Celina watched as Jewel raised her head from underneath the water and shook the water off of her feathers. She couldn't help but worry about her friend. Jewel had told her that she saw a male Spix's Macaw, a second blue macaw that she appeared to be attracted to. She said that he rescued her from the fire, yet no one reported of seeing another macaw. She then saw one at the park and it seemed they had an actual conversation, but when Jewel led her down to meet this fellow, he vanished. At the burned-down club, Jewel thought the dead body of Ramon was the exact same body of the male Spix's Macaw. Celina wetted her right wing and combed the top of her head with it.
Jewel looked at her friend with a mix of curiosity and fatigue in her eyes.
"What is it?"
"Are you feeling alright?"
Jewel cupped some water with her wing and wiped her eyes.
"A little tired, but I'm fine."
"Are you sure there's nothing you like to talk about?"
Jewel faced Celina again, this time with a questioning look.
"Talk about what?"
Not wanting to get Jewel mad, Celina shook her head and looked down at her reflection.
"Nothing. Nothing at all."
Jewel half-closed her eyes. She knew what Celina wanted to talk about.
"Don't try to brush it off. I know, Celina. You want to talk about him."
"Look, Jewel," Celina unwarily said, looking back up at her, "it's just that there hasn't been anyone else who has seen this bird. Even if he lived in a hotel room as a pet, birds would know."
"So…you think I'm making it up?"
"No, no…but it's kind of hard to accept-"
"Accept what? Accept that he's real."
"Look, Jewel, you're tired. It has been a long day, and I think what you need is rest."
"Rest? Celina, what are you trying to say? You think I'm delusional?"
"No…but I just think rest is good…for both of us. I'm tired too."
Jewel narrowed her eyes.
"Thanks, Celina. I thought you were my friend. I thought you believed me."
A tear slid down Jewel's cheek and hit the surface of the water.
"But I guess I was wrong."
With that, Jewel flew away. Celina viewed Jewel going up into the sky and disappearing from her sight. Celina looked down and sighed. She took to the skies and flew towards the opposite direction, back home.
Dante and Janice, the Scarlet Macaw couple, had finally returned to their den in the middle of the dense jungle. Dante had promptly gone to sleep when they returned. Janice couldn't close her eyes and join him in dreamland. Her mind was wondering about what happened when she brought Jewel and Celina to identify the body. Her thoughts were more focused on Jewel. Jewel had claimed the body of the bird belonged to a Spix's Macaw…but that was impossible. There wasn't another Spix's Macaw other than Jewel, or was there? This rattled her head back and forth.
"Why would she think that?" whispered Janice to herself. "Why would she say that was a Spix's Macaw when it looked more like a Hyacinth Macaw?"
She rubbed the top of her head.
"Maybe," she said, dropping her wing to her side, "she had ended a relationship with- No, she's the only Spix's Macaw."
She breathed out to relax.
"Could she be having thoughts of the past? I remember as a chick, there were a couple of families with Spix's Macaws. Poor thing. The past might be disturbing her now. It makes sense. After all, she is the only one."
"Dear, what are you talking about?"
Janice peeked behind her shoulder to see her mate of twenty years get to his feet. He rubbed his eyes so they could open and let out a yawn.
"You slept well?" smiled Janice.
"What's on your mind, Janice?" asked the concerned Dante.
"Always know when something is troubling me."
"Well, I have been with the most gorgeous macaw for twenty years now. Now, what's on your mind?"
"Well, it's that Spix's Macaw called Jewel."
Dante's spirit of helping his mate began to die. He didn't really want to talk about Jewel, because it reminded him about the burnt bird, which reminded him of his burned-down club.
"I'm concerned about her. She thought that body was another Spix's Macaw."
Dante shook her head.
"No. She just got confused and probably she thought that was someone she knew when she was a chick."
Janice raised her eye in question.
"And doesn't that seem troubling?"
Dante pondered on this and answered, "It's not my problem."
Janice narrowed her eyes and placed her wings on her hips.
"Dante! How can you say that?"
There was a long pause before he continued.
"Look, Dear. I'm still depressed about the club burning down. I'm not…thinking straight. Jewel, she said that was a Spix's Macaw, right? Well, the only thing to do is confront the poor girl and ask her what's on her mind."
"You know, Dante. That's a good idea."
"Come back soon."
Dante continued to lazily nod, but he abruptly stopped.
"Wait. What? I'm supposed to do it?"
"Is there a problem?"
"N-no, but I think it's best you do it. She's a female after all. You'll have more in common. I might say the wrong things. You know…like now."
Janice thought about it.
"You're right. I'm able to take your unhelpful advice, but Jewel needs real advice."
Dante half-closed his eyes.
"Unhelpful? Didn't I just-"
Janice leaned forward and kissed Dante goodbye.
"I'll probably be home by sundown."
With that, she took off into the jungle. Dante scratched his head and shrugged.
"At least I get to sleep more."
Jewel landed on one of the wooden pools of the pier. Usually, it would be taken by a seagull, but today was an exception. Tourism had slightly died since yesterday, and there was slightly less people at the beach. She saw some people were in the water as some others were either sunbathing or playing a beach sport. The unusual thing was that the percentage of locals at the beach grew, but it still didn't surpass the tourists. She sighed.
Is Celina right, thought Jewel. Am I really losing it? But…I saw him. Just like any bird, I saw him. I could feel his warmth and touch. I could hear and see him. I… He was there. I know he was. I'm not making this up… If only I knew his name.
Jewel looked around and then down at the beach. Right below her, standing on the sand was the male Spix's Macaw. She smiled and waved down at him. He waved his right wing back and smiled. Jewel expanded her wings and flew down next to him. She faced him.
"Hi," he replied. "It's nice to see you again. How are you?"
The male's amber eyes begin to shine with concern.
Jewel stared at his concerning eyes and sighed.
"Oh, it's just my friend."
"Celina. I thought she believed me. I thought…"
There was a long pause. Jewel looked down at the ground. The male bird got impatient, but he calmly indirectly asked her to continue.
"Believed in what, Jewel?"
"In you," breathed Jewel as she looked up at the male.
Jewel sighed in frustration.
"Oooooooohhhhhhhh, it's just that no one believes me. I mean, I say I found you, a male Spix's Macaw, and they say I'm making it up."
Jewel shook her head.
"I don't know what to do. Since they haven't met you, they think I'm crazy."
"Crazy?" wondered the male. "Heh, I guess birds believe their eyes more than their ears."
"I guess," slightly smirked Jewel.
There was a moment of silence, giving Jewel time to think. A thought came into her head, which made her smile.
"Hey. I know. Um, would you mind coming with me to the jungle? That way, I can show my friend I'm not crazy."
The male nervously corked his head to one side and rubbed his neck.
"I'm…not too fond of that idea."
"Why not? This gives you a chance to go back into the jungle. You know, back home."
"Home? That's four thousand eight hundred seventy-six miles north from here."
Jewel had a bewilderment look on her face.
"That's about where the northern part of the United States is."
"Oh," came Jewel's settled voice. "No. I meant where you're from. You're a Spix's Macaw, right?"
The male looked at his body, expanding his wing out and then looking at it.
"Well, your native country is here."
"Well, the jungle more than Rio, but yeah."
The male ducked his neck and gulped.
"Jungle? Oh, I don't do jungles."
"What's the matter?"
"Haven't you seen those movies about scary animals in the Amazon?"
"Well, er, no."
The male shivered a bit.
"Seeing an anaconda that big…"
"Relax. Those movies are over-exaggerating. I live in the jungle. I haven't seen snakes that big. Now, don't you want to come with me?"
The male nodded.
"Well, yes, as long as you're by me."
"Thanks…um, I still don't know your name."
The male thought about it.
"Oh, yeah. Well, it's Bl-"
The expression on Jewel's face died as she heard her name, but then she thought of something. Someone can finally meet this male. She smiled and waved up in the air. She couldn't promptly distinguish the looks of the bird, but the voice was familiar and recent.
"Janice, down here!"
The bird heard her as it began to descend from the sky. She faced where the male macaw stood.
"Well, now you get-"
She blinked her eyes twice to see if it was true. The male macaw was gone. She looked from left to right and sighed.
"Not again," she mumbled.
Janice landed in front of her.
"Hey, Jewel. I was looking for you."
"Oh," Jewel slightly smiled. "What about?"
"I was just wondering if everything was okay."
Jewel slightly narrowed her eyes.
"What is that supposed to mean?"
Janice flinched at this irritated Jewel, but she continued to talk.
"Well, Jewel, I mean…it's about the male Spix's Macaw."
"Janice, no offense, but you just met me."
"I know, but I'm worried. I think you're…er…"
"No, no," panicked Janice. "Um, do you have anything you want to talk about the past?"
"About the past? Well, it was a good time in my life. Why?"
"Well, I think that you have something in the past that-"
"Makes me see some things."
"Jewel, I only want to help."
"So, you think I'm making up the male Spix's Macaw."
"No. I mean he could exist, but no one has seen him."
Until I drag him into the jungle for ditching me again, thought Jewel.
"I know you and Celina are worried about me, but I'm fine. I just…came to the beach to rest."
"That's good. Jewel, I will never know what you went through, but if you need anything, just come and see me."
There was an awkward pause before Janice concluded.
"Well, I'll just see you around."
Janice took to the skies and flew off. Jewel watched her for a little bit as she left. She narrowed her eyes and looked around.
"Where did he go?" she demanded to no one in particular.
"Here," came a voice.
She watched as the male Spix's Macaw walked out from behind a wooden pole that supported the pier. He nervously smiled, but Jewel's angry expression changed it to a frown.
"Look. I'm sorry, Jewel."
"Why did you hide behind the pole?"
"Well…," started the male Spix's Macaw, nervously tapping his wings. "I was just…a little scared."
"Scared? But Janice's a macaw like us."
"I know, but it's just that I'm not very good with foreigners..well, just meeting new birds."
"Then how did you get enough courage to talk to me?"
"Well…you looked like one of my own, except more beautiful. I was really nervous to be honest, but I knew I had to talk to you."
Jewel smiled warmly.
"That's so sweet…but we should work on your bird skills more. I guess being close to humans made you further away from birds. Let's fix that."
"How though? The closest macaws are in-"
The macaw stopped himself and gulped. Jewel smiled as something twinkled in her eye.
"That's right," Jewel said. "The jungle."