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Tenzin prepares for his first date. Bumi and Kya have a few interesting words for their younger brother. What is it about love that makes us feel lighter than air?


Tenzin winced.




He never imagined that looking good would feel so painful.

Tenzin and Lin had grown up together since childhood. The two played together, sparred together, and ate together for as long as he could remember. He never thought twice about his appearance. Back then, it was just Tenzin and Lin. But, now that they were a "couple" Tenzin felt strange. Were they even a couple?

He focused into the mirror and scrutinized his reflection.

He reckoned they were a couple. Is there an actual definition for a couple? He never noticed his feelings toward Lin until recently. Now, when she laughed, his heart melted. He couldn't control the butterflies in his stomach when she was around. Only last week:

"Tenzin, are you busy?"

"I umm...Mother says I have to make dinner for the table. I mean make the table dinner....make the table for dinner."

"Are you blushing?"

"Uhhh..." he rubbed the back of his neck as she laughed.

"Alright Tenzin, if you're busy I guess I'll see you later."

"Yea, I'll see you later."

Tenzin groaned. Why did he have to be so clumsy? Just thinking about his jumbled words tied a knot in his stomach. He didn't actually have to set the table for dinner; the Air Acolytes usually did that. He regretted lying. But even worse, he didn't know why he lied in the first place. He loved spending time with Lin like he would on this particular night. Tenzin didn't consider a regular night in Republic City a date by any means. Then why did he feel so uneasy? Actually, nervous would be an accurate description.

Tenzin clenched his teeth.


"What is going on in here!?"

Bumi stood smirking in the doorway. The bathroom lay in a disheveled state. Toppled cups and subsequent puddles of water lay in disarray on the floor. Shredded pieces of cloth clung together.

"Don't you know about privacy?!"

"By the sounds of you terrorizing shrieks, I thought you were dying or something."

Bumi examined his younger brother in his flustered state. A smile creeped across his face.

"What exactly are you doing?"

"I am..uhhh"

"And why is your forehead all red?"

Bumi noticed the stray pieces of tape scattered throughout the bathroom. Making the connection, he burst out laughing:

"Spirits, are you trying to wax your arrow? Ahahahahah!"

"NO! Why would you even-"

"Hahahah are you kidding me Tenzin?"

Bumi doubled over in hysterical laughter. Tenzin couldn't even begin to explain himself until Kya showed up.

"Look at the mess you two made!" She proceeded to bend the puddles off the floor.

Bumi gasped for breath, "Tenzin is," he tried to contain himself, "Tenzin is waxing his arrow." He put the emphasis on "waxing."

Kya put a hand over her mouth and turned away, trying to hide her laughter. She looked for the right words.

"Why are you..umm.. doing ..that?" She raised an eyebrow.

"Because he has a date." Bumi put the emphasis on "date."

"Oh that's nice, who are you going on a date with, Tenzin?"

"Oh, just this girl, you don't know her...."

"Where did you meet her?"


At this point there was no escaping the curiosity of his siblings. Tenzin knew they would figure it out. He prepared for untold ridicule.

Bumi gathered himself, "First of all, you don't go to camp. Second of all, you don't know any girls. Third of all, what girl would go out with you? Fourth of all, why are you waxing your arrow?" At the last mention, Bumi burst into laughter again.

"I'm meeting up with Lin tonight. There, I said it."

"Aweeeee," Kya always watched how Tenzin and Lin grew up together. They always shared a sweet, special bond. "I knew this day would come."

Bumi leaned against the wall, "I thought she was your best friend? Does that even count? And why were you waxing your arrow? It's not like she's going to compliment you on its shininess."

Kya used tiny droplets of glowing water to soothe the red marks on Tenzin's forehead. The cleansing water calmed the pain as well as Tenzin's mind. He forgot about his embarrassing incident and fell into the water.

"Good as new."

Kya put a hand on Tenzin's shoulder. "Act like a gentleman. If she says she's cold, it means hug her. If she says nothing is bothering her, it means something is bothering her, so just hug her. Take her anywhere she wants. Look into her eyes and tell her that you love her."

Tenzin stepped out of the doorway and brushed Kya away.

"Thanks for inspiring advice, but I don't think its going to be like that." Part of him wished he could go back to being a child, without a care in the world. The uncharted waters of relationships daunted the young air-bender. What is it about love that makes people go crazy?

"Well at least try to look decent. You're a mess." Kya fixed her brother's lopsided collar and adjusted his cloak accordingly, "There, you look spiffy. Make us proud."

He imagined laughing, smiling, and enjoying time with Lin. Perhaps love wasn't so different from childhood after all. He felt kind of excited to take new steps in life. Tenzin breathed in the crisp, autumn air. He loved autumn because the leaves rusted beautifully and the wind brought him close to his element.

"I think I will." Tenzin smiled at his sister.

Looking out the window of Air Temple Island, his heart beat slowly. Perhaps people naturally change like the cycle of the seasons, like the leaves. The skyline of Republic City basked in soft light. Maybe it was time to take a new step in life.

"Well, punctuality is important on a date, right?"

"You are learning well, my young pupil." Kya smiled.

Tenzin never looked back as he glided off the balcony of Air Temple Island. He let the wind carry him, like the fallen leaves eternally searching for a place to rest. He felt lighter than air in more ways than one.

Bumi turned to his sister with a glint in his eye. "Does hugging and looking into a girl's eyes actually work?"

Kya put her arm around Bumi, "Let me teach you the first lesson about relationships: the woman is always right."

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