“They’re starting to go home.”
“Mmhm?” I yawn, opening my eyes and rubbing the sand away.
“Look at the stars,” she says softly. She is standing near the edge of the cliff facing the endlessly dark blue sea. “The sun’s sending them home.”
I pull myself up to my feet, using the rocky wall behind me for support. I walk a few feet to her side, gravel crunching underneath my feet, and I notice her smiling. Only a couple of glimmering lights are left in the distance, the orange hues already starting to overtake the blue. The moon is halfway into its descent into the horizon, forming a luminous white disc together with the sea.
“What a view,” I sigh. I bring my index fingers into my mouth and whistle as long and as loud as I can into the night. PRRR!! I take a deeper breath. PRRRRR!!!!
“Do it again!” she exclaims.
“Wait, wait,” I chuckle. “C’mere.” I bring my arm around her shoulder and pull her close to me. I tousle her wavy, brown hair until it falls flatly on her forehead. I blow softly to clear the ones blocking her eyes. “You know, you look prettier when you’re angry.”
“Stop it,” she laughs. She wraps her arms around my neck and looks into my eyes. The salty wind breezes through her hair. For a moment the world is silent, save only for the waves crashing against the rocks below. She tiptoes and I lean down, meeting her halfway in the glinting moonlight with a kiss that speaks of forever.
A comet shoots across the sky and sea, converging at a spot in the horizon. “Make a wish,” I whisper in her ear. With twinkling eyes, she turns and looks at the brightest star in the distance. I hold her tighter in my arms, “Just close your eyes and I’ll always be with you, I promise.” The first rays of sunlight peek out from behind the cliff above us already starting to call me home.
She looks up at me with teary eyes. “It doesn’t have to happen like this.” The sun has landed on the edge of our precipice, already inching its way to where we were both standing. “Why don’t you just walk away?” Her voice starts to crack up. “You could hide in our house! We have a spare room that no one uses, there’s a fluffy bed and air conditioning and, and…” She looks down to the light only a few inches away now, the sun creeping its way to the top of the sky, and grips my wrist, “No…you couldn’t, could you?”
No, I couldn’t. I lightly cup her chin with my fingers and raise her face to meet mine. My thumb brushes off the tear that started to trickle down her right cheek. I look into her eyes and exhale as the last remaining star in the horizon fades away.
The sun touches my bare feet and my toes start to dissipate into morning dew that settles on the grass around us. We bend low with our backs pressed against the wall behind us, evading the sun’s grasp for just a few more moments. I hold her slender fingers with mine and place each one to my lips. I plant little pecks up her arm all the way to her shoulder and then to her cheek and she finally manages a faint smile. “Whenever the stars shine their brightest and the moon meets itself in the sea,” I brush off the few strands of hair covering her eyes, “I hope you’ll remember me as much as I’ll remember you.”
The bare cliff where we stand is now bathed in light. She holds my hands cupping her face and I touch my forehead to hers. I feel something reverberate through my body and my arms become translucent, creating space between her hands and face. “Don’t cry.” She tries to wipe the tear from my eye and ends up brushing the air. I manage to chuckle, wiping the side of my eye with the back of my fading hand.
“I think it’s time,” I smile softly, my voice already a sigh the wind. I look at her for one last time before I close my eyes.
I open them and look up at the sun. I know where I’m going. I’m going and I’m going and…