And a Star to Guide Me Home (324)

And a Star to Guide Me Home

The night never falls here. Shadows shift, grow longer and shorter, but never entirely fade. It’s a strange world here, in the dusky times. I miss the stars. I came here for a job, stayed for a woman, but I remember the dark of vacuum and space.

So sometimes, when the shadows stretch their arms out across the whole city-world, I find myself on the top of the tallest building I know. It’s cold up here, so many stories above the streets, but there’s almost no glow from the lights below. I huddle in a dark grey jacket. In my pocket, I can feel the metal in my hand slowly warming up. My neck aches with staring upwards.

Somewhere up there above, beyond the cloudless sky, are the stars.

Every summer when I was a kid, my mom and I staged the same fights. Every year, she wanted me in bed early, but I’d never come home until I saw that first star in the twilight. I’d stay out later if I could, and in the winters I would watch the constellations roll by from my window, but waiting for that first evening star was where I drew my metaphorical line in the sand. Until the year she bought me the telescope and everything changed. Until a month later I found out it was a farewell gift and she was gone.

I’ve watched these skies so many nights, looking for that twinkle.

So many twilights I’ve planned, thinking about the words to convince her that she should come home with me. So many long shadows I’ve stayed here until I fell asleep on my feet. So many times I’ve asked my V’lenna to watch with me.

A month ago, she left me her own farewell gift, small and silver.

Somewhere up there, where the shadows never die, are the stars. All I ask is to see that first star, so I can go home.

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