He stood naked between sand and sea, arms extended out in the shape of a cross while the wind threw the few hairs left on his head back and forth. I couldn’t see his face, but I imagined his eyes closed, his mouth parted and shaped in a slight smile as he exhaled all the frustrations of his life in one big breath. I let out a quick, quiet little laugh that could be mistaken for a sense of my own superiority. But down below my still ringing vocal chords was a burning desire to become that man; to wear nothing but the wind on my skin as God intended and leave all that weighed me down on that spot in the sand.
She sat alone in her bedroom and watched the wind craddle the french windows slowly, left and right. The sky on this particular night wasn’t anything special; The pollution in the city had all but hidden two stars that seemed to inch closer together during the length of the night. She smiled at the thought, thinking that on nights like this, even remote incandescent bodies needed company. She thought of the fairy tales she had been told, in particular the one about Peter Pan, the boy who came and took a young girl away to Never Land. Until tonight, she never quite understood the appeal of being taken away by a boy only to be returned some time later to the same bedroom, the same family, the same town…
But as she looked at the only two stars in the sky, she wished the story was real and that Peter Pan would just suddenly fly into her bedroom, straight through those french windows, grab her by the hand and fly her away. Fly her to Never Land, to Forever Land, to whatever land he wanted, so long as it wasn’t this land. She closed her eyes and imagined the weight of someone else’s hands holding her back from the dark city below. She pictured a sky covered in stars once Peter flew them past the clouds of pollution. She wanted to feel the freedom in flying, the air between every single hair of hers, and the coming undone of all her ribbons and proper manners.
Peter Pan would understand, she thought, the desire to escape to a land where you don’t have to think or act like an adult, and where the scariest thing you might ever have to face is an old loony man with a mild case of anthrophobia. She’d take the old man over facing loneliness any day. In fact, any night.