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The High Flier

The High Flier

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Short Story — “Moon Song”

I have always preferred the night hours. It’s calm, the only light from the sky being the stars and moon. Laying in bed, I breathe softly. I allow the moonbeams to engulf my bedroom, kissing my skin. My t-shirt is baggy, falling past my thighs. I stare at the ceiling and babble to myself, my apartment lonely and cold. Carina and I were no longer living together. My photography gigs allowed me to afford my own living space. It felt rejuvenating to move out, to rely on myself again. It was scary, too. It felt like I had just moved to New York, coming off that bus from Tennessee, carrying my weight across the states. My chest felt heavy. As I watched the street lights flicker, I let myself sit up. My back pressed against the bed frame. I sighed, closing my eyes. My head touched the wall. I heard the two come into contact, feeling the dried paint along my scalp. I had no clue what time it was, but I knew it was late, and I was disoriented as I listened to someone knock heavily on my apartment door.

Slowly but surely, I tip-toed to the door. My hand turned the metal knob. I studied the face behind the wood as it opened. My eyes met his own, and I could feel a small smile appear on my face, “Nick?”

“Hey, Elle,” he almost whispered, his hands folded in front of him. His posture was straight. He was tall, a coat covering his rather important-looking outfit. I always hated suspenders, but he made them look decent. They rested on his shoulders, hovering over his blue dress shirt. There were five buttons. I had counted them the previous night and the other nights before that one. I wondered if he wore that specific shirt because of my fidgeting problem. 

I hadn’t responded just yet, lost in my thoughts. I stared, parting my lips. 

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“Can’t sleep?” I asked, letting him inside. As he entered, he hung his coat up. 

“Eh. I was walking home from the hospital, thought I’d stop by,” he answered, his voice still delicate. I nodded, watching the floor as I pranced around, my feet cold against the hardwood flooring. My living room and kitchen area were dark, light peeking in from behind the curtains. 

Nick hadn’t moved his eyes away from my being, and I could feel them on me as I continued, my head tilting upward. “I’m glad you did. Did you want any coffee? I could brew some, or we could just lie down for a bit.”

He smirked, his hands in his pockets. “I’m not quite sure coffee would settle well with my stomach. However, lying down sounds amazing.” 

I agreed, my shirt sticking to me as I led Nick toward my bedroom. We spend lots of time here. He likes to read while I stare at the ceiling, playing with his buttons as his free hand holds onto my abdomen. It was impressive to me that he could hold his books with one hand. It had always seemed tedious, but he made it look easy. The moon was still extremely bright, shining against Nick’s face as we entered the room. I sat at the end of my bed, pulling him toward me by his waist. He looked down at me, his eyes squinting as he gleamed. “Your apartment is always so cozy. I never want to leave.”

“Don’t! Stay forever. It’d make me happy,” I joked, knowing that wasn’t possible. We lived separate but similar lives. We volunteer for the same hospital, but he lives in Boston. He’d have to go home eventually, and I’d be outside like a dog with a bird at his door. He pushed a few strands of hair behind my ear, hovering over me as he kissed my forehead. His lips were somewhat chapped, the rough skin caressing mine. 

“I’d love to, Elle. Maybe one day I can,” he muttered..

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