Told in two different perspectives, starting with Jacob's. Enjoy!
The Girl Who Could Levitate
Part One: The Perspective of Jacob
She definitely wasn't just coming down from jumping in the air.
That happens too quick; too fast. She tried to lie to me, but I saw her. She hovered. on that strange January day, I met Pearl, the girl who could levitate.
Apparently, sometimes it gets too cold to snow. It made no sense to me when I first heard it, and it still kind of doesn't. Maybe it's fitting, then, that I met the levitating girl on a day I didn't understand. I was 15, and New Year's was finally dying down. I think it was the week after, but I'm not sure. I don't keep a diary like my sister Maggie. This is the closest I will ever come to writing one, I suppose. And I don't even know the date. So, in a way, I'm already setting myself up.
Anyway, that day when it was too cold to snow and I had off from school, my mother asked me to run to the store. A storm front was coming in and she was worried the pipes would freeze, so she wanted a case or two of bottled water. At first I just stared at her.
"Do you know how heavy bottled water is?" I asked.
"Then take the little red wagon with you, Jacob," she waved her hand at me, like my concerns were nothing.
So that was how, dragging a six-year-old's toy wagon, I walked under the old bridge and with my own two green eyes a girl floating.
She was pretty. Her brown hair was slightly wavy, falling a ways past her shoulders. It was just sitting there, not bouncing around. She wore one of those red, oversized, knitted sweaters that fell to above her knees and some black skinny jeans with sneakers. Her clothes were completely uncreased, just resting on her body. Her knees were bent slightly, but her feet were kind of tilted forward casually. Not flat or way-tilted, as though she had just left the ground. She was scanning something on the wall, so it took her a second to realize she wasn't alone. When she did, she dropped down.
Her hair flew up.
Her clothes acquired brief wrinkles.
Her feet landed solidly on the ground as she turned to me, hazel eyes unreadable.
"Hey, there," she greeted me casually, adjusting a messenger bag I just then noticed. "Cool jump, huh?"
"You weren't jumping," I stated, coming closer.
"Yes I was. What else would I be doing? This bag isn't a jet pack."
"I know what I saw," I insisted. "You were hovering there, half a foot off the ground, reading something. You can't lie."
She smiled suddenly and walked around me, throwing an arm around my shoulder and pulling me closer. "Oh, my. I guess I have to kill you."
Half-believing her, I shoved her away and looked at the wall. "What were you reading?"
"Poetry," she answered, running back over and jumping up. She stayed in the air, knees bent as though she was kneeling on the ground, and pointed. I recognized black scribble, but not words. "The moon, so beautiful/ At night when you are full/ You remind me of a wedding dress/ One that has lost its pearl./ And the pearl was thrown into the sky/ Where, spinning, it remains/ Only showing us its true loveliness/ Every now and again." The girl grinned at me. "That's my name: Pearl."
"Really," I drawled, not believing her. "I'm Jacob."
"Why aren't you scared?" se asked me, twirling around, then flying low so that she hovered in front of me. Her cheeks were red, so I took off my scarf and wrapped it around her neck. The action seemed to startle her. I don't know why. I mean, she was human too. And humans should care for each other.
"Maybe I'm dreaming," I answered. "Or maybe you're just not scary."
She didn't like that. She plopped down next to me and we started walking together, me pulling that stupid red wagon. Frankly, I was surprised she even knew how to use her legs. If it were me, I would've been flying in the shadows every second I had. I remember telling her that and watching her shoulders draw up and her eyes turn sad. I remember regretting saying anything.
"People always want to fly. They want to be like birds. But don't they consider how lonely a bird can be? Some of them can end up alone forever. What's the use of having wings if there is no home or heart you want to fly to?"
"Yet you still fly just to read graffiti poetry."
She smiled at me them. She looked stunning to me. "I guess I still have the hope that I'll meet that one heart I always return to."
"So how does your family feel about your super power?" I questioned.
"I'm a pretty normal girl," she shrugged. "I go to school, I have a mom and dad, I go out with friends. Aside from the levitating thing that nobody knows about but you, I'm average."
"Wait, you've never told anyone?" I stopped moving to stare at her. Pearl took the wagon's handle, continuing our journey. "How hasn't anyone seen you before?"
"You'd be amazed what people will believe, if they want to believe it hard enough."
I guess that could've been aimed at me. But what other explanation is there for a flying girl, other than that she is flying? Pearl tried to mess with my head. In that way, she taught me to stay on my toes. Now I find the memory of her playfulness cute. Then, it was just confusing.
We were close to the supermarket. I didn't expect her to go in with me, but she grabbed my hand and ran in. I didn't see the reason for running, or why she thought it was so damn funny. I had a stitch in my side and it hurt. I pulled her to a stop and she turned, mouth in a smirk. She knocked me into the wagon and leaned over me, very close to my face.
"What if I kissed you?" she whispered.
"W-What?" I stammered.
Pearl stood up and began pulling me along. I nearly fell out. "If the baby doesn't know what a kiss is, then maybe I shouldn't give him one!"
"I'm no baby!" I informed her. "I'm 15!"
"Oh, one can be a child at 92," she replied sagely. "Tell me, what are we looking for?"
"Water," I said, reclining back. Pearl was strong enough to wheel me around at a constant and steady pace. I watched her walk forward, so confident. It was hard for me to believe a girl like Pearl existed. I've still never met a girl quite like her. So lively and bold and mysterious.
I got out of the wagon when we reached the water aisle and loaded it with two cases. From there, we wheeled it back to the front and paid for it. Pearl was rummaging around in her messenger bag when we left, so I had to tell her.
"It's snowing!" I informed her.
She looked up at the falling crystals, her hair whipping around. I was suddenly overcome with an idea. I grabbed her and held her in my arms like a princess. She shouted and clung to me tightly, wrapping her arms around my neck in a death grip. I laughed at her frazzled expression.
"Jacob, what are you doing?" she shrieked. The blush on her cheeks was cute.
"You always fly on your own power," I explained. "I thought that for once, maybe it would be nice to have someone do it for you."
She stared at me for a long moment. Then she kissed the side of my head and said thank you. I put her down and she ran with me to my house. The water was heavy and made my arms feel like jelly the next day, but with her, everything felt light as air. Everything.
"Hey, are you ever gonna leave this place?" she suddenly asked me, halfway home.
I thought about it. "I'll leave for college, but I'll probably come back here. It's a nice neighborhood. How about you? Do you even live here?"
"I live anywhere I want," she laughed, drifting through the wind. It almost looked like she was rollerskating. "And I can fly, Jacob. Do you expect me to stay pinned down while I'm so young?"
"Then when you're older," I tried to compromise. We were at my house now, and the second I turned away, I knew she would disappear. "Come back then."
Pearl flung her arms around me, her legs staying in the air behind her. I hugged her back, one hand resting the small of her back. "See ya, Jacob."
She let me go and the wind picked her up, stealing her away from me. The storm blinded my eyes so that a moment later, she was gone. I didn't notice then that my pocket felt heavier. That was later. In that instance, I only wished for her warmth to be apart of me again. That was all I thought about.
And 10 years later, on what is probably the anniversary of our meeting, I am remembering it all fully. I run my fingers over the gift Pearl slipped me. I could tell you what it was, but I won't.
The girl who could levitate-Pearl-and everything about her belongs to me.
I sit in my house a block from my mother's, next to a roaring fire. It's snowing again. The day is almost over, but I am not out of hope. In her own way, Pearl told me she'd be coming back.
She made no promises about the date.
She made no promises about the time of day.
But in that beautiful voice, a promise I heard.
Click the second chapter, for Pearl's take on this! As always, thank you for reading.