Creative Corner: Edition #2

This edition of Creative Corner features an original short story from sophomore Ayene Cruz. Remember, these works are from students just like you who send in prose, poems, or anything else they’d like to show off. If you would like to have any of your own works featured on this column, please send your works to my e-mail at natalie_sa17@hsdstudent.org. Please enjoy “Starry Night.”

***

I jumped at the sound of the squeaking swing next to me. I turned to see an elderly man, who looked aged and worn out.  He stared ahead. His piercing green eyes gazing at the starry night. He took a deep breath and sighed.

“Isn’t this a beautiful sight? A night full of stars. It’s a rare sight really, in this city it’s quite rare to see such stars through the heavy smog. But, these are the best seats of the house…man you could definitely see the stars. You know they say that each star represents a lost one? You know, those who’ve passed. See that one over there,” he started pointing toward a little star.

“That’s my dog Hulk. He passed away when I was 7. He was every child’s ideal best friend. That one over there is my Uncle Tom. That one over there is my grandmother Rose. But see that over there?” he asks softly, pointing at a big bright star shining in the center of all the other stars.

“That’s my beautiful wife. She shines brighter than all the stars. They remind me of her big blue eyes that lit up whenever she was happy. The way her smile grew, and the melodic chorus of her laughter. I am a lucky man, right? I sure do miss her.”

I stare at him, the words at the tip of my tongue. But anxiety struck me as I tried to open my mouth to ask.

“It was last summer when it happened. You know when she became a star. I remember it like it was yesterday. It was a sunny day, Friday May 17th, to be exact, the sky was a calming blue, the breeze soft and slow, sounds from the ice cream stand bells and laughter everywhere. Belle, my wife, had just come home after an exhausting day. She plopped herself onto the couch and I offered her food. She shook her head. Instead she suggested going to the park. I asked her why the park of all places. She said that the park calms her down, that it makes her feel like a child again. I was concerned, but reluctantly I gave in. I couldn’t say no to her, after all she deserved this. I packed some food and other things for protection. At the park we did everything we could and just felt like children. Her laugh was as loud a lion’s roar, her smile as wide as an orange wedge. She was happy. She was home. Sadly, all homes have their terrible moments. She gave me a look of panic and fear. She tried to grab onto me, but she collapsed in my arms. I rushed her to the hospital. This had happened before, but this time was different. I had a feeling. That gut feeling that something’s not right,” he gave a long pause here.

“The following week was her funeral. Everyone wore white and bright yellow. Belle always had a thing for bright colors. She was sick though, she’d always been sick–she fought and never surrendered.”

Tears escaped his eyes, he finally turned and looked at me. He stared at me for a while. His eyes were laced with grief and pain, as if he had seen a ghost.

“You look just like her. The same dark brown hair, big and pale blue eyes, and sun-kissed skin. You have that same look in your eyes, too, the same look she had when she was upset–fogged with pain and anguish, but laced with hope. Just know that everyone is a soldier. We all have our own battles to face. Whether we fight with honor and dignity or we fight because it’s the only way to survive. We are all constantly at war. Some win, some die trying, and some just surrender. But that’s okay, as long as we tried to fight. That’s all that matters. You’ll fight this one. I know it. You are just like her. And Belle has the heart of a fighter, and she’ll forever shine bright for centuries.”

With that he got up and walked away and never turned back. I never learned his name or where he’d come from. He’s definitely not one to forget.

And now here I am, staring at the night sky again. Looking up and seeing two big and bright stars shining in the middle of the night sky. I know that these two stars will shine for centuries, for they are the light that shines through all the darkness.