THE WALK HOME
All it took was the walk home and the sinking feeling in her stomach to convince her.
She was not going to apply.
Alina stepped from the 13th floor of the library out onto the ledge path to the Jagged Step Lane, a length of steps spiraling down to the main paved side walk. She avoided the flight paths, large cloud-formed wind tunnels with walking pathways at the bottom, as at the end of the day they were gummed up with everyone flying and walking home.
Twenty minutes later, her thoughts still spinning, Alina left the paved walkway just outside the city and jumped the last half a dozen feet or so to the bright green grass and dirt path below landing in a squat.
She rose from her landing and shook out her trembling fingers, and taking a deep breath, Alina walked on.
The worries rose with each step. Leaving the library, leaving Avaglade, it was just too much. She would fail. She’d be too slow. Or she wouldn’t be able to understand what the people from down below were saying and…
She walked to the next rocky ledge and jumped out into the air grabbing the support pole for the sky path above and let her momentum spin her around and down until she landed on the small bit of grass knoll then jumped again to the next bit of land as a rolling mist rose from the clouds.
The physical challenge drew her worries out of her, made her deal with them in a very present way.
Then the next worry came… that it would all be just too new, too different. Not even the idea of the large salary was tempting anymore. Alina made her way though trees until she stood at the edge then she dashed across and down the path and up the knoll to her tree grown home.
It was decided. She wouldn’t go to the interviews tomorrow. She was content. She was comfortable. And that was alright.
Slowly, the knot unclenched in her stomach. No change was fine. No change was good. Everything would stay the same. The words hugged her, comforted her. It would all be alright.
She threw out her arms and spun as a lightness took hold of her. She even laughed a little when a cloud sprinkled her with a spot of rain.
And then she arrived home. It was quiet. “Gran’ma?” she called from the wooden door.
Silence echoed in the home.