Others expected him to need no more than his extraordinary beauty. They felt unexceptional in his presence, as if he could never want them. How wrong they were.
Over the years following his transformation he had become isolated. He divided his time now between the anonymity of downtown, where crowds washed past without looking, and a rocky range in deep wilderness. He gave himself up to a belief that he would always be alone.
One rush-hour he thought he saw a girl look at him with a kind of wonder. Not freak wonder. Amazement. Awe. But he lost her in the swirling crowd.
He took to his place in the mountains to mourn the loss of such a fleeting thing. He sat on a bare rock and called to the wind.
And his call returned. She swooped down beside him, her plumage every bit as colourful and elaborate as his. She preened the wings on which he’d arrived. He returned the favour. She asked him if he would fly with her. They rose high above the clouds then, curled around each other, they free fell until the clifftops rushing up forced them apart and they wheeled away on the updrafts.