Gravity

Cara’s father had had a saying.

“Ever since you could walk,” he would tell her, “you wanted to fly.”

It was the sort of thing only a doting father would say, and the sort of thing only a doted-upon daughter would believe. But Cara remembered those words long after her father died. And long after she’d lost any hope of flying away from the greying and dreamless town she had always called home.

She’d had aspirations in her youth of course. Her father praised her artistic skills and worked an extra job in a town where to have a job at all was considered very fortunate. It was clear to Cara that he sacrificed any dreams of his own for her, and she put the utmost effort into each and every one of her paintings. She studied diligently at school, and even managed to go to university.

But then her father had died, and her dream died with him.

Cara moved back home to care for her mother and younger siblings. Her sisters grew and married. Cara had a marriage of her own, which failed so spectacularly that it almost made her glad her father was dead. After her mother passed on, she briefly attempted a teaching job in another, larger town. But she felt just as anonymous there as at home, and soon returned to her birthplace.

She still painted from time to time, almost by rote, smiling sadly as she recalled her daddy’s words. She would wince with a pang of regret at times, and set her brush aside to become dry and brittle.

After having given up caring about what people thought of her, Cara began dating a man. Daniel was a schoolteacher himself, and a newcomer to town. What sort of man would move here, and a bachelor as well, God only knew, she thought. However, he seemed kind enough, was gainfully employed and was not terribly ugly. He would have to do.

The love of Daniel’s life was to hear his own voice. He seemed genuinely enthralled by his own opinions. Cara would pretend to listen, nodding frequently and occasionally raising an eyebrow or making  some sort of exclamation. After a few weeks of listening to lectures on everything from tea to tits, she’d had quite enough, and decided to sleep with him just to see if it would shut him up.

It was all for nought. As they lie in bed afterwards, she interrupted his perpetual monologue abruptly by saying—

“My father used to say that from the time I could walk, I wanted to fly.”

“What?” Daniel turned to look at her, seemingly surprised that she could speak. Cara kept staring at the ceiling. She repeated herself.

“Fly how?” Daniel asked. “Did you want to be a flight attendant when you were a girl? Or a pilot–” he hastily added.

“No.”  She thought for a moment. “I wanted to be an artist, I think.”

“Oh, but you are an artist! And you teach art, and that’s more important than–”

“No, Daniel. I wanted to move away from here. And be an artist. Or just move away from here.”  Cara felt confused but also oddly giddy.

“Well then,” he replied in his professorial tone, ” there’s nothing to stop you, is there? After all, the gravity is no stronger here than anyplace else.”  He held out his hands as if pleased with himself for having explained something simple to a simple person.

She turned to look at him. He was still smiling like an idiot, but she felt herself smiling too.

And she felt her father’s smile in her heart. She knew what flying was all about now.

As soon as Daniel fell asleep, Cara left the place that wasn’t home for good.

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42 Responses to Gravity

  1. Monochrome nightmares says:

    A wonderful story Oglach.
    Did Cara eventually find her wings?
    I would like to think so.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. jac forsyth says:

    Gotta take the leap in order to fly. Love this story.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. A wonderful story. Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. thinkinkadia says:

    Things do click suddenly like that:)

    Liked by 3 people

  5. skat says:

    I don’t like the fact that a plonker was the one to finally open her eyes. He’s getting too much credit. “He would have to do”. Yuck.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. inesephoto says:

    Wonderful story. I wish I could fly too 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Isn’t it strange that sometimes it takes an idiot to awaken our senses? Lol. We can soar at different stages in our lives; it’s not just for the youth. Cara finally found her wings, and I hope that she flies long and far, far away. Your stories always touch me in different places; especially your wit which you drop here and there at different intervals. Just when something is sounding serious, you say something like “teas to tits!” Haha!! There’s a conversation I need to have: So, darling, here are some biscuits. Would you like some tea or tits with them? Cream? Lol.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. This is just wonderful and touched me deeply – maybe because of my own relationship with art? Who knows. But what I know is that you´ve captured a story that´s worth a book somehow in so few words without making it loose its essence and create an epic in my head. Ahh, I feel I don´t express myself very good on this, but words are not my strength 😉 Anyway, I love this story and its different layers of meaning and that it is a true story by people you even know makes it even more great!

    Liked by 1 person

    • oglach says:

      I was surprised at how well this story was received. It’s stayed with me since my teen years and I wrote it down to pass the time. I’m so very glad that you enjoyed it, and I think that you expressed yourself beautifully. Comments like yours are what keeps me writing. Many thanks, Sarah.

      Liked by 1 person

      • You´re very welcome! And thank you for saying that I managed to convey my message after all, even beautifully! Ah, you made my day! 🙂
        It´s a wonderful story and I´m not surprised that it stayed with you for so long, and I´m so glad you let it out in this powerful form and shared it with us! In know that it will keep in my mind too… Have a glorious weekend and keep writing, I´m getting addicted, and I love it! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  9. What an inspirational story; it’s never too late to do what you want. Sometimes the right catalyst just needs to happen.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Gravity sucks, but (unlike some ppl) it does have the decency to pull the same on everybody and yield to lift. Hope Cara finds an updraft and soars.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. emmylgant says:

    Good story Oglach. And well told to boot.

    It reminded me of a conversation with my daughter over brunch. It went something like this:
    ” You should go to school mom and teach French”
    ” Aww! Honey, at my age. it would take too long.”
    And with the unexpected wisdom of a young woman about to conquer the world, she replied.” Well, if you go to college or not, in four years you’ll be the same age.”
    I enrolled for the next semester in a nearby Community College, and just kept going.
    The best advice I ever got.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. It wasn’t you who missed your calling….It was any who don’t read you….

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Oh you identify… You just don’t see it yet…. Care to join our now international APA?

    Liked by 1 person

  14. https://grmhwapa.wordpress.com …. We are gearing up for our first work exchange and critique… emails to go out in a matter of days, work schedule permitting!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. ericamadly says:

    I am a flight attendant and this story made my heart happy. Thank you for the encouraging post!

    Liked by 1 person

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