The magnificent telescope creaked as Gianna moved it a bit to the right. The stars were so bright and fiery, especially up close. The magnification of the telescope blew her mind. The fact that someone could invent something that made the stars, planets and space junk look close enough to touch boggled her mind. If only she could touch them. Oh, how she wanted to touch them. Gianna imagined the planets and stars as tiny balls rolling around in her hand. What would they feel like? Some hot, maybe. There would of course be some freezing ones. Maybe some would feel like balls of smoke, or dust. The stars would certainly feel like diamonds. She sighed as she blinked her eyes and continued to look out into the universe.
The small observatory was her favorite place to be. Nowhere else could she decompress and get away from people. High school never had a dull moment, that was for sure. She was tired of responsibility, and just wanted serenity. She didn't want pressure, just the freedom to explore. She wanted to drink in the beauty of space with her eyes. She wanted to let her mind get lost with all the floating satellites and comets. The observatory was where she could do that. Luckily almost no one came when she did, late in the afternoon.
Just as she shifted the huge telescope again to focus on another heavenly body, a clinking sound came from beside her. She jerked backwards and looked to her right. Her quiet had been disturbed.
A boy stood there. He appeared to be wiping down the screen of an 'education station'. His eyes were wide. He was wearing a t-shirt that said, 'Pearsonville Observatory volunteer'.
"Oh, sorry I didn't mean to distract you." The boy fingered the rag he was holding. "My watch just tapped the glass." The boy's red hair was a mess, and so were his freckles. It looked like God just threw a bunch of freckles at him and they landed everywhere. Just like he threw the stars out into space. "Oh, you're fine. I was just... looking." She waved her hand to the telescope. "You come here often?" The boy asked. "Yeah. Five times a week, usually." Gianna locked her elbows and propped herself up with her hands. "What about you?" She asked. "You a volunteer?" The boy looked down and his shirt and nodded. "For now. It's a punishment." Gianna's eyebrows shot up. "Aren't you lucky? Whoever thought coming here is a punishment is crazy." She spun her legs around and off of the cushioned bench. The boy stepped forward and stuck out his hand. "I'm Everett." Gianna brushed her short chocolate brown hair out of her eyes and stood up. "Gianna." She shook his hand. Their eyes met and Everett winked. Gianna squinted at him quizzically. Everett broke their eye contact and stepped back. Gianna smirked at his boyish ways. Everett stuck his hands in his pockets. He had never had a girlfriend. But when he was old enough to date, he hoped he would have a girl as pretty as Gianna.
"So, punishment, huh? What'd you do?" Gianna asked. Even though she was a quiet soul, she was not afraid to cut to the chase. "Oh, that." Everett chuckled nervously. "I uh, I kinda knocked a kid out in shop-class." Everett whispered. Gianna laughed. Then hushed herself and looked around. Even though most of the time Gianna was the only observer in the observatory, the manager was usually still around somewhere. "How'd you do that?" She whispered as she sat back down on the bench. Everett blushed. "I was trying to do a trick shot, and I threw a wrench across the room so it would land in it's place on the pegboard, and Caden just happened to walk right in front of my throw. Pssh!" Everett made a little explosion with his hand on the side of his head. "He was hospitalized." He nodded and looked down. Gianna motioned for him to come sit by her. "Well at least you don't have anger issues or anything and knocked someone out on purpose." Everett chuckled and sat down. "Yeah, I would have probably gotten a harsher punishment if so." Everett shook his head a huffed loudly. "What?" Gianna questioned. "I feel like I'm always being singled out. Whether it's for my skin or the mistakes I make, there's always something. I'm so different." Everett sat up and looked at Gianna. "Not that any of that should matter to you, anyway." Gianna shook her head. "No, no. I understand. I feel like I have a lot of responsibility at school and people are constantly badgering me, but not that any of that should matter to you, anyway." Gianna smiled at Everett and he beamed back.
"That's why I come here. I just let my worries evacuate and I just... look." Gianna gestured to the telescope. Everett nodded. "I guess I should come here more often." Gianna tilted her head and looked at him. "Can I - Can I show you something? She asked. Everett nodded vigorously. She scooted closer to the telescope. "Look through here." She commanded. Everett hesitated, but then scooted close to Gianna behind the telescope. He looked through the hole.
Light met his eyes. Beautiful glowing gems, twinkling, fiery balls of wonder. Stars. Everett didn't blink. He never took time to look up very much. He didn't want to miss anything. Gianna's smooth soft voice met his ears. "See them, Everett? Notice something. They're all different." Everett nodded, still speechless. "Some have small variations of color, size, brightness. Some are set apart, by themselves, in a less star populated area. Yet would you remove one?" Everett did not come away from the telescope. "Not one." He whispered. Gianna moved closer to Everett, so close that they were ear to ear. She wanted to see what he was seeing. They shared the space so that both of their eye's could see the beauty above them. Silence settled. Suddenly, their voices sounded in unison, "I wish I could touch them." They both retracted from the telescope. Gianna winked. Everett grinned. And then they returned to letting their minds wander through the beauty and vastness of space.