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Eyes of Stars

“If we could go up there, would you come with me?” Malick asked fervidly. He stood and went to the railing, his back to her.

Often times Malick would sit in his grandfather’s cedar chair on the old wraparound porch, peering up at the vast sky above him. It calmed him, let him think about things. The moon came and washed away the day’s impurities with a soft silver bath. He reveled in it all. The bright glittering specks we call stars. The occasional one that flew. The yearning to know what was out there, and then realizing that it might be better not to know.

“It’s so pretty,” sighed Aeri. She didn’t want to answer him. She knew he meant something else. She shoved her hands in her jean pockets and fixed her eyes on the onyx sky.

“Yeah, it is,” he said through clenched teeth. He crunched his hands into fists, his knuckles alabaster in the moonlight.
Malick broke his gaze from above and turned to see her face. He caught her staring at him with scrutinizing eyes. She blushed, deeply mortified. He looked at her, really looked at her. Deep chestnut brown eyes, her chest rising and falling with the unsteadiness of her breathing, the smile that made electricity flood through his veins. Malick took her hand and pulled her up from her chair. He locked his eyes with hers, and the August air hardened. He asked his question again.

“Aeri, if we could go up there with the stars, leaving everything behind, never to look back…would you come with me?” He held his breath and averted his eyes, looking down at his old beat up Adidas sneakers. After about ten seconds he couldn’t take her hot stare burning him, so he looked up. She hesitated, searching his face for something, anything, to convince her to say no. She couldn’t say yes. She wasn’t supposed to be with him, right?
But she was.
Malick reached out and placed a lost curl of her copper hair behind her ear, his fingers lingering on her jaw line for just an instant. A gentle, compassionate gesture.

Her eyes melted into a warm chocolate.

“I guess I would, Malick,” she breathed. He drew forward until their faces were but an inch apart and hesitated, a flicker of uncertainty in his jade eyes.

Aeri reached out and cupped his face in her hands, stroking his cheek with her index finger. Her breath caught short when his hands made their way to the small of her back. She pulled his face nearer and her warm lips found his.

When Malick broke away, she smiled up at him. He relaxed back into his chair and Aeri followed suit. They took each other’s hand, intertwining their fingers, and together, they let go of the world.




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