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Happily, I sat curled up by my window, sipping my coffee and watching as the colourful twilight sky faded to black, waving the sun goodbye again. Already, I could see the stars start to blink awake, swimming in an endless pool of indigo ink, clusters of them, twinkling like diamonds, too many to count, not one of them the same as the last. I imagined myself up there with them, floating weightlessly, away from all my troubles, all my problems and all my fears… just me and the stars.
I sighed, pulling my knees up into my chest.
Soon, the whole sky was ablaze with tiny flames; millions of miles away from us and yet seemingly close enough to touch. Smiling, I breathed heavily against the frosty glass, watching as the fog descended, and joined up the constellations with my little finger.
My head snapped around suddenly and I grinned, giving a slight wave. ”Hey, come in.“
Sheepishly, he shuffled through the door and sat on the floor beside my feet, pushing his glasses further up his nose. ”Hey,“ he paused, fumbling around in his pocket and producing a hastily wrapped bundle, ”it’s for you.“
The shiny, colourful wrapping paper was covered in what looked like rolls of cellotape and to top it all off, he’d found a length of silver ribbon and tied the parcel together with a lopsided bow; cute.
He looked at me, his brown eyes sparkling. ”Happy birthday!“
I took it from him, my gaze switching from him to the parcel and back again for a while. He’d put so much effort into this, I could tell just from looking at it, and it was so unexpected. Everytime my birthday came up in conversation, he’d just laughed and winked at me. I never thought he’d actually do anything; especially after…
”Open it then!“ he laughed impatiently.
Poking my tongue out, I tore into the paper. ”Oh my God…“
Sparkling, glittering sequin stars gushed from the fissure in the gaudy paper like golden blood, trickling down onto my carpet and falling on my bare feet. ”They’re so beautiful; thank-“
”Keep going; s’more.“ he mumbled, blushing.
I paused, taken in by the childish grin on his face.
”Go on.“ he pushed, guiding my hands and making them dive into the pool of gold that lay in my lap.
Pulling back, I found myself holding another packet of crinkling cellophane. Confused, read the label; I squealed. ”They’re perfect.“ I grinned, running a finger along the bold black font. Glow in the dark stars. ”Thank you so much.“
He smiled back at me. ”Well, I dunno. I read somewhere that we only see a fraction of the amount of stars that we used to; light pollution or something like that… so I brought you some of your own.“
Gently, I bent down and kissed his forehead softly, my lips lightly brushing his skin.
He moaned happily, tears starting to well up in his eyes.
I giggled, sitting upright and gazing out of the window again, cradling my stars.
”At least think about what I said? Please.“ he pleaded, resting his head on my knees.
I stroked his hair thoughtfully. ”I promise.“ I smiled.
Outside, miles above us, stars began to sprint across the sky, white streaks following in hot pursuit.
”Make a wish.“ he whispered, breathlessly, squeezing his eyes shut tightly.