For a moment, I forgot where I was. I could hear myself silently breathing the cool air that teased the locks of my hair. Every blade of grass underneath me sent tickles of sensation on my skin. Lying on that open field made me wonder how I must have looked like from above. I felt insignificant compared to the beauty that surrounded me. I felt so small. But everything was designed flawlessly. I have a theory that God made us small for us to appreciate and acknowledge the things bigger ourselves especially those beyond our fallible minds alone could never understand.
I then heard the crisp sound of breaking grass beside me. I suddenly remembered that I was not alone. We lazed under the majesty of the night dissimilated against the green grass and shadows of trees.
“You fell asleep.” She teased.
“Did I?” I said trying to sound ignorant.
“Yes, you did. Actually I was torn between laughing and waking you up when the snoring began.” She laughed.
“I don’t snore!” And I reached out to ruffle her hair. It is one those rare moments when happiness overflows that you just have to laugh it out.
A sporadic silence rang out, and we sighed at the same time, chuckled, sighed again, and then silence once more. The next moment settled and then lingered for more than a moment.
“Tell me something I don’t know.” She said. There was always something in her voice that was just anesthetizing to the soul. I always felt like I had to stay close or else I would forget how to breathe.
“I snore. Oh wait. You already know that.” I teased back.
“I’m trying to be serious.” And I could tell she was by the way her eyes rolled on their sockets and the crinkle on her nose.
I sat up and wore my shoes off. The grass felt good against the soles of my tired feet. I surprised myself when I inched closer and lied down beside her. I took her hand in mine. And with heads conjoined, we pointed to the spectacle above us.
“That star, the blue one—that’s Rigel. That’s one of the youngest stars. And that one diagonally opposite it, the red one—it’s Betelgeuse, and unlike Rigel, it’s dying. These three stars, here, that’s the three kings. And if you connect them to this, this, and this, it will form the Hunter constellation, most commonly known as Orion.” I explained, my hand slightly trembling on hers. We were so close that my heart soared and pounded against my chest. But I knew I had to inch away and let go of her hand. And I did. I can point to a billion stars forever with her, I thought.
“Woah. You really paid attention to your Astronomy class, didn’t you? Impressive.” She mused, a shy smile etched on her ever beautiful face.
“When I was kid I used to lie on our rooftop at night and find stars and constellations I’ve read from books. Geeky perhaps, but yes. I wanted to be an astronomer. Back then I actually thought stars were within my reach.” My eyes once again grazed the heavens. “But time changes things, including dreams. And because in truth, we change too.”
“So what have become of that dream?” She asked, her eyes squinting towards the skies, as if reading illegible letters she alone could see.
“Do you believe in fate? I have so many dreams. And I have come to understand that I can’t fulfill them all. But sometimes, destiny would just knock on your door and give you a gift; the one you once dreamed of having and you thought was lost forever.” I looked in her eyes ever wanting to get lost in the heaven behind them.
“Yes. I think I do.” She raised her hand, moving a finger in the air as if writing a name. “Life is a big box of surprises.”
Quiescence crawled away with time, and clouds eventually covered the twinkling celestial bodies that adorned the black sky. Thunder and lightning flaunted their power against the thick downpour of rain. Strangely, we still chose stay there, as the earth beneath the bed of grass where we laid turned into mud, silently enjoying the rain on our faces and basking in the moment like little rascals. She suddenly stood up, her eyes flinching to the water spattering on her face.
“Let’s dance.” She bellowed against the noise, beaming.
I stood up facing her, bowed in courtesy and offered a hand, never looking away from her gaze. And the moment her hand landed on mine, we began waltzing under the rain, endlessly laughing at our own folly. We knew it didn’t make sense, but we didn’t care. We twisted and turned, disturbing the puddles of mud that stained our feet and clothes. It was the first time in ages that I enjoyed the rain. I felt like I had gone back in time to the young days when I used to live a carefree-life. I was a kid once more and old dreams just came flooding back.
I once dreamed of reaching for the stars. But the innocence of my youth failed me to understand that you should not reach for them, not that it’s impossible, but because sometimes, when destiny calls, one of those billion stars will just fall from the heavens and land straight to your hand.