“I don’t have them,” he shrugged.
“Yes, you do. You took them from me,” she insisted.
“You must be mistaken,” he rolled his eyes. “I never took your wings. In fact, I’m not even sure that you ever had some to begin with.”
“I had wings!” She cried. “I had beautiful, strong wings that could carry me anywhere. You took them from me.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said, turning back to what he was doing. “You must not have cared for your wings very much if you let someone take them from you.”
“I didn’t let you take them! You stole them and hid them. I want them back.”
“You’re crazy. I don’t have your wings and how dare you make such allegations against me? Go away or I’ll take something else from you!” He snapped.
She had reached her limit. She needed her wings. No matter how long she had been without them, she never had gotten used to their absence. Now, her heart throbbed with nothing but a single thought; she had to reclaim her wings. No matter what it took.
“You have my wings and I’m not leaving until you give them back! I never let you take them in the first place and you have no right to keep them. Return my wings and I’ll go away,” she told him.
He scoffed. “You’re in no position to make demands. You’re wingless; broken, sad, vulnerable.”
“I won’t be wingless long! You never understood how strong I was. But you took away my wings and I’m still here and I’m still breathing. Give them back and let me go. It’s all I want!”
“What about what I want? I wanted to control you and you wouldn’t let me have that. How can you make demands on me like this when you were unwilling to give up everything that you are for me? You’re so selfish! Why can’t you think of anyone but yourself?”
She knew it was pointless to argue. She had tried to reason with him before and there was no reasoning with someone who was determined to take it all and still demand more when she had nothing left to give. Her health, her sanity, her dreams, her life, had meant nothing to him when there was something she had that he didn’t have.
Turning away from him, she thought. She had to figure out where he hid her wings. There were only so many places they could be in his small house. All she had to do was burst in and start ransacking the place to find her property. But then she realized that he would stop her with force. He could throw her out before she ever found her wings and then make sure she would never have access to his house again. How could she regain her wings when she had no idea where they were?
She trudged away from the house as he mocked her. He told her to fly. To soar away from him with pride, knowing that she could not. He told her to show him and everyone else just how beautiful her wings were. As she walked away her anger grew.
She would not be stopped by this man. This monster that had taken everything from her only to demand more and blame her when there was nothing else. She wouldn’t be left sad and used after being unable to leave someone who so throughly battered her confidence and left her feeling so trapped and small. She might be vulnerable, but she was not out of the fight yet. The distance between herself and her wings were just a matter of time. She would find them again and she would soar once more. She was sure of it.
With her next step, she felt something burn on her back. She froze and hissed in pain, grasping at her shirt. Why was it stinging? As the pain increased, she fell onto all fours, moaning in agony. He stood at his house, asking her what was wrong this time? What hysteria was she manufacturing now? But she could barely hear him over the searing pain that formed in two neat rows on her back.
Suddenly, she felt her body arch and as she extended, wings, her same wings, grew from their burned roots in her body. She glanced behind her to see what was happening and cried out in joy to see her familiar wings returned to her. As they formed and grew, she sobbed from the pain, but also from the relief. Her wings were back. She had found them.
When the burning stopped, she stood and took a few shaky steps, testing out the wings that now dwarfed her form. He had fallen quiet. When she heard a door slam, she knew that he had gone back to his house to search for her stolen wings and figure out how she regained them without his consent. Flapping her wings, gingerly, she felt her feet leaving the ground. They were back. She had her wings back.
While she had thought he had taken them, they were never his to take in the first place. They had always belonged to her and she had always had access to them. No matter how he tried to disfigure her. She was the one that was still able to soar.
She took off, flying straight into the sky. She could hear the people below her, talking about her wings and how she had regained them. But she didn’t care. She had taken flight and all that mattered was that she was whole and he had no more power over her.