30 comments

Thriller

On the day my daughter died, the stars smiled down at me, in their beautiful but sad way. I asked myself how the stars could look so happy on such a sad day, and looked up. It was almost as if they looked back at me, the way a mother looks at her child, comforting, loving, and quiet. The stars kept me going through it all.

Even as a young child, I had always loved the stars and how they twinkled in the sky, formed pictures, told stories. I loved how whenever I was feeling down, I could tell myself, “Look, Orion. The stars will come out tonight, and they will listen to you.” I would talk to the stars because they seemed to listen in a way no one else could; they didn’t judge, they didn’t ask. They simply listened as I and so many others poured their hearts out to them. That’s why I always told my daughter that she was my shooting star. She was the light in my life for so long, even after my wife, my parents, my friends had gone. Her name was Astra, or “of the stars”.

When she was little and her mother was still here, Astra would always beg to go outside, in the backyard, and dance under the pale moonlight. Astra loved the moon, while I love the stars. Her eyes shone like stars when she smiled, and twinkled mischievously when she was thinking about something. My wife would always come out and join us, so of course I was worried when one night, she didn’t. I told Astra, “Stay here. The moon and stars will keep you safe,” and went inside to see what was the matter. All I found was a note saying, “I’m sorry the stars couldn’t keep us together.”

Astra was only eight at the time, so of course she was confused and sad when I told her her mother wouldn’t be coming back. “Why?” she had asked me. I told her that I didn’t know. She knew I missed her as well and comforted me the best she could. I’m forever grateful and loving to her for that.

Astra grew up into a beautiful teenage girl, though unaccepted by her peers. They found her strange, and excluded her from their groups and activities. Me? I blindly thought she was accepted, that she was happy. I was wrong. She wasn’t.

As Astra fell deeper and deeper into depression, I was faced with the fact that my daughter was no longer happy; not with school, not with anything, not even herself. Except the moon. And me. Her eyes began to lose their special twinkle, and I had to watch as my lovely Astra was destroyed from the inside out.

The day Astra died, I was at work, packing up to leave. I had been wondering how Astra was doing, if she was home yet, when my secretary walked in. “Mr. Byron… it’s for you.” Before I could ask her who it was, she ran out of the room. I reluctantly put the phone to my ear, uttering a timid “Hello?”. The response made me collapse to the floor.

“Mr. Byron, this is the Cumberland Public Hospital… your daughter was hit by a car while crossing the street. By the time we got there, she was gone. There was nothing we could do to save her,” th receptionist said. I couldn’t breathe. Astra… gone? After a seemingly endless pause, the receptionist murmured into the phone, “I’m sorry for your loss.” And with that, she hung up.

I quickly rushed to the hospital, running until my legs burned, until my lungs gasped for air. And even then I kept going. Astra. Astra. It was all I could think as my legs mechanically swung back and forth, propelling me forward. Right, left. Right, left. The hospital was in view by that time, a concrete slab of a building, fault of city funding. Bursting inside, I rushed to the desk. Before I could even say anything, one of the receptionists, a short, stout woman, said, “You must be Mr. Byron. Please, follow me.” Her voice had sounded familiar, but I hadn’t realized why until we were walking down the hallway. That was the same woman who called, I had thought as the last pieces clicked into place. I was so lost in thought that I nearly walked past the door to Astra’s room and the receptionist had to yank my arm, forcing me out of my thoughts.

“We’re here,” she said. Her lips smiled but her eyes betrayed her sadness. Swallowing, I stared at the door as the receptionist slipped away to help another poor soul like me. Slowly, I opened the door, dreading my next sight. Stepping in gingerly, I looked at Astra lying on the table. Apart from a small streak of blood down her freckled cheek, she looked asleep, peaceful. Nothing like a person whose last sight was the car that knocked the life out of her. 

“Astra… if you can hear me… I love you.” The words barely made it out of my mouth, my throat choked with all the things I wanted to say to her, right at that moment. Tears dripping from my eyes, I looked at her. The deep blue eyes partially open, the lips smiling lightly… I couldn’t help but feel as if she were smiling back at me for the last time. Squeezing her hand, I stood up, and just before leaving the room, I looked back at her one more time. Her dark, silky hair shone in the fluorescent light of the room, like the night sky filled with stars. With that sight, I shut the door.

I think back to all of this now, looking up at the sky. The dark sky, shining bright with twinkling lights. It always brings back Astra. I never got to say goodbye to Astra. But, what could I have said, anyhow? I think this often, as I’m dreaming, in the office, in every waking hour of the day. What would I have said? Well… Astra… if you can hear me… I love you. I miss you. And you will always be my love. My hope. The brightest light in the sky. My shooting star.

October 06, 2020 21:55

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.

30 comments

Rayhan Hidayat
21:56 Oct 08, 2020

Tragic 😢 Astra is also a very pretty and original name. Linking all the emotional moments to the starts in the sky added a layer if beauty to the story. I’m just wondering where the time capsule aspect is. But besides that, good job and keep it up! 😙

Reply

Mia Rigini
17:59 Oct 11, 2020

Thanks so much for reading, I actually just wanted to get a story out there is no prompt including in it! Sorry!!

Reply

Rayhan Hidayat
23:44 Oct 11, 2020

Ohh I see! Yeah, it happens to the best of us. And feel free to check out my latest story if you’re interested 🙂

Reply

Mia Rigini
22:30 Oct 13, 2020

Thanks and I will!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
11:42 Oct 12, 2020

Oh my goddddddd! HI! I’ve been trying to find Mia’s profile for so long. We were kinda friends? Idk. We got off to a rocky start, with the whole downvoter thing, but then we were friends. But then she deleted her story and changed her name, so I couldn’t find her! So yeah, hi! I’m Samara! Welcomeeee! Reedsy is amazing. I’ve actually been on for a couple months—Samara is an alter-account to see if my stories would be approved this was. My real name is Aerin B. Hellllo! P. S. I originally tried to find Mia because, since we were kinda frien...

Reply

Mia Rigini
22:36 Oct 13, 2020

Omg Omg Omg!!! That looks exactly like her!! And thank you so much!! Also Mia and I will be sharing this account pretty soon and we both be putting our stories and the name might change back to Mia Rigini so be on the look out for that.

Reply

18:45 Oct 15, 2020

Yayyyyy! Lol it was only based on a photo, so it’s awesome you, who actually know her, think it kinda resembles her 😊😊😊☺️☺️☺️🤗🤗🤗 Oh, cool! I will 😃

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
B. W.
20:51 Oct 08, 2020

Hm, i think that this was a good story and you did a great job with it ^^ You made it sad which was fine and you had also done a really great job with that part of the story as well. I hope that you'll make more stories on here, though only if you want to and if you aren't busy. I'm sure that there would be a lot of ideas you'd get and a lot of prompts you could do to make the ideas/stories. so im giving this a 10/10 :) also, why did you change your name and delete the older story?

Reply

20:27 Oct 11, 2020

Hehe, I can answer that question! If you read her bio, Mia passed on her account to her bestie and dorm mate, Jenny.

Reply

B. W.
20:28 Oct 11, 2020

Oh, thanks ^^

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
20:33 Oct 08, 2020

Hi, Jenny! This is Brooke D.. I was just wondering why you changed your account from Mia Rigini to Jenny Blaney? And deleted your old story? I was just curious because this struck me as odd. I mean, the story you deleted was amazing!

Reply

Yeah! I hope you aren't ashamed of what was happening before! After all, you ain't the dv! What has happened has happened! I REALLY loved your old story though!

Reply

Mia Rigini
17:58 Oct 11, 2020

So this sorta a long story but since you all are curious here it goes. Mia is my best friend and she doesn't have time for writing anymore so I asked if I could take over for her, since I don't want to use my own email. *Huh, guess it wasn't as long as I thought*

Reply

Ok! That's nice! Well, welcome to Reedsy and I hope you have a great time here! Adios! ~SS

Reply

Mia Rigini
22:40 Oct 13, 2020

Thanks!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
B. W.
21:12 Oct 13, 2020

I really enjoyed this story and so i'm going to go ahead and give this story a 10/10 :)

Reply

Mia Rigini
22:41 Oct 13, 2020

Thanks!!

Reply

B. W.
22:43 Oct 13, 2020

No problem ^^ do you plan to make some more stories eventually?

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Thom Brodkin
19:39 Oct 13, 2020

There is nothing worse than to lose a child. I too was searching for the time capsule at the beginning but became so engrossed in the story I forgot it was missing until the end. I thought you set a very unique tone to this story and pace. It's hard to explain but there was almost a hint of hope even though the story was full of tragedy. Great first offering. If you wouldn't mind I'd love a read on my newest story, "The Purse". Let me know what you think.

Reply

Mia Rigini
22:41 Oct 13, 2020

Thanks so much and sure!!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
C.J 🤍
20:35 Oct 12, 2020

Liked the story

Reply

Mia Rigini
22:40 Oct 13, 2020

Thanks!!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
11:59 Oct 12, 2020

Okay, I finally read the story! It’s AMAZING! So short yet gets so much across. Sad but I enjoyed it!!! Great job!!!

Reply

Mia Rigini
22:40 Oct 13, 2020

Thankssss

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
11:56 Oct 12, 2020

*response to my previous message* Oh! Well! Looks like you took the quiz in my other accounts (currently named Cereal Killer for Halloween) bio, so you saw the drawing of Mia! Although I dunno if Mia did...would you mind showing her as well? Idk, I just sketched her a couple weeks ago and never got the chance to show her. And thankssssss! Glad you liked it!! -Samara

Reply

Mia Rigini
22:39 Oct 13, 2020

Yes I love your quizzes. Also I showed her and she is planning on commenting to you pretty soon about that!!

Reply

18:45 Oct 15, 2020

Thanks! Yay!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
C. Jay Loren
02:51 Oct 12, 2020

I really loved this story. It made me feel very sad though, but it was very well-written and I love all the symbolism and the references to the stars and the moon. They are very magical things. I wrote a similar story with a kinda similar theme also called “Stars” if you would like to check it out. :)

Reply

Mia Rigini
22:32 Oct 13, 2020

Thanks so much and Sure!!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply