Kat and Gabriel were deeply in love with each other. Their love was on a higher plane most people never experience, only imagine. I guess you could say they were soul mates.
There was only one problem.
They were different.
They didn't follow everyone else at school, but marched to the beat of their own drummer.
The names were nothing new to them. The usual string of; retards, freaks, freak show central,emo, goth, weird, losers, crypt keepers, undead, etc, was something they were use to at school.
It wasn't any better from the adults; "Their poor parents!", "What a waste!", "If that was MY kid, I'd..." etc. They new all the phrases by heart. But since they had each other, it was easier to ignore. Even getting beat up at school. It was not unusual for one of them to have a bruise or open cut from a cruel classmate. It was just something you learned to tolerate. At least they had each other.
Only they could see in themselves what the world could not. Behind the clothes and piercings and makeup were two of the most loving and deep feeling individuals you could ever meet. Gabriel could recite every sonnet Shakespeare had written and describe to you in great detail what each line meant so it was imprinted in your heart. His feelings ran deep and he expressed himself through his music and art. Kat was deeply involved with life. She truly loved every living creature on this planet. From human to tree, she believed all life was precious and worth saving. She expressed this through her writing, and charity involvement, especially working with the blind as her mother was born sightless. When she was with the kids, she felt love, for they could not judge her outward appearances as others did.
Why then did they not change how they looked? Because they were true to themselves and would not acquiesce their nature just to be accepted.
One day they were leaving school hand in hand when someone asked, "Hey you wanna see if the vampires can fly?" A chill ran through Gabriele's back, and he pulled Kat quickly to his truck and closed the door. He could still hear the laughter as he pulled out of the parking lot and into the road.
It wasn't too far further he realized he was being followed. Kat started looking around nervously.
Gabriel turned a corner and saw another car waiting for him. This went on and on until there was nowhere left to turn except the road to Shell Hill. Shell Hill was the steepest road in their town. It literally went into a 90 grade slope which made it very difficult to go down, especially in a truck. He avoided Shell Hill whenever possible. This didn't look like one of those times. He had no choice but to go up the back of the hill and descend the almost perpendicular slope on the other side. There was only a one way road to and from the hill, so there was no going back, especially with the crowd behind them. They had been set up.
He placed his hand on Kat's and gave her a reassuring look he himself didn't feel.
Once at the top, all the cars following him stared creeping forward pushing his small truck to the edge. He could hear the people in their cars howling with laughter. "C'mon ya freaks!!! Turn into a f***ing bat and FLY!! woooot!"
It didn't stop, just getting louder and louder as they kept pushing his car toward the edge. Kat's face was even whiter then her own already pale complexion.
He tried to reassure her that he had driven this hill many times before and as long as they took it slowly and drove in a straight line, they would be fine.
Kat's lips tightened into a firm straight line and she nodded.
Suddenly a huge shove from behind threw Kat forward and they started gliding down the hill. They started picking up speed way too fast. Gabriel gently stepped on the break to try to ease their decent.
His foot went all the way to the floorboard.
Now he finally understood their motif.
The breaks had been disconnected.
He felt Kat's scream freeze in her throat but
he blocked it out along with the trees zipping past them so fast they looked like ribbons. If he could just concentrate on keeping the car straight they could ride it out until the car slowed on it's own after reaching the bottom and coasting a bit. Good thing it's a rarely used street, no traffic.
Gabriel saw a flash of pink in the distance. A mother was running after her daughter who was giggling with glee. There was a small picnic blanket near by.
The scream in her throat had not been for them, it had been for the little girl and her mother who, oblivious to the careening truck, were heading straight for their path.
There were two choices; hit them, which would not be our fault and could be proven once we had the truck examined, or swerve the car away from them and lose total control of the truck due to the break neck speed we were at. As I looked into Kat's eyes for what would be the last time in this life, she made it clear which choice we were making. It is amazing how clearly one thinks when the end is near. In a matter of seconds I saw the first time I had met her in second grade. Her soft auburn curls shielding her eyes as she held her mother's hand, the first time she called my name, our first dance in 8th grade, our first kiss....all these memories in the time it takes to blink your eyes.
"I love you." I whispered, and never taking my eyes of her, I turned the car sharply to the left. Kat smiled. I head a child's scream as we flew past them. Then no more.
We had earned our wings.
And we had each other.