Starburst #1

silver

Looking back, it amused me. Humanity had been a form of entertainment to us for so long, as much as we were things of wonder to them. That was then anyway, we had been through all the wars, the rise and fall of several civilizations, technological advancements, strife and death, that was before her. Nothing mattered to me anymore, not after that speck of life caught my attention almost seventeen years ago.

It all started when a little brown girl was left at the side of the street one spring evening, I noted that she had silver freckles splashed across the bridge of her nose and eyes that rivalled the darkness of a black sand beach after rain. She watched the car drive off, taking her father away with it, he was leaving her just the way her mother did before she even knew her. She didn’t cry, or scream. She just turned to the house looming behind her, went up to the rickety porch and sat on the steps, rubbing the hem of her little sweater between her fingers and staring up at the stars. At us.

“Amya!” a soft breathy voice reached out to her first, then old welcoming arms enveloped her in a warm embrace. She had looked up to see the smiling faces of her grandparents and instantly fell into their embrace, this was when she cried.  I smiled and repeated it aloud, catching the attention of my mother and sisters.

“What did you say, Orion?” She asked, the gems of her crown gleaming a little brighter against the dark ink that stretched across the endlessness of the universe.

“Her name is Amya, it means Night Rain.”

She nodded with a sly smile, following my line of vision from the heavens to the earth, “she’s beautiful.”

I watched her live with her grandparents from that moment onward, from the little angel she was, to the graceful young lady she was becoming.  My sisters had started referring to her as The Tiny Fire, and that had little to do with the color of her hair, and everything to do with her temper. Amya would flare up and throw stuff around her room, smash plates and punch walls until her knuckles bled. I fell in love with her more every day.  My favorite part of her day would be right after dinner when she would climb up to the roof to stare at us. She would lay there, with her silver freckles that matched the night sky and hair as wild and violent as the raging storms on Jupiter, wondering what lay beyond it.

Little did she know, that she was watched, that she was loved by the stars, who were a million miles away, living in our blotches of ink.  By me.

I would watch her watch us, her eyes lazily gliding over us. Until one day, she looked right at me, my breathing hitched and my halo burned brighter than it ever had. She smiled a little and pointed in my direction. My sisters started to squeal excitedly, they loved her too.

 

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They said that stars were millions of miles away, but their light beams are still travelling, that’s why we can still see them. That’s why I can still see them.

“Do you ever wonder where the light beams end and there’s nothing in the dark except the moon?” I say to nobody in particular. I came here to think, about everything, if my dad even thought about me, if my mother was still alive, why I was left, everything. To everyone else, I was just the black girl with the weird freckles and the crazy hair.

 

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Every year, on her birthday, I would ask favors of all the heavenly beings, a beautiful sunrise and sunset here, a rainbow there, and a warm sunny day. They could see how much I loved her, so sometimes they’d do it without me asking. We were smitten with Amya, my Amya.

Every night, she would lie and search us out. I swore to my mother that she could see me, but she never did.

The heavens looked to me excitedly, Amya’s seventeenth birthday was around the corner and my family seemed to be more excited about it than I was. As. If.  They all planned to send her gifts, I knew the early birds and the cotton candy skies would be sure but this year, my gift will be the gift to end all gifts.

My gift would rip across the night sky as she lay on the roof to watch, I intended to show her how much I loved her.

 

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It was a few days to my birthday and the little circle I surrounded myself with had begun to dote on me. That meant Grandma Uma, Grandpa Phil and Dsarai, my best friend. The smell of buttermilk waffles wafted in from the kitchen at the same time I reached for my vibrating phone, it was Dsarai.

“Hey” I mutter into the receiver. “What’s up?”

 

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I stared down through space at the earth, watching Amya make her way through the house staring down at her lit phone screen. My family stared down with me, amazed at how so much activity can happen on that single blue speck in the distance.

Up here, we spread out without issue. Different families, with their own humans to watch over and some others, watched with us. Occasionally, we would search for Amya’s father, or mother, but we always came up blank.

 

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Happy Birthday, Sweetie! I’ll see you when I get home. I smiled and picked the note taped to the fridge, running my finger over the now dry ink — feeling the pressure the nib made as it was pressed into the sheet.  I shoved the note into my pocket and opened the fridge for a quick survey of breakfast options. I settled for a muffin and some orange juice, looking out the window as I poured myself a glass. The sun had started to peek through the shy morning clouds, staining the sky in bright pink and pale blue hues and the birds chirped as if to encourage the shy waking sun to make its trip to the middle of the sky.

I inhaled slowly, treasuring this brief moment of solitude, as I noted that grandmother was still asleep, barely waking to watch her husband leave these days. They were so cute sometimes, I wanted that sort of love so much that it made my chest hurt and my eyes burn.

The rapping of someone’s knuckles at the front door alerted me. It was way too early for anyone, I noted as my eyes darted to the clock. I peeked out the curtains in the hallway, no mailman. I looked up the driveway, no mail van.

After fumbling about with the locks, I opened the heaven wooden door, half expecting to see Dsarai, but instead all I saw on the welcome mat was a single red rose. I bent to pick it, still bracing myself for Dsarai to pop up and scare me, I raised the blood-red petals to my nose.

Something caught on the sunlight and shimmered, it was a necklace of silver with a single star as its pendant.

“I don’t know this is from,” I say loudly, still looking around, “but I love it, thank you.”

I glanced down at the doormat again, there was a small charred roll of paper sitting gingerly between my feet. I picked it up and raised it to my eyes. It was written in silver ink.

 

Happy Birthday, Gorgeous.

I turned it in my hand over and over, no signature. I didn’t recognize the handwriting, but it sure as hell wasn’t Dsarai’s or any of my grandparents, and what was with the burnt edges anyway?

I looked at the rose and twirled the necklace in my hands, placing the charred note in my pocket alongside grandfathers, smiling as I went back into the house.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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3 Comments

  1. I came here with high hopes and wasn’t disappointed, you are an amazing writer…

    P.S: Pls put me out of my misery and do not take too long to finish Starburst🙏🙏🙏 Orion’s POV is my favorite btw, I thought I loved stars but now I might just love a star😂

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