Dreaming of Flying

Dreaming of Flying

A Story by

Thelma had a dream. In her dream the sky was the purest of blues. The only clouds were the ones that were scattered by her outstretched arms as the wind folded obediently under them. Below her the sea flew by. Below her the land grew out of the water. Below her the island circled, and the village on the island craned its head, and the many hands reached up. Their finger tips wanted so badly to touch her perfect skin. But if wanting could make it so, we would never feel that earthly heaviness that comes with waking from such dreams.

***


"You have such perfect skin" he whispered. Thelma could see why he would think that. His skin was rough, like his hands, but not like his voice. His voice told her sweet things, and did so smoothly. His hands were made pretty by the glinting metal that choked his swollen fingers. His skin might have been nice if she ever saw him in any kind of light aside from the street lamp or the club lights that danced while they did...something else. It was something to slow to be called dancing, and a little part of her was jealous of the other girls her age, with boyfriends their age. She wanted to dance like them, with abandon. Dance with her entire body. Dance until she was dripping with sweat. But years from now, those girls would still be here. They would still be dancing to the same songs while Thelma was in Paris or Japan or New York. All she had to do was move slow and sexy. It wasn’t really dancing. The many orange hairs on his arms and chest might look handsome in the sunlight on a beach somewhere. He could look like�"Like who? Like Brad Pitt. Yes. He could be her Brad Pitt, only with rougher hands. And a smoother talk, if not a gentler voice.

***


He has such a gentle voice. Thelma usually heard baby's crying and crying and they sound like they could shatter glass. The ones she babysat for would bawl for no reason, just to drive her crazy. Not this one. This wasn’t what she thought it would be like. He has the gentlest voice a baby ever had. He was so quiet for a baby. Too quiet, in fact. She’d thought none of it had worked but what if it had? The bitters, the bad medicine, what if she’d tied her belly too tight in the final months? What if she’d tried so hard to make it go away, to keep it all a secret that now that he was out he was continuing the lie.


She could hide him when anyone came around. If they didn’t know, they didn’t have to find out. He was quiet. So quiet for a baby. The gentlest voice a baby ever had.

***


Come baby. Walk fu mommy. Ih nuh far. Come, you could walk. You’re a big boy now. A big boy. Come, come. No, mommy can't back yuh. Mommy too tired. And you too heavy, baby. You a big boy now. No man…Shhh...nuh cry. Nuh cry, we soon reach. Just wa lee bit further. But you have to walk. Mommy can't back you, baby.


Okay man…Ay, mi back. Ay, mi legs. Mommy can't carry you, baby. Nuh fi too long. You too, too, heavy. This baby just too heavy.

***


”Nuh too long now. Good thing we reach here early though. Ay, yuh see how much the baby like the plane? Now, when you reach you know how fi get weh paat yuh gwein? Personally? I nuh see how a man can send for you but not have the decency to pick you up from the airport. Thelma, he nuh own wa car? Well ih cyant at least pay for a taxi? I know, I know. You da your own woman now. Woman by law and nature. That nuh mean your aunty cyant worry. Now when you reach yuh muss call and mek we know you alright. And you have fi mek the baby hear yuh voice so he nuh miss yuh too much. You di listen? First chance you get you start saving up, hear? Don't depend on no white man for too long, you hear? Take it from me! Maybe in about six months you can send for the baby? A year? A child needs his mother. And you must call regular so he know your voice. You hearing me, Thelma? Well answer me then! I swear, you acting like you already miles away.

© 2010


Author's Note

Read at the closing of 2010 Book Week at House of Culture. Last part is in Belizean Creole, but this is not the 'official' spelling.

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Added on May 3, 2010
Last Updated on May 3, 2010