“Two-Minute Tuesdays” are a series of micro-stories written in
two five minutes or less. Consider them “public practice,” like shooting free throws in the park.
“You look like you’d float right out of your shoes if they weren’t tied tight enough.”
Does he know?
I panic, strain my fingers against the rock face, wedge them into the crevice tighter than I thought I could, welcoming the pain as it keeps my heart from racing away with me. There’s no way he can know that I get lighter the faster my heartbeat is.
Sleeping, I barely make a dent in the mattress. During a nightmare, I can float up to the ceiling fan if my sheets aren’t tucked in. Weighted boots keep me on the ground at school. Terror, though, might be enough to send me up into the jet stream. I’m the only person on this rock face who’s trying not to fall up, instead of down.
Terror, or … ?
No. I have to stop myself again. He’s cute, sure, but I can’t … not again. It was such a disaster the first time, the way that he met my parents, the screaming and yelling after, the way my mom was rattling around the rafters for a half an hour, the guilt, the recriminations, the days of feeling like I weighed nearly as much as the rest of humanity.
“You climb this face often?”
Good lord, he’s flirting with me. Here, of all place, with both of us straining to avoid a deadly fall, and he’s decided to flirt. Why is it that men can only think with one organ?
But wait, I have to stop and think again as I puzzle out how he managed to get over to me. There’s no way up on his side, unless he came from the top. But it’s so much further, and I would’ve seen him when I started. And there’s no way he’s this relaxed at this point in his climb.
It can’t be. It can’t fucking be.
As I watch, he lets go with one hand, and then the other. His boots are the only thing connecting him to the rock face, and the rest of his body hangs impossibly up like a balloon tugging at its string.
“Son of a bitch,” are the first words I speak to my future husband.