For Carry On Tuesday this week the prompt is :
We think we know the ones we love
Here is my story….
I had given up the day Sabre found me. An emptiness had settled in my soul. It wasn’t gloom or even despair. It was nothingness.
After work I walked up the fire escape to the roof. It was another world up there – a soaring, elevated world only winged creatures could see. It was a long way down. People say that when they are on roofs or the top floor of a building as if the height is unexpected. I said it too.
The streetlights were like tiny fireflies. Soft from this far away. Like a nightlight. I wondered if they would shine on me as I fell. If I would notice them.
I wondered how long it would take to reach the ground. To hit the ground. And if I would be afraid.
I had one foot on the ledge when Sabre said to me in a voice that was both sharp and cleansing: I don’t think you should do that.
He pulled me back away from the lights, his grip sinewy, calming. He crouched before me as I knelt on the ground, gasping like I had run for miles. He peered right into my face studying me as if I was a painting.
I was angry with him. At his intrusion. If I wanted to jump I would damn well jump. What was it to him, anyway? He didn’t even know me.
Sabre took me home. Watched over me for weeks, months. Sometimes I saw him from my bedroom window, standing on the side of the road, looking up. I thought he was stalking me but when I went out to confront him about it he was gone.
I think I fell in love with him straight away but I didn’t know it until months later. He was beautiful to look at but his features were hard to define, cast as they were in varying degrees of shadow. The light caught him obtusely so that you never really knew what he was thinking or feeling.
After months I realised he was full of grace. Flecks of it fell off him like dust. They coated the floor in silver. Outside the door the world was black but inside it was bathed in his brightness.
We talked for hours about the evolving nature of life, of dignity, of elegance, of hope. He was well read and thoughtful. Enlightened.
Once he kissed me. Just once. It was then that I knew what it meant to fall from a great height landing in a huddle of clouds and stars.
He disappeared for weeks afterwards. As if he was ashamed.
I told my mother I was in love. You don’t even know him, she said. He is an enigma.
And what kind of a name is Sabre?
Now Sabre stays at night. We don’t touch or even hold one another, but he stays.
Last night I heard him moving around in the living room. There was a flutter and a rustle as if a bird had gotten into the house. Once a sparrow had fallen down the chimney – the poor thing was terrified. I had opened all the windows and sat very still until he flew out.
I peered into the darkened room. There was no bird there, just wings. Enormous wings. Sabre was on his knees, head bowed in prayer. A light shone on him. It was golden, reverent. He flexed his shoulders as if the wings pained him and a wind like summer evenings filled the room.
I crept back into bed. Crying, shaking, disbelieving, overjoyed. We think we know the ones we love but we don’t. Perhaps we shouldn’t even try to own every part of them.
In the morning Sabre was gone. I thought I might have dreamed the wings, the golden light. But a single feather lay by the window, dusky, sable, filled with the scent of heaven.