After many months of its absence, I am happy to announce that "Wings" is back!
If you're unfamiliar with "Wings", it's an ongoing collection of short stories featuring witty banter and border-line cheesy romantic comedy (basically everything I try not to include in my Sci-Fi novels...).
If you want to read the first five installments, click here.
Without further ado, please enjoy the sixth installment in this series.
When my phone vibrates in my pocket, I almost hurl it against the wall. I’ve made two mentionable mistakes in my life: The first was revealing myself to Eva. This was necessary of course, and I suppose it wasn’t all bad… but even so, I place it firmly at the top of my “mentionable mistakes” list.
My second mentionable mistake was giving Eva my phone number.
“Why do you even need a phone?” She’d asked when she found out I had one.
I shrugged. “Why does anyone need a phone?”
“We humans need phones to communicate with friends, take photos, keep up with the times…”
I sighed. “Eva, for the last time: I am a human.”
“A human with wings,” she pointed out. “Do you even have any friends other than me? No offense,” she added quickly. “It just doesn’t seem like you… get out much.”
I rolled my eyes. “I don’t. I’m too busy making sure you don’t die in some ridiculous fashion.”
“Yes,” she says complacently. “Exactly. I’m your only friend, so you should give me your number so that I can call you.”
“Why?” I asked. “I literally live right outside your bedroom door, and I follow you around twenty-three-and-a-half hours a day.”
“What’s a phone for if you don’t even have any contacts?”
“I take pictures.”
“So get a camera then!”
In the end, I had, as usual, caved. And since then, my daily half-hour “Eva breaks” had often been interrupted.
“What?” I growl into my phone now.
“I have a question.” I can hear her answer through both my phone and the wall.
“Save it for later, please. I’m on break, remember?”
“It can’t wait,” she insists.
I sigh. “Fine. What’s your question? Make it quick.”
“Would you rather have your closet painted orange or purple?”
“Your closet,” she says in an exasperated tone.
I look up at the wall of the linen closet I call “home”. It’s currently painted pale grey, but I don’t usually notice the color since it’s pretty dark in here.
“I don’t care what color it is,” I tell Eva.
“Orange would be bright and cheerful,” she replies, ignoring me completely.
“Orange is hideous,” I say.
“I knew you’d say that. So what about purple?”
I groan. “I guess, as long as it isn’t a horrible shade of purple.”
“Something dark?” she asks.
“Okay. Thanks! See you in ten.”
“No you won’t,” I tell her. “I’m starting my break over right now.”
And then I hang up.
Keir and I are in the hardware store, staring at a beautiful kaleidoscopic wall of paint chips.
“Look at all these colors,” I say. “Surely you like one of them.”
He nods. “Yes. I’m very fond of that one.”
I look to see where he’s pointing. Pitch black. Of course.
“You are the gloomiest angel I’ve ever met,” I inform him pertly.
“I’m not an angel,” he insists grouchily.
“Whatever.” I look around and select a pale rose-colored paint chip.
“This would be really pretty,” I inform him. “And it would lighten the closet up a lot.”
He rolls his eyes. “No. I don’t care about my hiding place being pretty.”
“Alright then… pale blue?”
“No. You know that if you get your parents to paint the closet, it’s going to smell like paint fumes for a few days, right?”
I nod. “Obviously. So what?”
“So,” he says deliberately, “I won’t be able to find my refuge in there until the smell clears out.”
“Oh.” I shrug. “Well, have your breaks in the hallway then. I’ll leave you alone, I promise.”
“Will you leave my phone alone?”
“It’s a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’”.
“Fine,” I give in. “Yes. You know, for someone with only one friend, you sure are ungrateful.”
He ignores me.
“Alright,” I continue on my mission. “I’ll bring some of these back and we can hold them up to the walls to see which one is your favorite.”
I keep the rose chip and pick up several more in different shades of blue, green, and purple.
Keir frowns. “Calm down. You don’t have to steal every single one.”
“They’re free,” I remind him.
“I know. But still.”
I sigh. “You need to learn to take advantage of what life gives you. Oh! Maybe once you choose a color we could just take all of the paint chips in that color and tape them to the wall!”
He groans, takes my arm, and begins to steer me towards the door. “Okay, we’re done here.”
Five days later, I am once again sitting in my closet and taking a break.
Once again, my phone buzzes.
“How is it?” Eva’s voice asks excitedly.
I roll my eyes, but glance up and consider the purple wall in front of me. “Better,” I concede.
“You like it?”
“Yes. I feel that my life has now been fulfilled.”
Naturally, she completely misses the sarcasm. “Good!” she says enthusiastically. “I told you so,” she adds, sounding very self-satisfied.
“Consider me corrected… break starts over now.”
I hang up.
Merry (late) Christmas and Happy New Year!
2017 went by way too quickly- I really do think it was the fastest year of my life.
But as well as (debatably) being the shortest, it was also quite possibly the best year of my life (thus far).
I've felt incredibly grateful this year, and I'm starting to see that gratitude (maybe more than anything else) truly does lead to an unbelievable amount of joy.
This year I've been learning to sit back, take a few breaths, and put my trust in God more than I've ever been able to. Being able to let go of my desire to constantly know all of the "how's" and "when's" and "why's" of everything that's going on presently and everything that will happen is hard at first, but incredibly freeing in the long run. My college/futuristic plans have changed a couple of times this year, and I currently don't feel like I have a concrete plan- but strangely enough, I'm okay with that. Things didn't always go as planned in 2017, but everything worked out and ended up okay- maybe even better than I had anticipated they would.
I can easily get caught up in freaking out about the future and worrying about how I'm going to get to where I want to be one, five, or ten years from now. But in 2017, I've tried to get myself to focus more on the short-term goals: this is what I need to do today. This is my goal for this week. These are the things I want to accomplish this semester. I still glance at my "big picture" and think carefully about the steps I need to take in order to get there, but remembering to be in the "here and now" is helpful and I've noticed that it allows me to be more productive in my day-to-day life... Not to mention the fact that I'm a lot happier if I'm not constantly worrying about something that I cannot do anything about at present. Looking back and seeing how God has pieced everything together makes me feel very content.
I'm incredibly thankful for everything that happened this past year- for everything I was able to accomplish/experience and for the amazing people I was able to spend it with.
2017 was a fantastic year and I'm looking forward to seeing what 2018 will bring.
That being said, Happy New Year! I hope you all have a spectacular year.
"There are far better things ahead than any we leave behind."