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Zero to Hero


Nina
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Flying

 

I stood up and walked over toward the nick-knack shelf by the window that looked out onto the house’s backyard and beyond. Doctor Gray's home office was in the back of her two-story Tudor Style home in what was an up-scale subdivision located in the forested hills north of the city. She liked to meet her long-time patients there, rather than her more clinical offices at the Professional building near the Hospital in town.

 

The office was spacious, nothing about it screamed Therapist! There were bookshelves with both professional books and books on other subjects like art, history, biographies, even literature and modern fiction. Between the bookcases were the nick-knack cabinet/shelves, three of them with dozens of figures mostly of glass and crystal.

 

The was no desk just one couch with a large, elegant coffee table with several table -books and her laptop, which I had never seen her use, not once in all the time I's be coming here, sitting on it. The couch was angled to face the window I was standing nearby. Behind me facing the couch, also slightly angled were two smaller matching couches, what my parents would have called love seats. Between those two couches an octagonal end-table with even more figures. The place had to be hell to dust.

 

“Is it the same dream, as usual?” Dr Gray asked in her smooth soft voice. The one that she uses to put you at ease. I'd been seeing her since I was fourteen, right after my brother had been killed. That’s ten years ago.

 

I took a deep breath and slowly exhaled, glanced down to my left at a little glass elephant with oversize ears. Dumbo from the movies. The figure had been on the shelf across the room on my last visit. All the figures moved, from visit to visit. I think the doc does it as some sort of Psych test. I had noticed it on my second visit to this office about six years ago. I never mentioned it before and I didn't now.

 

“Yes. And no. This one was different, It was still about me flying but none of the scene was the same this was just me flying. No story no reason why. And I don't know, It was just a dream.”

 

“We've discussed this before about dreams. It is your subconscious working through things, processing the data you've accumulated. Generally if you remember your dream there is some meaning behind it. Now, you have dreamed of flying several times in the past, Roberta, it's a very common dream. And you have dreamed it in both common forms, the anxious and fear type and the elation and joy type. What was it this time?”

 

I glanced at her. A handsome woman in her fifties, If she were younger I would say pretty but that does a disservice to the maturity and competence Dr. Melissa Gray exudes, and I trust her and like her too much for that.

 

I shrug and pick up the Dumbo figure, “Neither, it was more like...tasting a dish you were making from the memory of a recipe. I didn't have any emotion, just a need to do it. It was very mechanical.” I crossed the room to another shelf and picked up another figure that was sitting where the Dumbo had been the week before. She watched me, neither of us spoke as I went from shelf to shelf moving the figures replacing them where they were before. When I was done, I faced her.

 

“When I got out of bed in the morning, after the last flying dream, my feet were dirty.”

 

My name is Roberta Ward, everyone except my mom and my therapist calls me Bobbi. That probably means something, but I don't know what. I’m twenty-four, be twenty-five in eight weeks, and I still live at home. My parents’ home. I go to collage but, I’m an underachiever. I take easy classes, I’ve switched majors four, no, five times, and am no closer to graduating than I was when I started. My parents are patient. They think I’m fragile.

 

Maybe I am.

 

I’m an only child. Wasn’t always, I had a big brother, James. Even with the age difference, maybe because of it we were close. He was four years older than me and joined the army right out of high school. He was killed one week after being sent to Afghanistan. The day before my fifteenth birthday, which was the day we found out he had been killed.

 

My mom had a breakdown, dad took it hard and cried like a baby. I didn’t cry, I didn’t do anything. Someone had to be strong. And because of my apparent lack of emotion, I ended up in therapy.

 

But losing James did hit me hard, he was my best friend. I just delt with it by not dealing with it. I guess.

 

But that’s not what this is about. This is about something else entirely.

 

 

I don’t sleep well, and I have bad dreams. That’s why I’m still in therapy. But lately I’ve been having a dream that doesn’t feel like a dream. It feels real, until I wake up. So tonight, I’m going to see if it’s real or if I’m going crazy.

 

 

It’s after midnight, mom and dad are asleep. I sneak out into the back yard and stand around I look up at he clouds rolling past the moon and hop up in a goofy attempt to hurl myself into the air. It’s just a hop though. The backyard doesn’t feel right, it’s not like in my dream. Then a thought occurred to me…am I dreaming now?

 

I go out front  in the dream I’m always moving, so I walk down the drive but stop. In the dream I’m barefoot, so I go back to the front porch and kick off my sneaker. I wasn’t wearing socks so now my feet are bare and cold. I’m fucking crazy is what I’m thinking.

 

I step into the front yard and feel the cold grass under my feet. I start walking I do another hop again with the same result then I’m at the street. I remember now, in the dream I’m going down the street, so I start walking ,the road kind of hurts my bare feet but I can feel the road on my soles. I walk faster.

 

Dammit I want o fly like in my dream. I don’t want to be crazy. I clench my fists and walk faster. The road stinging my feet, I want to fly!

 

My fists open and I push down with my hands at my side I’m moving faster, as fast as a run but I’m not running. I can’t feel the road under my feet anymore. I look down at the road moving under me, my feet dangling about six inches from the blacktop. I’m moving about twice as fast as I can run, and I start to freak out. I also start to drop, not fast about an inch every time I breath and if I hit the road as fast as I’m moving it’s going to tear up my feet. I don’t like pain. I push down with my hands again and I rise. My eyes are wide, I’m… holy fuck I’m flying!

 

I was still upright, moving about 5mph I’d say and about six feet off the ground. I was laughing, arms at my side hand outstretched I could feel a pressure under my hands, but I don’t know what it is. Ahead of me I am coming up on an intersection and I see headlights. Shit they will see me I push down hard and shoot up higher and higher. I also go faster as I rise, maybe 25 mph now I don’t know I’m not good at gauging that sort of stuff. But who cares?

 

I.

Am.

Flying!

 

I push my self around, experiment. I’m not upright anymore but rather angled. I control my speed and direction up and down with my hands pushing against something that isn’t there. I discover that I can go fast very fast it’s scary. I also discover that the faster I go the closer to the ground the force wants me to be, and I have to constantly push to stay up. I find that if I stop pushing, I start to descend, fast but not like falling and that I will land softly. I can hover if I want but I have to push to stay up and balance to not move forward or back because as soon as my feet leave the ground my body wants to move forward.

 

It’s incredible.

 

 And I don’t believe it not for a minute. It’s too much like my dream. I know that as soon as I go home, despite the two energy drinks I think I had before I started this that I will fall into bed and wake up with this having been a dream. Unless….

 

 

I touch down gently in the back yard the grass tickles my bare feet and there is a tingle there as well, like the soles of my feet kissing the earth. The security lights come on as I walk toward the house, they are very bright. Lights come on inside and I can hear foot fallsteps inside as  I wait. A glass door slides open after someone peers past the curtain.

 

“Roberta? Is that you, are you alright?”

 

I nod frantically at her voice, “Am I dreaming?” My voice sounds disembodied, I look at my hands, I feel the earth through my feet.

 

“No your not dreaming, it’s two o’clock in the morning what are you doing here?” She steps closer toward me worry creasing her forehead, “How did you get here Roberta? Where is your car?”

 

I smile at her, a fucking huge grin. “It’s at home Dr Gray, I flew.”

 

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