The escaped through the window, like hey had done so many times before. In the beginning it had been a game of teenage ninja’s, testing the boundaries and pushing for freedom. Now, it was not only habit but an addiction they couldn’t live without.
They bent over and did that funny crouching walking style that allowed forward action while keeping them below the windowsills of the windows that rung the house. At the corner of the building they finally stood up and made a dash for the bike stand, grabbing each of their chosen mounts and setting off, in a practiced series of movement that were now ingrained into their muscle memory. No words were exchanged until they made it past the corner of the property and hit the main road.
Even after they passed the danger zone, where they were most l likely to be caught, on this night they said nothing. They road side by side. She reached out and he met her halfway. They road this way, down empty streets until they let go to make the turn that brought them to the park they liked the most.
She loved that it had the high swings with extra long chains. As she dropped her bike, she headed straight for the seats that allowed her to fly away for a small moment in time. She was already swinging toward greater heights as he made his way over and joined her on the swing beside her own. His hair was curly, hanging in spirals to his chin. His skin had broken out again with the acne he hated and felt made him ugly, along with the long list of other faults he saw in the mirror every day. She couldn’t count the times she had looked into his beautiful hazel green eyes and told him be was lovely to her.He never heard her.
She swung so high the chains were almost parallel with their anchors. Leaning back as far as her arms would allow, she dipped her head back. The world tilted and became something else a little less real. She loved this feeling and could swing like this for hours. She didn’t want to come back to the earth.
He called to her and even without being able to understand the exact words, she knew he wanted her to come back to him. She fought the urge to ignore his voice. Instead at the very height of her ascent, she pointed her body outward and propelled herself into the warm night air. She landed with a solid thump, back on the ground. He had already begun the walk across the playground, knowing she would follow, which she did. He was lying on the merry-go-round.
She put one leg on and began to push with the other as she held onto the bar she was braced against. It was his favorite toy and she knew she would never see one without thinking of him . Once she was satisfied with their velocity, she found her wedge of space with her legs crossed under her, knees braced on two bars and head at the center of the rotating wheel. She put out either hand and found his waiting for her.
They barely spoke that night. He would be leaving the next day, to a new Home, a new town and a new family. There was nothing left to say, she didn’t know any words to give him. She hated this feeling, the pit in her belly that echoed with the memories of people who weren’t there anymore. All the things people filled these silences up with, always felt like too little too late.
She held his hand until they had to make their way back. She looked at her beloved swings and wished she could stay in the air, upside down where the world wasn’t the place she lived in, where she could fly and never come down.