Watching her fly used to be such an innocent thing. I remember when she would gleefully follow me into some mischief or another. We’d gang up on our younger brother in the pool, or watch MTV in the summer, dancing around in the living room or making weird choreography to go with the music. She would laugh and smile and dance with her arms outstretched, but there was always that smoldering underneath the happiness.
“Feisty” my grandfather used to call her. “Trouble,” would come the knowing response from my grandmother. She and I lost our common ground as teenagers, when she started hanging with people I had no interest in. There were the rare moments of sisterhood, then we would spin apart. I was content to fly just above the ground. She wanted to fly high enough to get away from it all.
Now, years later, it’s hard to watch her. A marriage broken, two kids clinging at her legs, living at home again with our mother. She is tethered, back against a wall, and the anger is rising up.
She says she isn’t an alcoholic. She gets angry when you try to talk to her. She puts on a show for the world to see, but under Jack’s blanket, she is angry, abusive, alone. Alone. She feels so alone, that the world has done nothing but shit on her. Her life has fallen apart while everyone else is happy and fulfilled and has everything they ever wanted. So she sits in her bedroom, trying to find the heights one more time in the bottom of a bottle.
Her wings are tattered, the wax that holds them together melting drop by drop into the abyss below. She is falling and she doesn’t even know it.
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