She laughed, hands covering her face, shoulders shaking. Her eyes peeped between her fingers. Can we fly on that? she said, eyes shining with tears.
We can fly into the horizon, he replied, we can skim the world in seconds. She drew her hands from her face and placed them on his. They felt hot and damp on his cheeks; the ghosts of yesterday’s shave tickled her palms.
Thank you, she said as the string broke on the heart balloon, as the final string keeping down her heart snapped and she floated away.
The clouds, wisps already in the endless blue, faded into white horses riding the ocean far beneath. The sea drifted beneath the wheels of the bicycle, lazily carrying them along as one by one the balloons fluttered into the sun. As each departed they rode higher, faster, sandbags falling from the basket of a hot air balloon.
We can fly, she told him.
We flew already, he said. We were always flying. Together.
The wheels spun without touching the ground but they were absent now; only the warm air between them only the sky only the sea only the heart caught on the clouds.