Night sky

June 24, 2008
By Robert Specht, Lincoln, NE

The night sky was subtle, so dark and yet so colorful. The stars were like little puddles, glimmering and reflecting their radiant light through the cosmos to twinkle on Earth and set all who looked upon them into a wondrous state of self-actualization. There was such a contrast between them, the obsidian sky and the white stars, that when you stared up into them, it was mesmerizing. It was so bright, and yet, so dark. You couldn’t help but lose yourself in their omnipresence, they captivated the world. The night sky was pure.

They were the stars audience, the two of them, out in a lonely field, the tall grass tickling their bare arms and feet, the quiet wind whispering about them. They laid together, ever slightly touching, holding each other’s arm, warming each other, both with their bodies and their spirits. They both gazed upwards, viewing the dance taking place above them. It didn’t cost anything, but it felt better than any restaurant or movie. It didn’t feel wholesome, or bad. To them, it was a representation of them together. These stars were theirs. Nobody else could have them.

‘Have you ever felt… well, you know, small, after watching the stars?’ she asked softly, turning her head ever so slightly, so she could look at both him and the stars. ‘I know it sounds pretty dumb, but I always feel I have less of a meaning, after looking at the stars.’

He turned his head away from the stars and looked at her. Even through the darkness, he could see her eyes, her glowing green eyes, through the darkness and tall blades of grass between them. He held her closer. ‘I don’t think that’s dumb at all. I’ve felt that too, you know the feeling, like you’re life is less significant, as if when you’re gone, you won’t have changed the world, or meant anything to anybody.’

She turned back to look up at the stars.

‘I feel like that all the time. Like I don’t mean anything to anybody. Like if I were to die soon, nobody would remember.’

He took her face into his hands. He brushed a few strands of hair out of her eyes, and said, ‘You mean everything to me. I don’t care about anybody else in the world. You do mean something. You mean everything. I don’t know how I could live without you.’ He smiled.

She smiled back. She used to feel awkward, when he held her, but now it felt right. She knew she loved him, and that he loved her back.

‘If we could run away, together, leave this town behind, and start anew, would you?’ She asked. His smile faded.

‘I don’t know,’ he said quietly, his voice more sober. He turned away from her. She looked confused, and went over to grab his hand. She looked over him, saw his normally glimmering eyes now dull, as though the happiness were fading from him.

‘What’s wrong?’ She asked, worried that she had said the wrong thing.

‘It’s not you. It’s my parents. They’d die if I would run away. I need to finish school. I have things I want to do in life, things I want to have.’ He turned his head to look at her. ‘But I know, that one of those things is that I want to be with you. Forever. Can you promise me that?’

She looked back at him.

‘Promise what?’

‘That you’ll never leave me. I need you more than anyone else. My parents would die without me, and I’d die without you. Will you promise?’

She felt the tears come. She let them. They flowed freely down her face, and fell onto his. He didn’t brush them away. He was crying, too.

‘I promise,’ she said softly, and then pressed her lips to his.

It wasn’t wholesome. It wasn’t like sharing the same milkshake at the local diner, it wasn’t putting popcorn into each other’s mouths at a double feature at the movie theatre. But it wasn’t bad, either. It wasn’t a gritty alley, it wasn’t sick, or unclean, or something to keep behind closed doors and red lights.

It was pure.

Like the night sky.

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