“Rain poured, but I could still see the stars. That’s what was important. Nothing bad could happen while I had my stars. “
Lightning cracked. Rain poured, but I could still see the stars. That’s what was important. Nothing bad could happen while I had my stars. I gripped the railing as hard as I could while the boat rocked back and forth. My hair whipped against my face and I struggled to block out the screams and go back to my memories of my best friend:
Marlee laughed. I smiled at my joke. Her light hair bounced behind her back. She was giving me a spa from our yard, something she loved to do to me. I made jokes to her as she plopped and rubbed mud into my hands and legs. We giggled as she tried to put cucumber slices on my closed eyes, but each time they slipped off. She eventually gave up. When I opened my eyes I saw my brother Zander snapping a picture of her.
“Out!” I screamed. He giggled like a pig and scampered off. He had a little crush on Marlee.
We looked at each other. The ends of her lips turned up into a smirk. I chuckled. She cracked up. I joined her. The second we stopped, one of us would smile or giggle or mock snapping a photo, and we’d burst into laughter again.
Back in reality, I held Zander tightly as he heaved everything in his body over the side of the boat. He choked as a massive wave approached. As I began to realize what was coming, my world seemed to move in slow motion. I threw my head back so I could see the purple star and wished with everything in me as the wave engulfed us. My eyes were still open all throughout the boat tipping, I kicked a fish, and reached the surface. I looked for my family. I still just couldn’t set them apart from the other dark, screaming figures. I thought about dying. It reminded me again of Marlee:
“I have a secret.” Marlee burst into my bedroom. She made jazz-hands and then quickly put them down. She jumped once.
“I’m going to visit my cousins on the other side of the country,” she told me. She was grinning ear to ear. She jumped again and fell on her butt. She spread herself out on the floor. “Yay!” She giggled uncontrollably. She kicked her legs in the air.
“No way,” I squealed. “Really?”
She nodded, jumped up and grabbed my hands. We hopped up and down, squealing.
I sat down and hung my head. “But I’ll miss you so much!”
Marlee sat down next to me. “When you miss me, think about this: Wherever you are, we look at the same stars.” She pointed to the sky and chose one particularly big dot.
“When I’m gone, this star will turn purple. That way you will always know we are looking at the same sky.”
“You’re just saying that.” I glared at her.
“You say that like it’s a bad thing!” She said. She ran out of the room, screaming with a sort of excitement I wish I had shared.
A few days later I was lying under my blanket. My pillows were were wet from tears. It had been three days. The star hadn’t turned purple. I still checked every night.
One week later a letter arrived.
The Case Family
Mr. Mira Case, Ms. Lilith Case, Ms. Angeles Case, and Mr. Zander Case
Location: Mall St. Diana, Ilouw
Time: 11:00 am
Who Died: Mrs. Marlee Kinder
I felt tears welling up behind my eyelids, but they never poured. It was almost as I died for a second. The world filled with whipped cream. I could feel myself floating. I could hear Marlee, but not talking, laughing, shouting, or crying. Just her voice. Doing nothing.
Then a sniffle caught my attention. Zander was whimpering. And suddenly, reality seemed all too harsh. That’s when the tears came.
I wandered somewhat aimlessly over to the window. I looked at the sky. I looked next to the sky near the neighbor’s house, a pale, violet star shone bright, blue like Marlee’s eyes, but also purple, just like she’d promised.