Flying Free

FIVE BIRDS BY THE NORTH GATE
Chapter 1: Flying Free
 

One day, the Blue Peacock said to the Red Owl, “I’m leaving the Aviary soon.”

The Red Owl took a moment to digest what he had just heard. “W-what? What did you say?”

“I’m leaving the Aviary soon, hahaha!”

The Red Owl was surprised upon hearing the Blue Peacock repeat the same words. It wasn’t that he hadn’t heard it clearly the first time; he simply didn’t want to believe that what he was hearing was true.

“How come?” asked the Red Owl, “Don’t you want to stay here anymore?”

“There’s nothing left for me to do here,” replied the Blue Peacock, “There’s still more that I want to accomplish in my life, and things aren’t looking exactly bright for me here”

It was true. Things haven’t gone exactly as they had hoped. He could still fondly recall how they had met the Blue Peacock for the first time. If his foggy memory served him well, the Green Eagle was the first to have a conversation with the Blue Peacock, followed by him, and then by the Yellow Dove. After being introduced to each other, the three ladies seemed inseparable, and much to the Red Owl’s amusement, they always held conferences in secret.

And then one morning, they asked him to join in one of their meetings. At first, he felt out of place, being the only nocturnal bird participating in such a cheery convention. But in time, they got to know each other better. They would always be seen together, the Red Owl, the Green Eagle, the Blue Peacock, and the Yellow Dove. Later on, they were joined by the Pink Parrot, and everything seemed to be one cheerful chorus line.

Early on in their flight training, they had more or less expected that all of them would be part of the same division.  Not all of them had been part of the formal training, but the Red Owl had always beamed with pride at his friends’ work ethic. It wasn’t a surprise that they had dreams of working under one unit. It would have been a good balance, for they all seemed to complement each others strengths and weaknesses. But then, it came as a shock to them when they were all given different assignments.

“This is so sad!” lamented the Yellow Dove “Why do we have to be separated?”

“You shouldn’t get attached too much,” argued the Red Owl, “these kinds of things are bound to happen.”

“CAWN-AH!” cried the Green Eagle. “You’re the only one who’s calm about it.”

It bothered the Red Owl, of course, but he felt that it would be unwise to worry so much about it, when they were all just starting. Things are bound to change, and he was secretly hoping that they would all be together someday.

“Busy?”

The Red Owl’s reminiscing was interrupted by the Blue Peacock’s inquiry.

“For a moment there, you seemed lost in thought. Hahaha.”

“Huh? Oh. I guess I still can’t believe you came to that decision. Did you tell the others about this?”

“Nope. You’ll be the one to tell them. Haha!”

“What?! You tell them!”

The Red Owl knew however that it would still end up with him telling the others. Naturally, the news shocked them as well. The Green Eagle wanted to know more; so did the Yellow Dove, who kept asking him if it was true, while the Pink Parrot was visibly shaken by the news. That didn’t come as a surprise. Of the five of them, Pink and Blue were the ones who had been working together on the same flight path. Unfortunately, when their mission had ended, the Pink Parrot had been assigned to the same squadron where the Red Owl was already established, not more than a month after the Green Eagle and the Yellow Dove were also brought to join in. This left the Blue Peacock alone and without an assignment. For the Blue Peacock, being stranded in an aimless field was the worst.

“But Blue, just because you don’t have an assignment, doesn’t mean that you won’t be learning anything! I’m going to teach you everything that I know! Please, rethink your decision!” implored the Red Owl.

“It’s okay, Red” answered the Blue Peacock, “Who knows, I might find my happiness once I leave the Aviary.”

The Red Owl could not argue with that. He also knew how sad it felt being in the same scenario. And back then, he had also strengthened his resolve to leave it all behind. Luckily for him, he was now starting to see the fruits of his resolve.

But he never expected that things would turn out like this.

“Okay Blue, but just hear me out on this one. If this will be your final decision, then by all means I will support you. But until that time, I’m not going to give up on this argument. You simply can’t surrender the fight!”

“I’ve made up my mind already,” reaffirmed the Blue Peacock. “If by the end of this day I’m left with no viable option, then I’ll be handing out a white feather signifying my intent to leave.”

There was nothing else to be said at the moment, so they both continued with what they were doing earlier.

The rest of the day went by quickly, and the sun had already set when the Red Owl noticed the Blue Peacock peeking from outside the glass window. He and a few other birds flocked outside to ask her what happened, but as  the Red Owl  left his perch, he knew that the dice had already been cast.

“It’s gonna be just fine, Red” said the Blue Peacock. “I’ve been on the ground for so long, I think it’s time for me to spread my wings and fly.”

Despite his sadness, the Red Owl had to chuckle in agreement. That was definitely something worth looking forward to.

 
-Ed. E.

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