Falling

She took Astronomy senior year, so she knows that the Earth rotates at over 1000 miles per hour. And yet her body is not flung into space, to drift forever, past Saturn and Pluto. Gravity glues her fingers to the tendrils of young grass. Suddenly she feels like a fly on sticky paper: out of place, unable to escape.

He is there next to her. He is not glued to the ground. He could probably fly if he wanted to, but instead he lounges with his guitar singing about wanting to hold your hand. She wonders whose hand.

She aced Physics, so she knows that an object at rest will stay at rest unless an external force acts upon it. She is at rest. There is no external force to change that. She has been waiting a long time for an external force to change that.

She watches the wind tickle his hair and a sandy curl escapes. He sees her looking at him and smiles self-consciously.

She got a 5 on the AP Biology test, so she knows that her increased heart rate is caused by muscles pumping her blood through her body. There is really nothing very romantic about the heart.

He finishes his song and lies spread-eagle on the ground. His fingertips are two inches from her ear. She wishes that he would move a sixth of a foot closer.

She took Chemistry, so she knows that all human emotions are created by tiny molecular reactions in the brain. Hormones. Endorphins. There’s nothing real about emotions.

Her eyes slide over to him, but dart away when they meet his. When she looks back, he is looking at the sky. An object at rest is not about to make things happen for itself.

She looks at the sky too and loathes the grass velcroing her to the Earth. If only she could get up and fly. His fingers twitch near her ear. She looks at them without moving her head. Looks away. Feels the molecules dance in her head, in her gut.

The muscles in her chest pump rapidly. She feels the blood reach her head. Knows it’s just adrenaline.

She tries to focus on the stars. Tries to count them, but she loses track after eleven. She squeezes her eyes shut. Tries to remember what she learned in science. Her heart pounds, the Earth traps her, she can’t move, electrons whirl rapidly and she can’t, she can’t, she can.

She’s flying.

Her body is two feet above the ground and grass tendrils fall away from her. She sees his shocked mouth and she laughs and holds his hand before it’s too late. And she takes that shocked mouth and meets it with hers.

There are no rules anymore, and everything makes sense. They hold hands and drift away past Saturn and Pluto.

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