She finds herself looking up at the clouds often. She lays outside and stares straight out, blocking out the buildings around her and losing herself in the endless sea of blue and white. She sits on her couch and looks outward through the glass windows, high enough up that she can’t see the life below. The clouds seem to expand towards her, as if offering to swallow her up. There is a peaceful notion in being swallowed up and lost at sea in the sky. Movement catches her eye. She sees that it is a small bird. It looks like a speck of dust; its wings are fluttering almost as hard and fast as her heartbeat. It is doing circles and going back and forth. There does not seem to be any rhyme or reason to its movements. She remembers that when she saw birds doing this in the past, it annoyed her. They seemed so helpless and lost just flying in circles in the sky. Now, with new eyes, her chest lifts in inspiration as she peers at the small bird with envy. Her eyes hang onto its every dive with excitement, her heart picking up and waiting for the next swoop in giddy anticipation. She wonders what it must be like up there: to be so free. She wonders what it must be like to be so sure of yourself, to swoop and dive in an abyss of blue knowing all that is keeping you up is the power of your own self. She wishes she could be lost and free and powerful up in the sky with the birds too.
Her shaking fingers turn on a soft melody where the voice of an angel rips at the stitches she so carefully sewed. The melody curls through the empty apartment, finding every crevice and forcing itself in. The coffee grinds make a grating sound as she scoops a big pile and pours it. Sizzling and steaming, the pot begins to fill. Her lips: soft and slightly open. A breath struggles in sympathetically, if you weren’t paying close enough attention you wouldn’t realize she was struggling. Her shaking fingers find a lighter. She shakenly puts a cigarette between her lifeless lips. With a flick of her thumb, an angry flame bursts up and touches the tip of the cigarette. The end comes to life with orange embers. A snakelike smoke cloud slithers slowly out of her lips and up into the rafters. Outside it has already begun to rain.
She takes a deep breath, not too deep, afraid that the stitches will tear. She can feel the hole in her chest growing. It is all too familiar; a malicious monster that she knew for too long. She sucks in another drag and her throat burns. She tries to pretend it doesn’t hurt, it seems as if this has become her biggest skill. She likes the smell that is now occupying the lonely apartment. Coffee and cigarettes. She tries not to let it bring the memories it so eagerly wants her to remember. Instead, she turns to the window and stares up at the clouds. The rain falls slowly down the glass and she stares out into the clouds hoping to find a bird there; free.