Chapter 30: Exclusive
The stairway was as usual-moist, wet and slippery. It was raining outside from past twelve hours and since, the building didn’t have stairway roof constructed, the stairs were always affected by the rain hence making it slippery.
I didn’t care, as I made my way up in the middle of the night, ignoring the dark old building and the weird animal noises followed by the sound of wind howling through the hallways of the dark building. I did what I liked to do, and as I made my way up to the terrace, I realised today, I was not alone.
Someone was already there sitting with a telescope and a notebook.
“Knights?” I called and all of a sudden he looked back with wide open eyes as if I had caught him off guard.
“Jesus! It’s you,” he took a sigh of relief and that instantly had my attention. “What’s up?” I asked as I made my way to him and looked down at him. He had his big rimmed glasses on as he adjusted it and shrugged at me.
“Stargazing,” he said with a cheeky smile as I took a seat next to him on the mat.
“But it was raining earlier,” I told him and he nodded looking at his wrist watch. “But now the clouds may clear any time. I’m here for the constellations,” he said which made me giggle.
“So, I see you have started to sneak out just like me. Are you not afraid of someone finding about your absence in your hostel wing?” I asked and he shrugged. “Done this a plenty of time, so habituated I guess!” he joked and I knew right away that he was referring that to me because I was the one who made him sneak out of the hostel most of the times.
“You? What about you?” he asked and I shoved my hand into my jacket pockets, feeling the cold breeze of the night. “As usual, wandering around,” I told him and all he did was nod his head. He was habituated with my wandering around.
“Oh the clouds are clearing up!” he said all of a sudden excited. This was the first time ever I was seeing him this excited. From the day, I met him if anything I saw in him was determination for studying. I knew his dream was to become a scientist and an astronaut but I had never really understood what fascinates him to the level that he doesn’t sleep at night.
“You really want to be an astronaut, don’t you?” I asked as I folded my arms over my knees and looked at him while he looked through the telescope.
“That’s my dream,” he said not even his taking his eyes of the telescope which made me chuckle.
“What’s so funny Veronica?” he asked still gazing at the night sky.
“Nothing. It’s just you study all the time. I like to wander to ease my mind. You at least need to sleep, if you want to dream,” I said and this time that made him chuckle because he held the telescope and looked back at me. His eyes twinkling and his hair disheveled as if he ran his hand a plenty of times.
“That’s the problem. You don’t sleep to dream but dreams don’t let you sleep,” he said and gave me a smile. I stared at him for a second and nodded.
Actually he was right. Dreams don’t let you sleep. It was also the reason the reason why I couldn’t sleep. I was also worried about my career to some extent and even though I already had plenty in my plates, still at the back of my mind, I had my dreams about my career.
“You’re right!” I said and he nodded before going back to his telescope.
“So, what are you looking at?”
“Constellations,” he mumbled and took his notepad as he note something down. I tried to peek but couldn’t understand a single damn thing.
“I don’t really know anything about that,” I said and instantly he looked my way.
“Seriously?” he asked looking astonished to which I just shrugged.
“You don’t know what constellation is?”
“No! I do know what it is. But I have never seen them in the sky. I can’t locate them,” I told him truthfully and that made him closed his notebook as he shifted closer to me and turned the telescope towards me. “C’mon I will show you,” he said and I was ready to deny not wanting to bother him but he insisted and I looked through the telescope. All I saw was plain stars.
“I know what you are thinking,” he chuckled which made me look back at him.
“Some stars are different and constellations are useful because they can help people to recognize stars in the sky. By looking for patterns, the stars and locations can be much easier to spot. See look here,” he drew some points in his notebook and then angled his head to look through the telescope. “That and that,” he pointed at the sky at two stars “is the ending star of big dipper. The rest of it is not visible because of the clouds. I will make you see it, when the cloud clears,” he said and I nodded.
“So, there are eighty-eight constellations. The twelve most common constellations in the zodiac family can all be seen along the ecliptic. They are- Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpius, Sagittarius, Capricornus, Aquarius and Pisces, our Zodiacs easy to remember?” he asked and I nodded with a smile.
“And then the five most important- The Big Dipper, Orion, ‘The Hunter,’ Taurus, ‘The Bull,’ Gemini, ‘The Twins.’ So, earlier the stars allowed farmers to plan ahead and form agriculture, and constellations made it easier to recognize and interpret the patterns in the sky. The constellations also helped with navigation."
"It is fairly easy to spot Polaris, The North Star- once you’ve found Ursa Minor, Little Dipper constellation," he said as drew the stars in his notebook to make me understand.
"Hm, I like this gemini constellation. I would like to have it as my tattoo," I told him and he nodded as he passed me a book and it was easy to imagine the constellations.
"Can I ask you something?" I asked and he looked back at me.
"Why do you want to be an astronaut?" I questioned and he looked back at his notebook as he opened it and gave it to me. It had a picture of an old man holding a kid on his lap. Both were laughing looking at each other. It was a cute picture, to be honest.
"Is this you?" I asked and he nodded smiling at it.
"That's my grandfather. He used to tell me stories and every story were related to his wife and stars. The more I grew, stars began to fascinate me and as I began to acknowledge my grandfather's loneliness and how much he missed my grandmother and tried to ease that by simply spending his time, gazing at the stars, it made me see through him and then I started to understand what love is," he laughed at the end.
"But then, love became scientific for me, as I started to take interest on studying and researching more and more on things that I didn't know. I wanted to know the things that were beyond our reach and it was how I ended up choosing my path," he told me and I nodded.
So, basically his grandfather inspired him.
"What about you? You never told me about your dreams," he asked and all of a sudden I grew tense thinking whether to tell him or not.
"Do you want to be a doctor or an engineer?" he urged me to speak up.
Honestly, from the day I joined London school of Science, I have felt nothing but remorse. I had no interest in science and like Ace, I had also dreamt of something which seemed to getting away from me. I do have a person who has inspired me to the level, that it becomes suffocating for me to carry on with science. I wanted to be a Prosecutor in the beginning, then it changed to be what my father was. I wanted to be like him, I wanted to be a businesswoman, inspiring others, like he did.
Can I tell this to Ace?
Is it okay for me to tell this Ace, and let it out of the chest?
But then he will simply ask me why am I not going after my dreams.
How can I pursue my dreams when all I see is Revenge.
And for that I needed to stay in London school of Science, anyhow.
"Yes, I want to be a doctor," I said burying the acidic feeling that I had inside my chest. The feeling of revenge was so powerful and intense to the extent, that I was ready to lose my dreams, my ambitions and what most importantly what I really was.