Astronomers

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Parked in the darkness at the edge of this cliff that overlooks town, my head on his shoulder, our fingers linked, we stared up at the stars through his windshield. My heart was heavy that night, as it was most nights when he and I were together, because I knew that in a few short hours we would be laying in separate beds, missing each other, waiting for that moment when we wouldn’t have to say goodbye before we lay down for the night.   As if he could feel the sadness beginning to press down on me from all sides he started to to hum. I didn’t recognize the song because we don’t listen to the same type of music but I could feel myself start to relax nonetheless and I sighed. I crossed the fingers of my free hand, praying to see a shooting star so that I might make a wish, and to my astonishment I actually saw one. I squeezed my eyes shut and wished so damn hard and looking back it seems my wish came true finally, but maybe I wasn’t so specific in the details of that wish because it seems that it’s a bit blurry around the edges, almost as though I’ve forgotten to put my glasses on while I’m looking back in time between there and here. That night, in the beginning, he had told me that he had signed up to go to school to become an astronaut and that he would have to be away from me for awhile but that he would call me as often as he could and write to me too. It was a punch to my gut, I mean really, how was he expecting to call me? I didn’t even own a phone. Thirty years old and I hadn’t owned a phone in over six years. He said he would send me money as often as he could and I wanted to scream at him that money wouldn’t save me, there wasn’t enough money in the world that could change the predicament I was in and how much it hurt that he was leaving but I kept my mouth shut. After I was free and able to start my life with him he told me that he hadn’t ever really planned on leaving to try to pursue his long-time dream of becoming an astronomer, only that he had wanted to see who in his life cared enough to ask him to stay and it broke my heart to know that I had wasted a wish that night when I could have used it so badly in other areas of my life.

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