The day I met your father was cold and dark. You see, it was the first rain of the season, and I hadn’t made it to the nest in time. I was still a mile away from home when the rain began to pour.
I’d never seen rain before, but I’d been told of its frightening power. It falls around you like bullets, they said. And once your wings get wet, you won’t be able to fly. A pretty little bird like you wouldn’t make it in a rainstorm, they said.
When I saw the first drop of rain, I was terrified. My heart screamed at me to fly. But I still had a mile to home, a mile to safety. I didn’t have time to fly home, I knew I needed to find shelter. I spotted a nearby tree with a perfect little opening. This would be my home; this would be my safety. I flew into the opening and found myself surrounded by darkness. But… I was safe.
My heart began to slow. I settled down and peaked my head out of the opening in the tree. I watched the rain. It was nothing like I imagined. Yes, it was powerful and dangerous, but it was also beautiful. It fell from the sky with such precision, each drop perfectly aerodynamic. I tried to imagine what it would be like to fly like the rain flew—strong, perfect, and certain in its path.
I felt so unlike those drops of rain. I wasn’t strong or perfect. I wasn’t certain of my path. I was alone, hiding in the dark, far from home. I felt hopeless and scared.
That’s when I saw him. A handsome blue bird, flying right toward me. The raindrops were sliding off his back as if they had no power. He was strong and perfect. His path was certain. I was unable to move, mesmerized by his beauty.
I realized it too late. I was thrown to the side as he came flying through the opening, crashing right into me. For a moment I was disoriented, confused by what had happened. All at once he came into focus. Tall and strong, he shook the rain from his body. He was a brilliant shade of blue with hints of black on the tips of his wings.
He looked at me with fierce eyes, all I could think to say was “you scared me.”
His gaze softened, he gave me a side smile and said “It’s okay, I can protect you now. Mind if I wait out the storm with you?”
I blushed and gave him a nod. This bird was so different from me. I was scared and uncertain. He was brave and sure. He reminded me of the rain, beautiful and perfect. We sat in silence, I stared out of the opening, watching the rain plummet to Earth. It made me feel trapped and insecure.
I couldn’t help but remember the first time I left the nest. I didn’t know how to fly, and I was scared. My mother brought me to the edge of the nest and told me to spread my wings. As I looked down at the ground far below me, I imagined my body plummeting down, incapable of flight. I was uncertain in my ability to fly. I backed away from the edge.
I felt trapped. I was too big for the nest; I could no longer rely on my mother. And I wanted to explore the world and leave the nest. But I was scared to fly. My mother pushed me toward the edge again and spread my wings. My heart was racing with fear. I felt my mother’s mouth brush across my face and I heard her whisper, “have courage my dear, learn to be free.”
I felt like that now, trapped. I couldn’t leave the safety of the tree because I wasn’t brave enough to fight the rain. But I didn’t want to stay trapped with a bird far superior to me. I knew he was looking at me, judging me., wondering why I was so afraid. I felt an urge to prove something to him, or maybe to prove something to myself. I had to prove that I was strong, and I was brave.
My mother’s words came back to me, “have courage my dear, learn to be free.”
I looked at this handsome bird and looked out at the daunting rain. With a surge of courage, I shot through the opening to the world outside. I felt the rain pounding on my back and falling on my wings. But I remained aloft. They were wrong about the rain, and they were wrong about me, I can fly in the rain.
I dove and twisted, rose, and plummeted. I felt free and I felt alive. I couldn’t help but laugh. This wasn’t something to fear or hide from. I leveled out, soaring through the sky. I closed my eyes and felt my body move through the rain. After a moment of peace, I sensed something to my right. It was him, the beautiful blue bird from the tree. He was smiling at me.
Together we dove and twisted, rose, and plummeted. We flew through the rain in blissful harmony. He wasn’t something to fear or run away from. I felt connected to this bird, he had awakening something in me. He made me feel strong and perfect. With him, I felt certain in my path. And for the first time, I felt beautiful… like the rain.
We flew gently to the ground, landing in a dry patch protected by a rose bush. I looked at him and said, “thank you.”
This time, he blushed and asked, “what for?”
I smiled, “For helping me feel free.”
That was the day I met your father. Now, come stand on the edge and spread your wings my son. You’re going to learn to fly. Remember, it’s normal to feel afraid and trapped.
Think to yourself, “have courage and learn to be free.”
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This is a Reedsy Critique Circle critique... This story was very well written, with no grammatical issues or spelling mistakes. At least, none I could find. I'm no expert but I am nit-picky. I didn't like the sentence, "This would be my home; this would be my safety." The young bird wasn't looking for a home was she? Just shelter from the scary, dangerous rain. One of my first editors told me dialogue makes a stronger, more interesting story. She was right. I think your story could be enhanced by more dialogue: between the momma bird...