TT – "Shooting Stars"
I was in love. With all of me. Down to the very tips of my toes and to the ends of my hair. I loved him deeper and wider than I thought possible. And he was going away for two years. I couldn’t imagine my life without him.
It was late, the sky an inky blue-black, lighter near the horizon, deeper high above. The sounds of frogs and crickets and other night creatures filled the air with a rhythmic melody as we walked through the forest toward the lake. My feet sunk into the moist layer of decomposing yellow leaves, my footsteps muted by the layers of autumn flora as the tangy golden aroma and the scent of pine sap filled my senses. My light jacket barely held the cold, damp air at bay and I hugged myself tightly, patting my arms to encourage blood flow for warmth.
“You cold?” He whispered, close enough that I could feel his body heat against my back.
“A little.” It had not been a ploy to get him near me, but I was grateful for the outcome.
“Do you want to go back?”
We weren’t supposed to be out here this late. We had told my parents we would be going back to the cabin. But the idea of being alone beside the lake under the almost-full moon had drawn us away from our original destination.
“No. I want to go to the lake. We’re almost there.”
And then, suddenly, we found ourselves on the bank of the lake, the gentle waves glittering with moon-diamonds. A bird, startled by our approach, took flight and I jumped at the sudden movement.
He chuckled in my ear. “You’re a little jumpy.”
I laughed nervously as he wrapped his arms around me and pulled me back against his solid form. I melted into the comfort of his embrace, feeling found and whole and aware. A purr rumbled around in my belly and slid out in a moan as I leaned my head back against his chest.
“Beautiful…” he whispered on a sigh. I didn’t know if he meant me or the view, but it was the same way he said ‘beautiful’ when he meant me. I smiled.
“I am going to miss you. Miss this,” he said, squeezing me closer to indicate what the ‘this’ was. He was going to miss our closeness, as was I.
“Me too…” I said. The tears were there, burning at the back of my eyes. I willed them away. I would not cry.
“It’s going to be okay, babe. We are going to be okay. We’re meant to be together,” he said. “You know that, don’t you?”
I nodded. Choking on a silent sob, I could not speak. I nodded again.
“You know how I know that?” He asked and I could hear the coy grin in his voice. I knew him well enough to sense he was gearing up for something really quaint. Little did I know that he was going to reveal something that, while it sounds saccharin now, would be the answer to my prayers then.
“The stars told me. The stars said, ‘You are meant to be together. Forever.’ And, you know, Angie, the stars don’t lie.”
As if he had paid the gods to conspire in the telling of his story, a star shot across the sky in a blazing trail of brilliant fire.
I gasped and he said, “Forever, Angie.” He pressed his lips to my throat and whispered hungrily, “The stars don’t lie.”
Shooting Star image: http://twisp.wordpress.com/2006/11/