Teela didn’t know if she should wait out in the open for the doctor or not. There seemed to be a lot of people walking in the park as late as it was. She couldn’t risk being seen by them. Her parents would flip out in the morning if they read in the papers a girl with wings was seen in the park. Teela would just have to hide until she saw the doctor coming.
She was hiding in a bush next to the lake when she saw the doctor walking toward her. Teela watched as the doctor waved for the man to wait on a bench. The man didn’t seem to want to leave her. Teela could understand why. The Doctor was walking in the dark in a park.
“Teela?” Doctor Rice called as she walked closer to the lake. “Are you here?”
Teela stayed close to the bush allowing it to hide her wings as she moved into sight. “Hi, I’m right here.”
Doctor Rice jumped a little as she turned to face Teela, “You startled me.”
Teela held out a sheet of paper. “They’ve contacted another surgeon and made an appointment.”
“What? When?” She looked at the page from a desk calendar. “But this is insane. This doctor isn’t even in the country and I’ve heard of him. He’s a butcher.”
Teela nodded, “I found it after I made the call to you. My father must have written it down and then forgot to turn back the pages to the proper date.”
Doctor Rice stuffed the page into her pocket. “I know you want my help, but to do what? I can’t go against your parent’s wishes.”
Teela had a feeling she was in for a fight as she sat down. “I know, but I can’t let them take my wings. To you they may seem freaky or weird, but to me they are normal. I’ve never known a day without them. I was hoping you could talk to them. Make them understand.”
Doctor Rice paced back and forth in front of Teela. “If they truly want this I can’t stop them.”
“Then I don’t know…”
“But perhaps we can give them what they want.” She looked down at Teela.
Teela was on her feet backing away, “That’s not what I want.”
Doctor Rice grabbed Teela’s shoulders before she could leap into the air, “I didn’t mean by removing your wings, Teela. Will you let me explain?”
“You didn’t?” Teela looked around before focusing on the doctor’s face. “I don’t understand.”
Doctor Rice waved for the man on the bench to join them. “I think you might understand once you meet my husband.”
Teela watched as the man walked toward them. There was something strange about the way he moved. He seemed to be gliding not walking. Every step was so smooth it was like watching water. Teela looked down at his feet just to realize he wasn’t moving his legs at all as he came closer. In fact his feet weren’t touching the ground.
“He’s floating!” Teela ducked behind the Doctor. “Is he… Is he a ghost?”
Doctor Rice laughed as she took her husband by the arm and faced Teela. “No, he’s as alive as you or I. My husband is part human and part Bean Sidhe, or Banshee as most people call them. Floating is the natural way he moves.”
Teela looked at his eyes. They were glowing slightly red as he looked her over. His hair was rippling as if a breeze had caught it. Teela knew that was impossible as there wasn’t even so much as the gentlest wind. She watched as he slowly landed on his feet. The man was beautiful to look at with his square jaw and straight nose. Teela rubbed her arms as goose bumps suddenly appeared. Something about him was entirely too sad.
“Hello, Teela. I’m Walter Rice.” He held out his hand.
Teela shook it only for a second before pulling her hand back. “But isn’t a Banshee a creature of myth?”
He laughed, “I could say the same about a girl with wings. We are real. Most mythical creatures are, but humans choose not to see us.”
Teela turned back to the Doctor, “I still don’t understand. How is your husband being a banshee going to solve my problem?”
She led Teela over to the bench. “That won’t, but my husband has contacts at a very exclusive and very private school. You see, this school is for students like my husband and you. A place where those born with wings are not looked at as freaks of nature, but as a natural wonder of our world.”
Teela sat down as she tried to picture such a place. She had seen pictures of schools and certainly read books, but they had all been fiction. What would a real place where she would fit in really be like? Teela had often dreamed of such a place, but dreams die when your trapped.
“How does this help me?”
The doctor stood up, “We will take care of it. Go home, Teela. All I will say for now is not to worry.”
Teela watched them walk away back the way they had come. She was sure the doctor and her husband had meant well. But this was beyond her to picture. Teela waited until another jogger passed her before she leapt into the sky.
Teela watched as her mother wiped down a table she had already cleaned twice in one hour. The doctor’s husband must have had more than a few contacts at the school in order to get things done this quick. Teela had not been home more than an hour after their meeting when the phone rang. Her father and mother spent nearly all morning in his office talking to the doctor. Teela had no idea what she said to them, but it worked. Her parents hadn’t even mentioned her wings in the past two days. That was saying something.
Teela looked at her father in the hall straightening the potted plant by the front door. He had pulled out all the stops to make sure everything was perfect for the visitors. He hired a team of cooks and cleaners to make sure everything got done. Teela had never seen so many dishes of food in the house. Sure, her family had parties, but she wasn’t allowed to be down stairs during any of them.
Teela looked down at the dress her mother had forced her to wear. She still didn’t see how wearing a dress with a full skirt was going to impress anyone. It looked like it had come from the nineteen fifties. Over it she was to wear a lone blue cape. She felt like an idiot, but wasn’t about to press her luck. They were in good moods for once.
“Teela, I’ve changed my mind. That dress looks to informal. Go up stairs and slip in to that blue one with the straight skirt and your golden cape. Hurry, they should be hear any second.”
Teela didn’t bother arguing as she headed to her room. She had modeled every dress she had yesterday as her mother tried to decide. She felt like her mother’s personal fashion show. At least she hadn’t said a thing about Teela’s wings.