The Sun and the Moon

May 1, 2012
By Dorothy Feng BRONZE, Rolling Meadows, Illinois
Dorothy Feng BRONZE, Rolling Meadows, Illinois
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Starflower Clovergaze couldn't tell the difference between the sun and the moon. She knew it should've been simple, really, because that's what everybody learned in the first week of their whole lives. The sun was warm and it made her ice cream melt into big fat drops that stuck to her fingers. The moon was cold and sometimes frightening and the complete opposite, but it was also just as beautiful. One was day, one was night. Over and over again, it repeated itself, forming the basis of life as she knew it. And yet she sat there in the gray meadow, bewildered, because she just couldn't tell which of the two luminous globes was which. They danced together in the sky as Starflower pondered in frustration the most important question to her.

Brown eyes fluttered open as gray light shone through the open roof above Starflower. Annoyance swept through her as she felt a sting of cold water drop on her forehead. She quickly brushed away the water and viciously pulled the plastic Weather-Protect across her room to prevent any further damage. Grumbling, she cursed her nature loving parents who had insisted that the roofs of every room be taken out so that the brilliance of the night sky would be able to "embrace and enhance the minds of the young". Yeah, a whole lot of good that has done for her...

Her mother and father were once the most spirited and kind-hearted people Starflower had ever known. She looked up to them not only as her loving parents, but also as the people she wanted desperately to become when she grew up. Her family wasn't rich and they didn't need to be- everybody was content just where they were. However, fate had it that Starflower's parents were intelligent and had always been destined to do great things. When their first job offer came in, the entire family was ecstatic. Never before had they even thought about living life like the wealthy, about having enough money to be able to support their estate and having enough to spend on whatever they wanted. They celebrated harmoniously and their souls glowed like the sun during those first few years.

As raises became more frequent and money poured into their savings, Starflower's parents began to change. They worked hard every day to earn the money and they were weary, but they also became very proud. With the extra money that they didn't have an use for, they continuously added to and remodeled their home. The Clovergazes never left their old neighborhood though- their newfound pride and superiority made them enjoy watching the people around them struggle while their own family prospered. Within a decade, they had become the richest and most envied household in the area.

Starflower saw herself change as well. She began to compare herself with the biggest people of the time; how they looked, how they dressed, and how they lived their lives. Before, she saw the fabulous life as the life of another species. She had never even dared herself the possibility of hope but was filled with gratitude that she wasn't like them and didn't have to care about those things. Now that she knew that there was even the slightest chance for her, she spent all her money on improving her image and suddenly had the impression that she was never good enough. In her own detriment, she believed that everything she was doing was the right way and the only way of doing things. In school, she was the queen who spawned wannabes just like her, who carried her nose high in the air as envious gazes soon became glares of repulsion. Starflower's parents were no better; they reeked of superiority and shed hatred everywhere they went. It wasn't much later that they began to waste their money tearing apart the establishment they built, not caring about the consequences it would bring or the sheer absurdity of the idea, because they believed they were so much greater than everybody around them. Within the same decade, the Clovergaze family had also become the most detested household and the biggest laughingstock in the area.

It so happened that on the last day of her senior year, Starflower noticed a boy digging frantically through a trash can in the neighborhood park. His dirty face suddenly lit up with delight as he discovered what he was searching for, and he ran a little ways off to crouch under the slide. To Starflower's horror, the boy placed his discovery in his mouth and began to chew. She shook her head in disgust and promptly forgot about the matter. It wasn't until late that night as Starflower gazed upon the stars that she once again thought of the boy. What he had done had touched something deep in her heart, and it surprised her. As her thoughts journeyed through her earlier life, tears formed in her eyes. She remembered what it felt like to be real, to feel truly happy, and what it felt like to be a family. For all these years, she had thought that the life she was living now was what she'd always wanted. When she saw her idols frozen with eternal joy in the posters taped crookedly on her walls, she had thought their lives were so easy, so accessible, so fun. Now, as she pictured the delight in the boy's eyes as he feasted on the leftovers of her sandwich, she realized that happiness wasn't something money was able to buy. Starflower wept for her parents, who were too far gone to realize this truth, who would never abandon their bitterness until it was too late. She wept for the boy whose family had so little that he was forced to shame himself in front of the world to be able to survive. And lastly, she wept for herself, for wasting her precious life, for not being able to tell the difference between the moon and the sun even though they were so unique in their individual ways and they were both so beautiful. She wasn't able to tell which was which because she was so lost in the beliefs that had ruined her life that during the day, she never even paused to look up at the sun. With her pillow damp with tears but her heart a million times lighter than it was before her revelation, Starflower let herself fall into the familiar lull of sleep.

Starflower Clovergaze had the moon in one hand and the sun in the other. She let them drift apart oh so gently and watched them float like sky lanterns until she could see them no more. Then, with a smile on her face, she skipped down the gray meadow into a beautiful world full of color and possibility.

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