The chaise lounge was slightly damp with a premature morning dew. She didn't worry though. Clever enough, she managed to snatch a beach towel on her way out to the porch. She put it over the deck chair before laying down. Leaning her messy bun back on the stale smelling towel, she caught a full glimpse of what the universe had to offer to her this night. Wow. She took a breath and listened to herself slowly exhale. A whiff of his cologne caught her off guard. Wearing his green flannel was her last, grasping attempt to hold on. She felt somewhat like a creep smelling his smell that was locked there in the sleeves of a beaten up old shirt she had almost requested from him before she left town. He complied of course. Anything to keep him close to her. He'd do anything to keep himself right by her side.
She shut her eyes at that thought.
Putting in her earbuds she started a playlist of music that made her think of him. Ha, now all I need is you. She texted him that she missed him to which he replied - I miss you more : )
What was she searching for in those stars?
There was most definitely an answer she was seeking. But an answer to what?
Why was this so difficult?
She hadn't seen Chris in three weeks, but even then, the last time she did see him it was only for a few hours. She craved more. It left her feeling empty and tired. Her family tried to distract her, envelope her with activities, smother her in love - and it all was well and good, she appreciated everything, but - it wasn't what she was hungry for.
She'd cook dinner every night for her mother and sister. By the time she sat down to eat it, she'd already have lost her appetite. It was tasteless, even as her family would remark -
Very good tonight, sweetie.
What was wrong? She drank two beers to be in a cheery mood. It didn't help. She told Chris. She worried. She told Chris. She worried more. She told him. He worried.
I miss you - only gets you so far...
She asked her mother if she could see him, to which she replied -
And then, as she caught a glance at the stars above her, she flatly replied -
Mom, I don't want to deal with this any more. I can't feel guilty for seeing him every time I come home.
Her mom waved it off and told Maya to do whatever she wanted, then went inside to enjoy a fun game night with the rest of the family. Now the hungry emptiness returned. Almost like a fever.
In the dark, under the stars now, Maya imagined what it would be liked to have him next to her again.
She remembered the look in his eyes as she had taken his breath away. What had she done to receive that beautiful sight?
Something inside her beckoned that it wasn't what she had done but something she intrinsically had. Something she was. Like a little magnet inside her that finally clicked together satisfyingly with another magnet inside of him. One time whenever they were together in the dark space of each other's arms, the same song had repeated over and over because neither of them felt the need to change it. It was too much of a distraction, neither could take their eyes away from the other, not even for a second. And she had kissed him then, in a way that spoke more, fed more, fueled more, ignited more. That's when she saw it in his eyes.
A look that shouted love from the rooftops.
It was alluring - the way his mouth tipped open and he smiled. How his breath got stuck in his lungs and came out almost against his will. What a beautiful sight...
The memory made her want to kiss him again. But of course, she was here, and he was there - in her mind - the untouchable realm of tantalizing visions and unspoken realities.
A star shot clear across the sky.
"WOW!" she heard herself exclaim.
She took her earbuds out to listen to the silence around her.
She questioned it. A shooting star? Just for her?
Just for her to see at that precise moment. How beautiful.
She wondered if that's what Chris was to her too. A star, flying across her mind, blazing in her heart where it would eventually flame up or burn out. It was something only she was aware of at the time. No one else saw it. That fascinating look in his eyes.
How would she know is she was in love?
It was only something she could admit to herself. And her heart rarely felt certain about those kinds of things...as she sat there pondering if she had even seen the star in the first place...
Why doubt? Or restrain?
Why care if love knocked over all the standards and opinions?
Isn't that what shooting stars do, isn't that what they're for - to surprise us? To ruin us. So that we find ourselves every night, staring at a full sky, just hoping to catch one among a million that will astonish our very souls.
* * * * * * *
"The kids are asleep," he rushingly whispered in her ear as he laid down beside her in the grass.
"Good," she said, pulling him close to her on the blanket.
He laughed and the look in her eye made him freeze. He kissed her again.
"I thought we were stargazing," he said getting lost in her eyes.
"We are," she replied happily.
He chuckled again.
"You're not even looking at them," he said, gesturing to the full sky of stars.
"Yes I am," she whispered. "I don't have to look far."
Unaware of what she meant, but the meaning not entirely lost on him, he bent down to kiss her gently before rolling over onto his back to point out constellations. Now she felt full, full and overflowing - still tired, but for new reasons! - as she lay awake dreaming in her backyard with the man she loved.
How peaceful the daydream felt before it was rushed away by a fleeting action... she could always find her way back again though...
all she had to do was look at the stars.