Ace and I walk back together with him holding most of my weight and with me stumbling around like a drunk person. He gently settles me back down into the chair and we eat quietly and slowly. It’s not awkward or anything, more like a relaxing silence that helps me to calm down and enjoy my food. I needed some kind of pressure release so I stand up and excuse myself.
I walk around until I finally find a door leading outside and only until I walk through it, do I realize that I’m on the balcony. It’s a cleared space and about 12 feet wide with a small palm tree in a pot next to the door. I walk to a chair at the edge, but then realize what comforts me the most:
Watching the stars.
I lay on the ground before opening my eyes upon one of the greatest scenes of my life. Thousands of stars stare right back at me. All my dreams and wishes come to mind and my entire body releases the horrible tension in my spine. I start calming my breathing and the cold from the ground below me finally registers in my mind. I’m about to get up before it sinks into my clothes and I start shaking really bad, but Ace is suddenly by my side and laying down next to me. He looks up and his breath catches.
“It’s really beautiful,” he says quietly, no longer looking at the stars, but all of his attention is now on me. He reaches for my hand but I pull away at the last second hoping he doesn’t notice as much as I do, but it’s obvious that he does because he whispers sorry and looks away.
“No, I’m sorry. I’m just not ready.” I don’t look at him. I only keep my gaze fixated at the priceless scenery.
“Would you be willing to talk to me about anything? It doesn’t have to be about anything in specific, but if you just want to make conversation…” he slowly looks back at my face and I notice that he’s nervous. His cheeks are bright red and he’s preparing himself for the worst.
I smile really big. “Can we talk about stars?”
His shoulders relax and I hear him release a big breath before he continues on. “Of course. I have a question about that.” He waits for me to say something, but I only nod for him to continue, bracing for a question that makes me look stupid to him. “Well. . . Why do you like stars so much? No offense or anything, but what’s so important about stars that it can relax you and take your attention away from the worries and hateful clutch of this dreadful world?”
“Well, it’s a little personal.” I finally look at him, but I regret it because now I see the sadness in his eyes and the worry lines stripped against his forehead.
“I thought we passed that. I’ve known you for so long and you still keep so much from me. I know that there’s a lot of things you might never tell me, but I was hoping that someday, you would come out of your shell and expose your inner parts to me. I respect you and your privacy, but I want to be closer with you and that’s hard when the other partner in the relationship won’t meet you halfway.”
“I know, okay? And I really am sorry, but I’ve kept parts of myself hidden from the danger of hurting my mentality and I’m scared that if that one part of me gets hurt again, I won’t ever come back from it.”
“I’m here for you and I always will be. Share what you want in your own time. I know that I can’t force it out of you, as much as I want to.” He looks down at my hands laying on my stomach and sits up onto his elbows looking at the houses below and then he looks toward the horizon where the city awaits with everything I’ve ever known or cared about.
I somehow feel that I’m losing Ace and that if he gets too far away, it’ll be too late and nothing will bring us back together. I know that I have to tell him something before he gets up all the way and walks away from someone he’s been trying to help for the longest time. He’s tried so hard and I can’t just erase that fact. I need him in my life and I have to make sure that he needs me too. The only way I can think of in order to do that is to let time pass by and see if he really wants me in his life.
Ace gets off his elbows and sits up all the way looking at me before almost getting up, but I stop him with a touch on his forearm and I look right into his eyes. This is the time to tell him and I know I should do it before a time comes where it will always be buried somewhere deep down inside me so I start talking.
“Ace. . . I need to say this.” I swallow hard and wipe the tears flowing effortlessly down my face. I make no sound as one or two drips down my neck. Ace looks at me with concern and finally I let him take my hand. I’m going to need as much help as I can get. And his hand is comforting in mine. Rough, but not too rough to where it scratches me and soft, but not squishy soft. He squeezes my hand gently prompting me to continue.
I take a deep breath. “Stars are important to me because my mom and I would star gaze together and she would tell me that there are so many possibilities and wonderful discoveries waiting for mankind out in the universe. She loved stars and we would spend hours on end just talking about aliens and life on other planets. We would laugh at our designs on paper with how we thought some aliens could look like and we would make up silly names for the species and their names. But I will never be able to do any of that with her anymore. She died when I was eleven. That’s when we moved and I met you a little later. You were twelve at the time I believe.”
My tears keep coming and coming and the hole inside me starts to open and the hole becomes physical and I feel the pain overtake my body and mind. I’m crying so hard that I don’t realize that Ace has his arms protectively around me and when I pull back to look at his gorgeous green eyes, I see tears glistening in them and he quickly wipes them and mine after. We stare at each other for a minute and just waste time letting our body heat overcome the cold wind trying to
freeze me to the bone. I lay back down and Ace doesn’t say anything, he only lays right next to me.
I stare at the stars again. “Stars. The feeling that it induces is one of wonder and contemplation.” I look at Ace again and he looks like he’s trying to unwind what I just said. I start again. “Trying to say my feelings is really hard right now, but I want to share the moment in my mind with you. I know that that probably doesn’t make any sense, but just let me continue.”
He looks at me with complete adoration. I couldn't help but see the safety of his arms and his soft lips. Even the way he smiled kept me awake and wanting to touch him.
"Go on," he says quietly, desire in his voice.