Memories of a Star

I was quiet and tired and the raindrops were tapping at my window oh so softly, I was surprised I could hear them at all. The sound a raindrop makes—I think that is the persuasion created to dance among them. What I would give to dance in the rain.
I won’t dance tonight though. No, I’m rather melancholy and my feet would just stumble o’er each other in the cold and I’d get all muddied up. In all fairness, I would dance any other day, and I do, but sometimes you just can’t hear the music. Not at all.
That’s how it is now. Quiet and gray and without sound. I turn on the radio, but it just fizzles, and I turn it off again. I shuffle through CDs but there’s nothing in my collection worth listening to. I look out my window out towards the street, at the rain. I feel I must be respectful. I bow to it.

Once I knew a star. It was the most glorious ebb of sensation. I was so proud just to know his name. “Guess what,” I wanted to brag, “I know a star.” I could point it to you right now if it weren’t raining, I could show you the star I knew. I wouldn’t need a map or a season, since it’s as bright as the northern star and maybe brighter. And he’s always there. That’s what I thought when I met him. That he would always be there.
I guess I was wrong. But what did I know, oh so long ago? Really, after you get to know a star, you don’t want to let it go, you want a glimpse of it every twilight for forever. Would you be able to imagine it gone? I feel cheated of a very basic truth.
No one ever told me he was a star. No one ever told me, be careful, don’t fall in love with him or you’ll never fall out of it. I guess they just assumed I knew when I first saw him, when we first talked, when he first smiled at me. They knew. I didn’t know anyone then, so I guess it’s not really their fault. They must have just figured I was smart enough. Sorry, wrong answer. I’m to be categorized as dumb as a rock.
It took me awhile before I knew him. A long while. Half a year really. That’s just as long as it took for everyone else in my class, too. But once I knew he was a star, I adored him. Dumb as a rock. I want to go back in time and tell myself not to look at him, just plug your ears if he tries to talk to you. Actually, I kind of just want to go back in time. Period. And if I got stuck in middle school nostalgia forever, that would be okay.
Thinking back, I can't remember what first brought me to him. We were in the same class, yes, but I hadn't yet materialized the school system there and didn't expect that the same 23 kids would be in my class for three years. It could have been the music; I don't know. It really could have been anything. I suppose it doesn't matter.
It wasn't until seventh grade that I really sunk into the rut of being in love. Call it a crush, say I was too young, but math class convinced me that there was only one emotion that fit my need to stay in the math room for as long as possible. There was nothing else that could make me stay.
I was not, as you would say, a fan of math. Especially now that our teacher thought that we were ready to learn algebra (we were not). I sat at a desk, part of an arranged "table" where I faced three other boys. The one in front of me liked nothing more to steal the feathers off my fuzzy pen and stretch his five miles of legs out so that my only options were either to squeeze my legs behind my desk or kick him really hard in the shin. Next to me was the boy I had deemed Dumb as a Sack of Potatoes. And diagonally from me was a quiet boy who didn't really talk. So yeah, besides the fact that I still didn't know how to rationalize a fraction, let alone cross-multiply one, math sucked.
We did end up getting new seats in that class when second quarter rolled around. And when I sat in my desk, I turned to my right and there was my little star.
Since, however, I was a nervous wreck at the age of 13, I said nothing to him.
Quarters progressed and seats changed, but one thing that stayed the same was a shining presence at my table, that of my twinkling little star. And as we battled through factoring and FOIL and graphing parabolas, I learned so much about him that before I never knew and he of me.
It was about that time that I learned that he had a girlfriend. Instead of being crushed, I waited it out--and for good results. Around Valentine's Day, she dumped him for some unreasonable excuse.
This did not change that much about us. His girlfriend had not been in our class and had not proposed any sort of reminder of his relationship. We still talked during homework time in math, I still gave him half of my peanut butter and jelly sandwich at lunch,  and he still came to me in science whenever he couldn't figure something out.
But as year two closed, we were still the same: friends. Several times I had thought of telling him, but hadn't known what to say. So, for another year, I simply let it go.
It became another year. The last year. Instead of focusing on the school year, I focused on the end of the school year. While the vast majority of my friends (my star included) went off to one school, I would be dragged off with only one friend to another. I thought of all the finalities--high school registration, the eighth grade dance, graduation--and worried about everything I would have to leave.
In one of the ebbs of our friendship, another setback befell me. My star and his ex-girlfriend got back together. It was already the middle of March and it squelched any of my hopes that he might ask me to the dance. Time began to shrink exponentially and there was nothing that I could do but sit back and watch it.
Even though it was too late, I felt that the boy who I had loved for so long, who had comforted me and made me laugh and had tried to teach me factoring (but had failed), deserved to know. I could not talk to him--there was no time, and for goodness sake, he had a girlfriend--so I wrote him a note:

    I am dreaming of winking stars. They are laughing at me after causing the disappearance of time. How do you fit something as glorious as a star into writing? It is like an analog asterisk, something that can be imagined, but unable for the computer to process. I cannot process. All that comes out are confusing jumbles of words.
    Words, words, fourteen years and they have turned on me. After silence all day, I wake up at midnight, my mind racing with words, words, everything I should have told you. I should have told you.
    What power has silenced me? Perhaps I believed some modern-day miracle would come true, and telling you the truth would only turn you away. How foolish I was. Now you are gone for good.
    I will miss you like I would miss the stars if they were to disappear one day from the mystery of space.
    The truth is, in you I see the brightest star. A star is a beautiful tear from an angel. You have taught me about love and kindness; and also of pain and fear. If I had never met you, I would not be smiling so great or loving so much.
    I am not trying to change a thing. I am only trying to thank you for everything, to hope that your happiness will never fade. I am only trying to say goodbye.

I slipped it secretively into his yearbook.
He found it that day, and in the afternoon, when we were all outside, he climbed up the hill towards me. "No, no" I thought to myself. "Just turn yourself around and keep walking." He held out the folded paper note to me. " I found it," he explained. My face reddened and I took it back without looking at him. "Don't worry; I didn't read it." He walked away.
    I really have no way of knowing whether he read it or not, if today in his head is the knowledge that once there was a girl who loved him, still loves him. But knowing either way wouldn't really make me feel better, the rain is still falling. As I peek through the rain, I wish I could just get a glimpse through the clouds at the boy who stole my heart four years ago. Over a year has passed and I have not seen him once since the graduation that parted us. And now I know what it is like to lose the stars.
lessgravity lessgravity
18-21, F
Jul 31, 2007