It had been such a long day. Patrick looked up at the glass ceiling of the station and into the galaxy of stars glittering across the sky.
He stared deeper into outer space, the moonlight shining over everything. He stared, and stared, until he felt dizzy.
He had always thought stargazing was like getting high. There was this peacefulness, this tranquility. It was looking up into this massive galaxy until you could barely feel the feeling of being on earth.
It was peaceful, until the existentialism hit you. You realize that the universe is huge and you’re just this tiny dot, so insignificant. Your worries become weights that bring you crashing back onto earth. You’re left feeling dizzy and alone. That’s the worst part, of getting high and of stargazing, the sudden loneliness.
Patrick picked up his bag and checked his watch. 11:16. It’ll be about half an hour until his train arrives.
It wasn’t ideal, but this is how things would have to be. It wasn’t his idea, of course, and things could’ve gone much, much worse.
He still got his eighteenth birthday, he had his family there, and his mom made a cake with rainbow sprinkles. It was the most silent party he had ever been to.
He started to reminisce about that night. He had told his mom that he didn’t want this type of life. What he really meant was that he couldn’t take another day of that hell on earth. She was silent. There was no yelling, no arguing, it was just it. It made sense. She was used to people leaving.
He slowly turned his head to see a small girl with wild, curly red hair sitting next to him.
“Oh, you startled me there. Yeah, I mean, yeah.” he said.
“I guess she’s just looking for some conversation,” he thought. “Probably waiting for her train as well.”
“So uh, where are you going?” she asked.
“Wherever the night takes me.” he said without thinking. “I mean, Seattle. I’m going to Seattle.” he fumbled out. “God that was a dumb thing to say.” he thought.
“What a coincidence. That’s where I’m going too!” she said excitedly.
It’s not much of a coincidence, really. Actually, not a coincidence at all. They’re in the same station at the same time. It’s common sense
“Yeah, I’m going to college there. I just graduated highschool, actually.” she went on despite his lack of engagement.
“Oh, that’s cool,” he said as he stared at the tracks.
“You know, I could really go for a drink right now.” she said.
“What? You’re underage.” he told her assertively. She said she’s graduated high school but there’s no way that she’s any older than sixteen. She can’t be. She had her hair in pigtails, wore a denim dress and one of those teddy bear backpacks.
“Alright, I know what’s going on here. You’re going to lead on an older guy so he’ll buy you beer.” he knew this type all too well. He was this type himself until he realized that cashiers really don’t care and you can tell anyone pretty much anything as long as you’re confident enough. “Well it isn’t going to happen. I’m eighteen myself so I can’t legally get anything. Why don’t you piss off? Try your luck downtown. I’m sure there are plenty of men looking for some whore like you…”
“What?” she said. “All I said was that I could go for a drink. I was in the mood for some cherry cola.” she seemed to be backing off a bit.
Suddenly his words hit him in the face like cold water just after waking up.
“Shit,” he thought.
“Okay, look, I- just. Look, uh, ignore that, okay. I’m, it-it’s been a long day. I’m sorry about that.”
“Well,” she said looking at her lap. “Technically, there can’t be a long day. All days are twenty four hours.”
“Why don’t, let me buy you one then. I’ll get you a cherry coke.”
Her eyes stayed glued to her lap.
“My name’s Patrick, my friends call me Patt.”
She didn’t move. He could almost feel her glare.
“What’s your name?” he asked.
She hesitated for a moment. “Lavender,” she muttered.
“Nice to meet you, Lavender.” he forced through his smile as he stood up in front of her.
She looked up at him. “My friends call me...Moonlight.”
“Alright, can I call you moonlight?” he asked as he offered her his hand.
“I don’t know,” she said as she stood up on her own. “Are you my friend?”