As I looked up at the stars, I realized how much we still had to figure out; if we were ever going to be a ‘we’ - just thinking about it made me feel emotions I hadn’t allowed myself to feel for the past few years, because of him… Was I really ready to let myself become vulnerable again? What if he abused my vulnerability like he did before? Would I ever be able to heal myself again? So many questions filled my mind and that’s when I decided to focus on the stars and not on my life problems.

I never knew how people could identify constellations at a mere glance; especially when normal people use an invention called ‘The Internet’, not that I have anything against people who can identify constellations without internet though, I think it’s pretty cool and I wish I could – or at least knew people who can. If I tilt my head to the side and squint my eyes then maybe I’ll find the Orios constellation; or at least I think that’s what it’s called…

“What are you doing out here at this time of night” my best friend (and soulmate) Clara interrupted my stream of unproductive thoughts.

“Just looking at the stars and naming the constellations–”

“Pfft, you can’t identify any constellations” She interrupted me again.

“Shut up” I flicked her on the forehead “Besides, it’s not that late”

“It’s twenty-three minutes after midnight”

“Exactly, Not. That. Late”

“Whatever keeps your boat floating, kid”

It’s quiet again for what seems like hours but in reality, is probably just a few minutes. I looked back at the sky and before Clara can ask the question that I know she wanted to, I say

“Have you ever just looked up at the stars and think ‘I wish I was a star’?”


“Well me neither”

“What are you going to do Mei Mei?” She asked the obvious question which (like most things in my life) I completely ignored.

“I always wondered why you gave me that nickname, it’s nowhere near my name. Care to tell me?”

“Dude you can’t keep avoiding this, you have to figure this out eventually”

“If you look to your left and squint your eyes a little you can see The Great hall of stars”

“No, you can’t because that’s not a real thing”

“Whatever. I so knew that”

“Yeah, right”

It’s quiet again and it felt like the silence was going to choke me.

“So, you’re not going to talk about it, you’re just going to avoid the subject or change it whenever I bring it up”

“Did you know that since its past midnight, its technically Friday now. And we can officially say TGIF!”

She doesn’t respond.

“Or scream it at the top of our mother loving lungs and dance on the roof like a crazy-weirdo-hobo person”

She still doesn’t respond.

“That’s what I thought” She finally responded “you always did avoid your problems”

And with that she gets off the grass and leaves me there alone humming Hakuna Matata in my head like the weirdo I am. I look back at the stars and start tracing the stars with my fingers and imagining how far they could be from the earth and then I feel myself drift off…

And then out of nowhere a little ball falls from the sky – it kinda looks like a shooting star except shooting stars don’t increase in size or fall from the sky. I think. It looks nice; like a shiny little colorful growing basketball. It lands a few feet away from me – close enough for me to hear voices.

“We have arrived at our destination Reginald Ninpe”

The next voice sounded muffled, like it was coming out of a speaker;

“Good, drop off the package and exit the premises immediately”

I started hearing some static in the background

“Sir we are having some technical difficulties”

Even from where I was, I could tell that was a lie. I got up to see who was talking and moved closer to the glowing basketball – which by now had grown to the size of a small car – looked in the window and saw three people standing over some debris, two men and a woman; when I looked closer I realized that the third person was a hologram (probably the Reginald Nine the other guy was talking to) and that none of them were normal; they had blue skin and all but the woman had no hair – the woman had beige hair so shiny I was tempted to walk up to her and ask her where she got her hair done – and long fingernails the color of puke.

“Thomas” the woman asks “are you sure what we’re doing is right?”

“Of course, my star” the taller (and younger looking) man replies “how can it be wrong when they want to keep us apart?”

“Innocent people might get hurt”

“Not if everything goes according to plan”

“But what if something goes wrong?”

“It won’t”

By now I’m close enough to touch the glowing basketball and since this is Friday and I’m feeling lucky I decide to knock on the basketball and interrupt their conversation. I moved closer and just as I’m about to knock, the basketball opens a little and I moved inside quietly and unnoticed; when I moved inside closer to the debris and found out that the debris was actually a lot of rotting corpses. I wish I had seen that before I came in – I probably would’ve run as fast as my legs could take me.

“Mary, I would never do anything if I knew it was wrong”

“I know Thomas”

“Look I don’t want to interrupt but Sergeant Totenpe will soon inform Reginald Ninpe of Mary’s departure and they will soon be here with reinforcements. We’ve already gotten rid of the men on this ship but we have to get ready” the older guy says.

“He’s right” The other guy –Thomas– responds “We have to stick to the plan if we want to make it out of here alive”

That, ladies and gentlemen is exact moment when I accidently let out a loud, inappropriate and definitely unladylike fart so loud it could probably act as a freaking homing signal for Sergeant Totem pole or whatever his name is.

“State your name and purpose or perish” I don’t know who said that because I was too busy praying to the LORD to forgive all my sins (as I was obviously about to die) but from the voice, I think it was the older man.

“You heard the man, state your name and business or perish” My eyes are still closed but that was definitely the woman.

So, because I figured I didn’t really have anything to lose I told them my name (fake, obviously);

“My name is Zina Ellington of the beach side bay and I have come of inquiry” Where did that come from?

“Step into the light Zina Ellington of the beach side bay”

“I will, only when you give your word not to harm me in any way” Oh, I’m on fire.

“I give my word Zina Ellington of the beach side bay”

And with that I stepped into the light and said;

“Please, call me Zina”

“Okay, Zina” the younger guy replied “of what have you come to inquire from us?”

I was just about to answer when the older guy says;

“Do not converse with her Thomas, she may be a spy sent by Sergeant Totenpe”

“I am not a spy”

“Do not converse with her,” he repeated “eliminate her”

That last one got my legs moving and I started to run but before I could so much as get to the door, the older guy – Steve blasts me with some device that puts me in a bubble and says;

“There is no way-out Earthling; Thomas, eliminate her!”

“Steve, you gave your word” The lady says

“Yes, but Thomas didn’t”

Thomas brings out his blaster and points it at me, I close my eyes and wait for my life to flash before me like it does in movies and books but it never flashed, so I opened my eyes and saw Thomas put his blaster down and address Steve in some foreign language that sounds like a cross between Russian, Greek and Gibberish, after what seems like an eternity Steve releases me from the bubble-trap and says to me;

“I will keep my eyes on you” I know you aren’t supposed to judge a book by its cover but I already don’t like him.

“I am Thomas”

“And I’m Mary”

“You’ve already met Steve, don’t worry he’s softer when you get to know him” Thomas says.

I usually like weird but to be honest this is getting a little much.

“Sorry” Mary says and She and Thomas press a button on their belts that make them shapeshift into a brunette lady and a really handsome guy my age “better?”

“Yes, thank you, I honestly didn’t know I said that out loud” I say “or can you read minds?”

Thomas and Mary laugh out loud while Steve just stares death in my direction.

“What have you come to inquire; we are on a schedule” Steve says.

“Yes well, what is going on?” I ask.

“The earth will soon be under attack” Thomas says

“And it’s all because my father disapproves of my heart’s desire” Mary says as she looks lovingly into Thomas’ eyes.

“Sorry to interrupt, but why does he disapprove?” I say.

They made me take an oath of trust and pledge my loyalty to their cause before telling me and it’s basically your average ‘Princess falls in love with someone that’s not royalty story’. All in all, the explanation takes about forty-five minutes (twenty-three minutes out of that Steve spent insulting me) and when they’re done Mary is crying, Thomas is comforting her and I’m rolling my eyes (Steve doesn’t matter to me anymore).

I hear a noise outside and Thomas says;

“They’re here, suit up”

I try to run when Steve grabs my arm and yanks it so hard it almost fell off and asks Thomas;

“Wat are we going to do with her?”

“Let her fight”

“No, please I don’t want to fight”

“You don’t have a choice; you already know too much”

“He’s right” Mary says and points some beam at me that changes my pajamas into a cute fighting outfit complete with guns and blasters. I test one out and it almost hits Steve. I didn’t do that on purpose but it was incredibly funny.

“Come out right now” A man’s voice from outside the ship says “we have surrounded you traitors”

“Let’s go” Thomas says.

Once we were outside, they started talking in the foreign language again and out of nowhere Thomas and what seems to be the leader of the other group started fighting.

“Attack!!” Mary says and then all I see are bullets flying in the air – barely missing me. I start shooting at everything (and missing at everything) when something hits the back of my head and I pass out.

When I came to, I was lying on a bed slab with a light shining above my head. I heard some voices in the background and when I looked towards the voices, I saw Steve talking to someone I recognized as the leader of the other guys from earlier;

“Attack now while they recover” Steve says “That is the only way you can be victorious” I realize that Steve is working with the enemy so I pull out my phone and hit record.

“Are you sure they are immobilized” The leader of the other clan who I’m going to call Professor Meanie from now on said.

“Of course, I am sure” Steve replied

“Alright, I will lead the attack against them in ten minutes. Remember I’m counting on you to make sure they are sufficiently unprepared” Professor Meanie said “If you succeed be assured of my daughter’s hand in marriage; but if you don’t then her hand will be given to the Prince of Socrates”

“Yes my Lord” Steve said and then the other guy just disappeared; I’m guessing he was a hologram.

I sit up – and immediately regret it due to the intense pain and throbbing at the back of my head. What exactly hit me? I let out a sound of pain that got Steve, Thomas and Mary’s attention – they were over me in the next couple of minutes asking me how I feel. I had to tell them I was fine almost six times before they left me alone then I asked Mary to come with me to help me with some of my “Girl Problems” then I told her about Steve. I honestly didn’t expect her reaction though;

“I knew that lying cheat wasn’t really on our side”

“How come” Was the only thing I could think of to say.

“Because he seemed a little to calm about Thomas’ and I’s elopement for someone who allegedly used to love me”

It was quiet for a couple of minutes while I tried to figure out what to say

“Okay then” I finally came up with “I never really liked him to begin with”

“I know” When I looked at her with awe in my eyes she said “No I can’t read minds; it was just obvious”


“Well the problem now is telling Thomas” She said “and he’ll need more than just the word of an Earthling; No offense”

“None taken” I said “and I have a voice recording from when he was talking to Professor meanie”

“Professor Meanie?”

“Sergeant Totem pole”



“You were recovering from passing out at the hands of an alien species and yet you remembered to record their conversation?”

“What can I say, I’m very resilient”



Skip to six minutes later (after Thomas had been convinced and had kicked Steve out).

“The tape said we had ten minutes –” Mary said

“Which means we probably have about three minutes left to get ready; they’ll think we’re not ready so they may not come very prepared and we can trap them –” Thomas interrupted her

“With a plasma canon” Mary finished for him.

“Exactly” I said, even though I hadn’t the foggiest idea what a plasma canon was.

Their plan worked and Thomas and Mary got to be together – in their home planet;

“We have won my star” Thomas said.

“I know Thomas, I know” Mary replied “Thank you Earthling”.

“Me? all I did was pass out during the first battle and cheer you on later”

“Without you,” Thomas said “we would have never known Steve wasn’t on our side”

“I know, I am pretty awesome” I said causing both Mary and Thomas to chuckle “but thank you; for giving me something to do and helping me to realize that no matter what, you should always stick with what makes you happy”

“Goodbye; Zina Ellington of the beach side bay, may the forces be with you”

“It’s Carmen actually”

Well that was five years ago (I’m not actually sure whether all that actually happened or if it was just my imagination. When I told Clara what ‘happened’ she just laughed at me and said (and I quote “Aliens don’t speak English, Silly”).

But now I’m with the one that makes me happy and once again I’m gazing at the stars – except happy this time. 

July 24, 2020 16:58

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RBE | Illustrated Short Stories | 2024-06

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