“You are my star,” he said confidently, believing that she will never hear. But many months later, she heard.
He walked in that rainy day with his black umbrella in hand, messy hair and cheesy grin. He looked worn and aged.
As he softly spoke of his sister’s struggles, her mind transported her to a different time. Suddenly, she was in a cozy kitchen covered in refrigerator drawings and filled with the strong scent of bitter coffee brewing. She was sitting at a round table with a large vase of fresh, yellow sunflowers in the center as the sun from the bay window illuminated the room. A little girl who looked like Matilda ran into the kitchen. Her dark, long locks were neatly tied into pigtails with rose, red ribbons. And her eyes–that, unlike her mother’s eyes, lacked melanin–were filled with tears. She yearned to wipe the girl’s tears away and preserve her beautiful innocence forever. But before she could get her attention, the girl jumped into his arms of security as he held her close and whispered something in her ear. Almost like magic, the little girl’s hot tears turned to warm giggles. She watched him calm the girl in the same way that he calmed his crying sister years earlier.
“I know these are lame, but…” he said as she quickly transported back to now. He presented a token. He called it a gift of appreciation for the help she had unknowingly given him, but she knew it was more. She quietly hesitated for a second, then accepted the gift.
As he despairingly walked towards the door, she flashed a quick smile and soaked in what may have been the last time she ever saw him. As he walked away, he took that beautiful, imaginary Matilda-looking little girl and everything she never knew was hers.
He called her his star. His intentions were pure.
But the nature of the radiantly shining star is that when its brightness reaches the earth, lightyears too late, it is likely already dead.