Still wrapped in the towel, Dareen sat on the floor next to Elly, sipping the tea Elly had made. Elly guessed correctly that Dareen had been “out flying” last night.
“You can fly only when you’re naked? Do you mind?” Elly touched the towel, hoping Dareen would give a demonstration.
Dareen had it figured out by now. “No, I have to be n-naked.” She didn’t like saying that word, at least as it applied to herself. “For a few hours. Anything I put on me, even a watch, and I can’t fly any more. I have to take it off and wait again.”
“Wow.” Elly wanted to see her fly, but knew that it would be too much to ask for Dareen to not only be naked again, but stay naked for several hours.
Seeing her friend gradually regaining her composure, Elly said, “Is there anything I can do?”
“I’m hungry.” Dareen no longer having a door to her room, Elly tactfully retreated to her own as Dareen dressed. Soon they were out getting a sandwich.
It was around 11 p.m. when Elly was awakened by a knock on her door. “Dar?”
The door creaked open and Elly sat up in her bed. “Jesus!” In the darkness she could make out a shadowy brown, Dareen-sized object floating in, level with the top of the door. As the dark form drifted nearer along the white ceiling, Elly could make out the hair hanging down, the two large round forms, the legs sticking out behind.
“I’m your conscience,” the form said. “Elly, clean up your room. It’s a mess!” Then a low giggle.
“Holy . . . ” Elly said a couple of words in Urdu, the language of her childhood, words that would lose a lot in the translation. Then she said, “Are you O.K.?” As if Dareen’s slow flight into her room was caused by illness and it was not Elly herself who was freaked out.
The dark form descended a bit and straightened upright into a big “X”. “I’m fine. I had a nice pray. Flying is a gift, not a curse. And it came from Allah.”
After a pause, Elly said, quite reasonably, “Where else would it come from?” Then she reached out and turned her nightstand on. In a split second Dareen darted to it and turned it off. Which was comforting to Elly, actually; this was still Dareen, averting exposure.
And now the dark form came down next to Elly, inserted gentle arms under her pajama-clad body, and they both rose together. Elly quickly exhaled through clenched teeth, then grabbed Dareen’s hands with a death grip, looking down at the bed. After clutching Dareen with the other arm, crushing her friend’s bare breasts against her cheek, Elly started breathing easier, realizing there was no danger.
“El, do you want to go on a little trip?”
Elly’s protest of “NO!” died on her lips. All week she had thought about Dareen’s nighttime flying and wondered what it would be like. And as for any danger, there was no one she trusted more than the sensible and always sober Dareen.
“Hop on top of me,” Dareen said. It felt odd having a naked woman underneath her but Elly positioned her prone body on top of Dareen’s, arms under to hook around Dareen’s armpits, bent legs clutching the sides of Dareen’s hips. Dareen made a motion toward the window and, sensing the need for footwear before going out, Elly reached down next to the bed and slipped her flip-flops on, on one side then the other. She had her long pajamas on; it wasn’t as hot tonight as last night. From her perch Elly could sense the slight seismic tremors from the sides of Dareen’s breasts as Dareen lifted the window.
Elly’s cry of panic was shushed by Dareen as they flew out over Boylston Street, then as Elly clutched ever tighter, they turned and arced over the city, air whooshing through Elly’s hair. The astonished girl ventured a look down as the streets passed under them. Her wide-eyed reaction of wonder was expressed in one word, repeated. “Wow, wow, wow.”
“Akkk . . . please,” Dareen said.
With the wind whistling by it was hard to hear. “WHAT?”
“YOU’RE CHOKING ME!”
“OH. SORRY.” Elly moved her hands to Dareen’s shoulders.
Dareen didn’t know how she did it, but she intended to go to the same pond as last night, out past Thomasville, and suddenly there it was below them. She gently uprighted herself as she soft-landed at the water’s edge. Elly tried to stand on weakened knees, straightening out her pajamas.
“Watch this. Don’t be afraid, I’ll be fine.” Dareen flew up and dove into the center of the pond. Minutes passed by and she didn’t come up, though Elly was not afraid for her, Dareen being perfectly O.K. as could be seen from rocks shooting up like rockets from the surface every few seconds. Soon the dripping naked girl was up over the water and hovering over Elly, getting her wet. “Sorry!” Dareen landed next to her, water still coursing over the tops of her breasts, little waterspouts sloping off each huge nipple. “And now for my next trick . . . ” Dareen walked over to a large boulder on the side of the pond, as big as half a couch, and with encircling arms uprooted it, dirt falling from the bottom. Shifting it back onto her left arm, she wound up and flung it across the pond and then some. There were a few seconds of silence as the dull dark object completed its trajectory. Then it landed with a loud dull thump on the other side.
“I’m jealous,” Elly said with a smile. “But maybe not. Not if I have to be naked.”
Dareen had almost forgotten about her nudity, but after hearing this remark, she crossed her arms over her breasts and crotch. “Sorry,” Elly said.
The view of the flight back was even more amazing, with Dareen circling over the warm, gasoline-scented city. “Wow, wow, wow,” And now Elly became nervous once more as Dareen descended on Boylston Street with the asphalt below seeming very dangerous from five floors up. Landing with strong bare feet on the fire escape, Dareen skillfully pulled Elly into her room.
Now she floated, with Elly on top of her, about three feet above Elly’s bed. “Give me one of your flip-flops.” Dareen then slowly slipped it onto one of her feet.
“Aiee!” Elly squealed as they both bounced down onto the bed. Dareen got up. “Now watch. It’s gone now.” She jumped up and down, hitting the floor like a regular mortal. This made her conscious of her bouncing breasts, and she brought her hands up. On Elly each hand would enclose an entire breast; on Dareen each hand could cover only the nipple and areola. “Got to get dressed.” As Elly’s eyes adjusted to the darkness she saw her friend walk out, lithe bare back and tight butt cheeks, and with such a strong easy gait that for a second it almost seemed that she was proud of her nudity.