Her hair brushed against my collar bone as I exerted force on the knotted strings of the swing.
"Faster Lala go faster!"she squeals in delight.
"It's quite fast." I say, now closing my bony fingers around her doughy shoulders.
"It's not! I'm trying to reach the sky" she remarks, getting impatient.
"I'm in a fairly apprehensive mood. You might fall".
"I'll never get to reach the sky" Annie says, disappointed, as she scratches the ground from her heels, drawing skid marks on the damp mud, in order to halt the swing.
"You sure will. Everyone does." I smirk, ruffling her dark hair. The inevitability of departing souls. God knows when she'll get older enough to have the concept.
"How about we fly kites and make them reach the sky?"
"I'll have the red one!" She hooks her chubby arms in the air as her plump little legs carry her indoors.
"Where to Lala?" Mom thwarts the staircase.
The most embarssing thing about my ordinary life as a whole is the fact that my mom calls me lala infront of everyone.
"Flying kites Mom." I say, slapdashing together the pile of colored kites from the store room.
"I told you not to get Annie into it. She's NOT allowed on the rooftop okay?" She emphasizes, gluing her hands to her hips, jutting her left foot outward.
The classic mommy-rebellious-mood.
"She is for today though. I'm compensating for not pushing the swing too hard because that's NOT allowed either." I say hastily, ducking under her arm, that is hindering the staircase.
"Rooftops are severely NOT allowed Lala!" She screams after me.
"Gotto reach the sky Mom" I scream back, twice as piercing.
Flying kites is as ecstatic for me as winning a jackpot may be for you.
Kites are vibrant. When I am in low spirits, I wish upon the kites, and hang them on the fixtures as high as I can. With each passing second, the kites swarm through the dullness of the sky, instilling colored streaks in the horizons. It makes me happy.
Think of it. When you're despondent and down in the pit of dark, you might want to fly kites.
It's therapy. It's an escape.
"All aboard!" I exclaim in my best pirate-with-the-eyepatch voice as Annie delightedly takes her position behind me and clutch the widest part of my waist.
I let Annie hold the string while I race and throw the kite up in the sky. I tell her to sit in the middle of the rooftop and away from the edges as I pace backward and backward, pulling the kite.
The most scariest thing about flying kites is, flying them with Annie. It's true that I hate the idea of having her on the rooftop because rooftops are fairly dangerous but it always feels unfair when I don't take her up with me because she simply adores watching me flying as much as she adores watching telly tubbies. Telly tubbies mean a lot to her and on that note, you might have understood the acendancy of her likeness toward kite watching.
Now the kite is riding well above the tufts of clouds. It swims through the sky, smiling at us from above.
"It reached the sky!" Annie squeaks merrily.
Now when I say I love flying kites, it doesn't necessarily mean I nail it.
For the most part, I do nail it for precisely a minute and a half and then I deliberately screw it.
It's just one of the things that I nail for a moment or so and screw it the next moment or so. I meant it when I said my life is ordinary.
I have tried flying kites in all the ways that I could conjure. I have tried flying in the garden, in my gran's backyard, in my school playground and once in the ice skating rink (I was deeply hated by the skaters for that.)
And everytime, I managed the kite to stay up in the sky for exactly 1.5 minutes. Never a second more or less.
Then I chose flying at the rooftop not because I gained extra seconds but because it felt higher than when I was on the ground.
It felt better. But I didn't break any records anyway.
I count the seconds in my head as Annie continues to cheer me on.
I wish I could keep on counting and counting for an eternity and the kite would keep on flying and flying, never looking back.
The sky is too beautiful to look back.
I'm so lost. I'm watching it weave in and out of the pale blue horizons. I'm wishing I could be that free. I'm wishing I could fly. I'm wishing I too, could reach the sky.
The sky seems so reachable sometimes.
As I allow myself to get lost in the tranquilness of the flying kite, I cut all tethers of my conciousness. I blur everything that is infront of me and everything that is behind me.
It feels like one of those chocolate advertisements where they bite the chocolate and then close their eyes, shaking their head sluggishly and indulge themselves in the deliciousness so deeply that they unnaturally forget about eating the whole thing.
It feels so unnatural.
And the very moment, I reckon anyone watching me, would find me utterly unnatural, with that expression of deep indulgence pasted on my face as if flying kites is that joyous and sure it is.
Everything has a story. Every little act that humans commit has a history behind it.
Even the smaller things like a habit or a particular gesture.
Not every highschool kid flies kites in spare hours instead of watching tele or snapchatting. Not everyone but me. And of course, it has a story of its own.
My dad once took me to orangeyard. Orangeyard is basically a yard with orange trees as the name suggests and it's huge. I've never been there since I was nine so I don't know what the Orangeyard was for but I remember loads of people used to visit it for eating free oranges, having family picnics and most importantly, flying kites .
However, I don't remeber where mom was (Annie wasn't even born) and why dad took me there but he did.
We bought a kite from a stall and first we took a stroll across the yard and dad climbed trees to get his hands on the orangest orange of all. We peeled and ate them under the sun.
The weirdest thing about my memory in the Orangeyard is that whenever I reminisce it in my mind, everything seems orange. The sunlight, the trees, the grass, the entire hue was bright orange.
The kites from the Orangeyard stall were blue with a wide stripe of white at the bottom.
Everyone had the same kites.
Dad took me to a clear so we could run without bumping into trees.
He made me hold the string and ran with the kite and I pulled as hard as I could and it was up. He took it from me and it never came down. He was an amazing kite flier.
The kite stayed up and it did feel like an eternity as we stood there in silence, dad tugging at the string and I, standing behind him glaring at the sunlit sky.
"Do you like it?" He had asked.
"I've never flown one before."
"Do you not know how to fly one?"
"I think not."
"Do you want to?"
He kept on trying to make me learn how to fly kites for three hours straight.
By the end of the day, I had learnt how to fly a kite which, again, didn't necessarily mean I was a good kite flier unlike him.
When I had managed to hold on to it for a bit, I glanced at him and he beamed at me.
I was grimy and sweaty with all the running and before we got in the car he patted my back.
"It was good to see you fly. Will you keep on flying?"
His eyes glinted even with the Sun so dim.
He beamed at me.
I've been flying kites since dad flew away. It feels as if I'm building a bridge to get to him whenever I fly kites.
That's my story.
Just like that, I break my record. 6 seconds more than my unbreakable and frustratingly low record.
It doesn't feel like heaven. It doesn't feel unimaginably special like I thought it would.
It just feels great.
I know that there is no denying the inevitability of termination. Everything comes to an end.
So it feels great to break the record but it isn't going to stay like it forever.
I'm just trying to feel it for as long as I could.
Tugging as hard as I could.
The wind gets thicker and I pull harder as I calmly back away. The seconds keep on ticking in my head, the greatness of the moment enhancing.
The bridge is getting stronger and stronger and it feels like dad is there, watching over me, beaming, just the way he did that day.
"Lala watch!" Annie shrieks.
My feet hits the low cemented edge of the rooftoop and then I'm falling.
I'm falling with the string clutched in my hand, the kite still flying, the bridge getting stronger until it's whole and I smile.
Maybe the positive connotation of falling is flying because it does feel like it.
Sorry Annie, but today, Lala's reaching the sky.