“The Red Bird”
She wasn’t sure if she saw the red bird first or if it saw her. It was one of those questions she would never have the answer to. Unless of course birds miraculously learned to speak English or she learned to tweet in bird. Since both circumstances seemed unlikely she left it at that. In the end it really didn’t matter. What mattered was that the red bird was there.
The first time she had seen it, she had barely acknowledged its existence. Instead she was more apt to sit and read than look out from the window next to her. Headaches didn’t cure themselves, only distraction and relaxation. So, the red bird had only got a passing glance.
The second time had been a few days later. It was raining profusely and the world outside was bathed in the dark stormy gray of the clouds and the vibrant green of the grass. She noted that the grass only looked that deep a color when it rained and some part of her wished she could see it more often. Then she remembered she really wasn’t fond of rain.
It was then that she had spotted the red bird again. It was huddled on the lawn, directly below her window. It’s contrast was so bright compared to the rest of the world. Autumn apple red wings, smudged dark shadow of a face and candy corn orange peak. It was looking right up at her.
“I’ve seen you before.” she had said.
And in answer the bird had flown away. It had been his turn to leave first after all.
This was the third time, a week from the last meeting. It wasn’t raining but it was cloudy. Her headache had eased but never left. There wasn’t much she could do. A different book was clutched in her hand, but it wasn’t open. Instead all she wanted to do was stare out the window, because she hadn’t tried that yet and she was too tired to do anything else.
The red bird didn’t take long to show up. It sat on the edge of her window sill just like the first time. “What took you so long?” she asked.
The bird bowed its head at her.
“I see. Well, I appreciate the company but if you’re busy I understand.” The red bird fluffed its wings and perched more snuggly onto the sill. It wasn’t going anywhere. She crinkled her eyes and smiled, the first in quite a bit. “Okay, then. If you’re keen on staying… I’ll tell you a story.” So she did and the more she spoke the better her head felt. So you see, it really didn’t matter who saw the other first.