My heart can’t help but spill out of my mouth as I let the words I used to say to my mom, float to Ace. My every thought that was usually guarded, opened up and I trusted him so much that I told him things I never told anyone.
“Wonder in many aspects. Wondering what is out there I cannot see with my eyes. Wondering what is happening in those distant galaxies in the subjective present, whose light is only reaching me from the far distant subjective past, now. Wondering what other life may lay beyond. I also have a sense of beauty and tranquility. I appreciate the night sky as art in and of itself and one with an infinite and ever expanding canvas.” When I look back at Ace, he’s smiling brightly and it makes his face so open and adorable. “Why are you smiling like that?” I ask.
“I can’t help it, that was literally the most beautiful thing I’ve ever heard and it was put in such a way to where I’m speechless. Like, wow.”
“I have more saved up inside my mind. Things that I haven’t ever let out before. Wanna hear?”
I sigh big and give a tiny yawn before letting everything spill out from my soul and into the open air where Ace sits patiently taking everything in with careful consideration. “Do you remember the last time you looked at the stars? I mean, really looked at them? I wonder what kind of people we would be if we all took the time to notice things a little bit more closely. There’s lots of reasons we should look at the stars more often. And I don’t just mean glancing up at the sky and remembering they exist but like, actually taking half an hour of your evening to find a place you can just sit and let the expansion of the universe overcome you. Looking at the stars isn’t going to make that person text you or give you two hours of your life back that you wasted on a bad movie this weekend or cure cancer or anything.” I cleared my throat and calmed my racing heart beat from the word cancer. “But it’s still a powerful and important experience we should all have more often.”
Ace is still smiling and he makes a face that says if I have more, spill it all out. He waits as I transfer my weight into a more comforting position.
“For one, stars are beautiful. If you can find your way to a place where the air pollution isn’t terrible and it’s a clear night, they are really, really, beautiful in an omnipresent kind of way. They remind us just how small we really are. Not only us, our size in general, but how small our problems are, how small our lives are, in relation to the void of space above.”
“That really is beautiful, Stella. Is there anything you want to add? Because I’m all ears, you have my full attention right now. Well . . . truth is, you’ve always had my full attention.”
I feel heat sneaking up my neck and covering my cheeks in a glow. I brush the hair from my eyes and say the last thing on my mind. “Looking at the stars helps us keep perspective that whatever we think is so important and overwhelming and difficult in life right now is actually very insignificant. We’re all just little stardust in the wind. Maybe that’s why it feels so good to look up at the stars. Every atom in your body is begging to go home.”
He can’t help it, he goes in for another kiss. After it’s over, he stares for a while before saying four words slowly and firmly, like he knows what he said and he means it with everything he is. “I love you, Stella.”
I’m frozen to the moment. Not able to say anything and not able to move. I know what he says and I can tell that he does in fact love me. Ever since I met him, I’ve had feelings for him and now he loves me. After so long of wanting something that means so much to me, it’s a little hard to imagine that it finally became. I’ve loved him ever since he helped me with my brother and just generally cared about me and my life and If I was hurt or not. He was actually sad when I was depressed and he was happy when I was. He’s been there for a good chunk of my short life and never failed to keep being there. So, I say the only thing I can say back after something as serious and amazing as he just did.
“I love you too, Ace.”
I didn’t think the smile on his face could get any bigger, but it somehow stretched farther and wider and I could tell that nothing could ever wipe that beautiful thing off his face because nothing was as important to him as me and I was the cause for it.
“Explain the stars and our city in ten words,” I say to him with a smirk.
He has nothing to say, but I know that he’s thinking hard because lines appear in his forehead and he’s squinting his eyes slightly. “The city and sky light each other up in beauty. Your turn,” he says, also with a smirk.
“Alright. Grasping glimmering city light—night stars: we make our wishes.”
He shakes his head like he knew I’d come up with something that fast and detailed.
“I’m tired,” I tell him.
He nods while thinking before he tells me to hang on a second and runs into the house, then comes out with two pillows and a few blankets and he keeps me in a hug as I drift off into sleep with him behind me warming my back and head.