It's never too late to reach the stars

Submitted into Contest #39 in response to: Write a story that begins and ends with someone looking up at the stars.... view prompt

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General

I could remember it like it was yesterday. The air felt different and I could feel the biting cold on my arms and cheeks. I was in the countryside further up into the mountains, it was pitch black all around me and my source of light was the moon and the twinkling stars that gazed back at me, I couldn’t help but stare in awe at how bright they were, no longer hidden by the constant light pollution that was found easily in the city. I waited in the clearing in front of my grandparent’s home, hearing my father calling to me as his figure came into my vision. He was a tall man, handsome by society standards with short hair and large hands that carried wood. I ran to him, barely able to pull away from staring at the night that called to me. He told me to follow and I did as he asked and we started a fire together, we lay a large blanket on the ground and he began to point out the constellations and asterisms in the sky and my eyes followed his finger connecting each dot that created a picture in my mind, that night I gave the widest grin as I said to him excitedly that I one day hope to touch the stars. He returned a soft smile back at me and promised that we could do this every year. We never did it that next year. He died in a car crash protecting me and I began living with my mother instead. I never saw the stars again.

~~~

The sky in New York always was always pitch black, as a child I would stare longingly at the sky, only to be disappointed each night until I slowly stopped looking up and began to stare at what was right in front of me. The city lights that sparkled prettily at me, speaking of riches and beauty, that night my dream died with my Dad and I never looked at the sky and as I grew older, that sentiment grew, refusing to look up and to always face forward, always keeping busy and making sure I reached success like my mother did, although we rarely ever communicated as she raised me, in her own way, she left her mark and sent me off to follow her footsteps. 


I couldn’t help it as I walked a long, doing what I thought would be best, what my mum thought was best for my future, I didn’t have much time for relationships, and I wasn’t a very social person, only few people in my lives that I talked to on a day to day basis that I could consider a friend, even if it was at the convenience of not being alone, but I couldn’t help the emptiness that grew gradually in my life, I didn’t realize it yet but something was missing as I lived in a continuous routine, never going beyond what I thought was possible, never taking risks, I lived a safe life and by the time, I was in my 20’s and I lived an office job that as time goes by, I became miserable enduring. I hated it as I watched my friends go off and enjoyed their life without me aiming for their dreams and I wonder where it all went wrong. That was the first step of my downward spiral, but then again, it may have been oncoming for a long while before then.

~~~

The death of my mother came as a shock to me, she never appeared weak nor was she the type to ever get sick. She died from a heart attack. They said her blood pressure was high and her work got to her. I became bitter and lashed out in my envy at the happiness of others and my developing self loathing, I consumed myself at work despite my disdain towards it, refusing to face forward and buried the teachings of my mother with her lying corpse.


I began looking down and before I knew it, I didn’t have any one, not anymore, any friends I might’ve had, left long ago to start a family or venture out to travel with their partner, while I had no one. I bit my lip as I look forward for once in my life again, I was almost thirty and I wondered for a moment whether it was too late for me, whether if anything was worth continuing doing, I look at the empty black sky with only the moon to stare back at me dully, I closed my eyes as I see no future for me.


The next day, I was glued to my bed, wrapped in blankets and my hair sticking to the sweat on my forehead, I gazed disinterestedly at my wall, wondering if there’s a point in my existence and I continued this lifestyle for days, barely glancing at each time my phone rung desperately for my attention. I simply saw no point in moving and barely ate much as I rarely felt the desire anyways. The television was my only companion these days.

~~~

The clock rang indicating that it was 12 in the morning and the beginning of my thirtieth birthday, the TV sat in front of me and It turned off by itself and for a moment surprise filled me, I didn’t understand for a moment and then I wondered whether I paid my electric bills, I frowned before pulling myself up, I didn’t feel like sleeping and decided to venture outside. 


Before I knew it, I found myself standing before a bridge, the city lights bright and I closed my eyes wondering how I found myself here, lost in my own mind and suddenly I felt tired, I didn’t know what had overcome me but I climbed on to the railing. I looked down intensely at the murky waters that only reflected my tired face. A person who had no future, no dreams, no desire to live anymore. I closed my eyes as I raised my head, allowing tears to fall down my cheeks and opened my eyes slowly and I froze as I saw the sky. A scatter of stars filled the dark sky, the moon shone brightly and I felt my heart swell, and suddenly I was pulled back and I fell backwards rather than forwards as I wondered to myself is it really too late?


A  voice burst through the bubble that I felt around me and a woman with dark hair and equally dark eyes stared at me worriedly, I didn’t know her but I thought she was beautiful like the stars and the night sky that was before me, I barely listened to the words that left her lips that were painted by black lipstick, I look at the stars and a smile curled onto my lips, barely noticing that the city's lights were all off and I whispered.


“It’s never too late to reach the stars…”


April 28, 2020 18:02

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1 comment

Pranathi G
20:31 May 02, 2020

Nice story! Can you read my story and give me feedback? It's called "THE TIME HAS COME." It's for the same contest. Thank you!

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