Don’t Forget To Breathe: Part Two

November 25, 2013 § 2 Comments


Tabitha lived off her great aunt’s inheritance and didn’t know what to do with herself. But one day – perhaps by coincidence, perhaps simply by accident – she discovered something that allowed her to get closer to her obsession – the aeroplane.

‘I’m taking flying lessons,’ she announced to her husband over dinner.

‘Whatever for?’ he asked, gulping down his second glass of Verve Cliquot Rose Reserve 1985.

‘It means I’ll get a better view of the clouds, silly.’

‘That’s nice my love,’ he said, finishing the bottle. ‘Delicious. I must order some more 1985 tomorrow.’ Tabitha slid the flying logbook off the table and sat on it. He really wasn’t in the slightly bit interested.

Tabitha’s idea of heaven was no longer a new pair of Manolo Blahniks – it was gliding between her beloved clouds as her wingtips glittered like sparklers in the sunlight. But her instructor was no ordinary man: he taught her how to land on them. ‘Saves on the landing fees,’ he said. He found a cloud with a flat top and Tabitha set up the approach path. Playing with the throttle settings, she let the flaps down fifteen degrees or so to get her angle of descent right, then flew along the top pretending it was a runway. Then flaps up, full power on, and the take off was in the bag. If she messed up the landing she disappeared into the cloud and came out the other side with dewdrops on her wings. Flying was like being in a magic place – rather like a mystical experience, she decided – and she soon grew silent and sullen and didn’t want to land.

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§ 2 Responses to Don’t Forget To Breathe: Part Two

  • To me this reads very much as a metaphor for discontent, brought on (possibly) by a lack of purpose in Tabitha’s life. I may be mistaken as I’m only going on what I’ve read, and not what is in your mind, but this could take her anywhere; fantasy, perhaps, or towards some revelation, or bring disastrous consequences for her husband…just something to think about…

    • Rachael Charmley says:

      You’re right, it is a metaphor for discontent. Originally I thought it would have an Aristotlelian plot where everything ends well – but now I’m not so sure – you’ve given me all sorts of ideas. Thanks for your input – it’s really useful.

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