A Smile, a Tear, and a Moonbeam

December 9, 2008
By Hailey Koart, Danville, CA

The silence of the moon envelops me in a moonlit touch softer even than the sheets of my bed, watching me wordlessly with a single, intelligent eye. From where I lay the moon looks trapped; trapped between the dusty frames of my windowpane, calling to me with the full of it’s shining intensity to release it from it’s glassy window prison. The pull of its single pleading eye is irresistible, drawing me out of bed and across the vast, empty floor, cool under my feet. I press my fingertips to the cold, spotless glass, suddenly unsure if it is the distant cratered moon that is trapped or I.
I pull my hand back suddenly, as if the glass burns my hand. But my fingertips are cool when I press them gently to my cheek, as if the soft, yellowish beams of moonlight have caressed each finger with tiny, chilling hands. My fingerprints stick to the window, like footsteps in the sand, as if the smooth glass doesn’t want to let go of my touch just yet.
On a sudden impulse I throw open the window, dying to feel the raw moonbeams on my bare skin, untainted by the thick, imprisoning glass of the windowpanes. The wind rushes greedily into my room, stirring my abandoned sheets and making them writhe and dance, like ghosts come to haunt me in the midnight hour. The wind whistling past my ears almost sounds like unearthly laughter as the sheets ripple, playing with the night wind like an old friend. The sight is eerie in the pale yellow light; so different from the bright, hot sunlight that brings the world to life each morning.
I return my attention to the silent, understanding moon, and I swear I can feel a string tugging at my heart, daring me closer to the edge, leaning me out the window. My heart beats loudly in my ears, in tune with the quiet flickering of the stars. They whisper to me, more urgent with every inch as I draw closer to their boundless, dark sky. “Trust us, come to us,” their giggling, sparkling voices whisper playfully, “Come and play.” I lean farther still out my window, ignoring the twinkling neon lights of the city far below, unknowingly mocking fate.
Fate takes its chance, and the wind changes direction without warning, tugging me over the edge of my windowsill and into the heart of the night. It isn’t the stars that seem in a rush to play with me anymore, but the cold, unforgiving pavement anxious to meet me. I don’t scream, though adrenaline races through my veins faster than the wind through my hair.
Why did the stars lie to me? Why did they promise to let me dance and play, like the wind with my sheets, only to watch me fall? I twist around to face the sky, struggling to see through the hair that covers my eyes like a treacherous blindfold. The moon looks down mournfully, helplessly shining to offer one last soothing light. I glance behind me. Not long now.
Oh, how I’d always dreamed of flying, unfurling invisible wings of starlit feathers and soaring away. But not like this; never like this. These wings wouldn’t unfurl and save me, snatching my small life out of cruel Fate’s bony hands. The wind still whispers in my ears, laughing, mocking. I ignore their deceiving voices, instead smiling up at the moon defiantly. I won’t let myself be sad. But there are tears in my eyes anyway, floating off my cheeks as the ground draws mere seconds away.
“Goodbye moon,” I whisper, though the wind drowns my voice. “I’m sorry.”
One last smile. One last tear. One last beam of moonlight, shining through my windblown hair. And finally, I allow myself to be given over to the darkness I always thought would never touch me.

The author's comments:
This is my first work for Teen Ink! I was inspired to write this on a spur-of-the-moment, and I have not a clue where the idea came from. And it's dark, I know. It surprised me how it ended, because even I didn't know where it was going at the time. I promise happier endings in the future!!!

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