The moment has arrived. My feather and wax wings are secured, ready to take off.“Icarus, you listen to me now. Do not fly too high or too low. Follow me and we will be fine,” my father, Daedalus repeats for the tenth time. I don’t bother acknowledging him. We take off.
The moment the wind rushes by me, I feel it. The freedom I didn’t know I was craving for all these days. It’s exhilarating. Within minutes we have passed Crete, the small island no longer visible under me. Just the sea. Blue, blue sea, waves crashing and dancing as if it could feel my excitement.
In the distance, I see a bird flying. Is this how it feels for them everyday? It is flying at a slightly higher altitude from us. I look at my father a little ahead of me. There is no excitement in his face, only determination. To escape without a witness. We have already achieved that haven’t we? Crete is far behind. I think of dungeons we were locked in and shudder. My mind is made. I flap my wings and go a little higher, immediately falling in love with the height. I continue my ascent, feeling the wind in my hair and the sun on my back. A luxury I was deprived of for way too long. What I would give to be a bird instead, experiencing this everyday of my life. The bird ahead of me flies higher, as if taunting and challenging me. I follow.
The sun looks down at me, wrapping me in his warmth as if trying to make up for lost time. Come closer Icarus, doesn’t it feel good? Yes, it does. I fly higher. My father is nowhere to be seen. Neither is the bird. Has no one ever flown this high before? I smile and relish at the thought. I will touch the sun today. The warmth of the sun has now changed to scorching heat. I savour the burn. Just a little closer and I’ll be there. Thelight fills my vision.
The sun shines gloriously at me, smiling and welcoming me. I would do it all over just for this moment. This exhilarating, beautiful moment.I reach my hand out, only to see it covered in molten wax. Where are my wings?I feel it then. A downward pull. I try to fight against it for a moment, flailing my wing-less arms. I give in to the pull,only then realising how much my arms ached.
I let go, feeling a different sort of freedom. Let the universe take over, perform its magic on me. I look down at the sea, its vast blue expanse waiting to claim me. What mysteries lay beneath? I cannot wait to explore, to discover its secrets.The fall is even better than the ascent. There is no struggle, just pure freedom. I flew to be free, not knowing the fall would be twice as good. I have flown higher than any mortal could dream possible, and now I will journey deeper than any mortal can fathom. For what is the point if not to reach toward the unreachable and live on as the boy who touched the heavens and explored the depths? The sea cradles me in its arms, and brings me into its darkness.