Fly like they do in the movies

There’s a kid down the street – he would run out with his kite in the evenings after school. Rain or shine, no matter the season. Enthusiasm emanating from him like rays of light. His face twisted in a beam of excitement.

The echoes of his family and friends still in his head – disregarded – yet there. Warning him, telling him it might not work out this time, there’s no wind, not enough, it’s dark out, don’t be disappointed if it fails.

He’d run. Holding the kite the right way, smiling, laughing, chest proud and filled with purpose. He would try to fly it. It would idle on its leash for a bit. Droop. And drop to the concrete just the moment he thought he’d got it. Just the instant he took his eyes off of it to check the road up ahead. He’d drag it across sandpaper concrete for a moment. Hear it scrape and break.

He’d stop dead in his step.

The useless mess of rope, paper, and sticks noiselessly dangling against his shins to lay down defeated by his sneakers. His face, grief, disappointment, surprise even.

Why didn’t it work, it said.

I did everything right, it mourned.

Where did I go wrong this time, it seemed to inquire from the broken piece of hope to his feet.

This is not what the kites in movies do – they always seem to fly.

Why can’t I have this, just once, too?

I wanted this so bad.

He’d pick up the pieces, shoulders drooping, head hanging, and walk back home as I stand by the window, take a last drag from my cigarette and turn away.

I know how you feel, kid.

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