Read the Stars

Read the stars, they once told me. They speak of ancient times, of stories that took place long before my own, of destruction and evolution, of prosperity and flourish. I would look up every night at the hollow sky, with those scattered shiny dots. I would sit for hours trying to read but I could see nothing. Maybe my mind refused to see anything. I was realistic more than I was imaginative; I enjoyed the hard facts more than those absurd fantasies. It was difficult for me to see what was beyond the harsh exterior of reality. Yet they kept telling to look up at the stars, to read the stories and to look deeper than the surface of the murky black sky.

That night I sat on my windowsill, pondering on those so-called stories that never folded before me. The sky was rippling slowly, the stars dancing in a twinkling motion as if driven around by the invisible ripples. It was a cloudy night and I could hardly get a read out of the stars. It was agonising how much people put hope and wishes on a star. An entity so far away, so small to our naked eyes but bigger than us. It was all confusing and mysterious. They always told me stars had hope and I still couldn’t see that.

I turned my gaze to the empty street below our loft. It was quiet and only the streetlight flickered. On the bench, sat an old lady with her purse on her lap and she stared into nothing, or maybe she was looking into a memory from the past and I had no way of knowing. She wasn’t rigid or stiff; she was sitting snugly on the bench in a manner that portrayed familiarity to the place. It wasn’t probably her first time here. That was when I saw it. A disheveled misty form materialised beside her. It was a middle-aged man with a breathtaking smile and sparkling eyes. I turned to look at the woman and she looked just as young, with flamboyant hair and kind eyes. They seemed to be so in love. This place seemed to be their escape and it held their secret meetings and talks. I was so awed with the way he handled her, so gently and lovingly. Suddenly, I could feel the scene go dark and the life was sucked out of the man. He appeared glum and a frown was plastered on his handsome face. The woman was sobbing softly beside him as his figure started to fade. All was left was the old lady, holding a yellowed picture of the young man I just saw.

It broke my heart how she was still loyal after all those years he has been gone. I saw her pack the picture into her purse again, get up and then surprisingly look at me. She glanced right at me, from where I was sitting and gave me the saddest smile I have ever seen someone wear so beautifully. Her eyes still crinkled with life even when she left.


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