”You’re like a star that has fallen into my hands.”

        She had been hearing his words on repeat in the mess she called her mind all day long. She was so busy all day that she couldn’t even muster a better response than “okay.” Her own aloofness bewildered her.

        But now as she lay on top of her roof stargazing at the vast midnight sky, she smirked. She knew something was wrong. She could feel it scraping inside her head. She tried to ignore it; she thought again about what happened earlier, projected it all in front of her: how he gazed at her; how he said it all. She could tell he was afraid. The thought never crossed her mind before.

‪        She had always thought epiphanies were myths. But here she was with the epiphany that he is, in fact, human: he is afraid. It ought to have been magical; she finally had her fervently longed for fairy-tale cliché. But as she stared into the glimmering midnight sky, naming all the stars she recognized, she had another epiphany: stars are copious. What makes Hadar any more special than Procyon? What makes it different from the millions of stars that have already faded into darkness? What difference does it make to shine vigorously when so many have done so before you and shall continue to do so after you? What difference does it make if he loved her? What difference does it make to consummate one single dream when you’re living with the perpetual nightmare of yourself?