the sugar, but that night the air seemed to sparkle.

I went home. On my bed a tiny feather poked out of the down comforter and I plucked it out.

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