It was one of those nights where I was lying in the grass at her side. The ground itself was still a bit wet from the afternoon’s rain so we brought one blanket each keep moist away as we stared into the dimly lit sky. Those nights were usually pretty quiet at the start since we believed it was a bit disrespectful for the stars to begin talking about life and philosophy while they were still asleep. Under those circumstances I would occasionally take the time to think about useless things and make peace with my mind. As the first stars began to shine in the darkness she spoke.
“I wonder how far they are”, she said with a melancolic tone.
I wasn’t certain of what she was talking about but I still asked in a semi-certain voice “The stars?”.
She didn’t reply yet, bit I still got a confirmation when she raised her hand to the sky, trying to grab something. “When I was younger”, she said, “my parents would call me their ‘little star’, but as far as I know stars are probably a few more times larger than the planet we live on!”.
I was a bit surprised at this statement for a topic starter tonight, we usually had easier conversations to warm up our brains, but she seemed pretty confident and serious about this so I decided to let her continue, giving an approbative silence.
“I learnt today that stars are the biggest things in the whole universe! How awesome is this? One amazing thing is that they somehow all fit in our sky. Another amazing but sad thing is that not much people care about stars these days. This is what I don’t get.”
I was still confused about where she was leading this monologue but I still kept quiet, I wouldn’t really know what to say anyway and she looked like she had a pretty good starting idea, well maybe it was only an illusion but I felt she had some strong feelings about this. She still paused, as if she waited for me to say something to give her a chance to sort her thoughts but when I finally decided to open my mouth to talk she proceeded her one-sided conversation.
“Everyone tells me that the big things are the most important in my life, that I should be thinking forward to them, like getting married, having children, school, work. I get it that those are big chunks of my life but if the big things are the most important, why are we ignoring the stars? What’s the impact of a town girl not getting married early versus two stars colliding with each other, creating some kind of new world and maybe even life?”
This felt hard for me as I was taking my time to choose every word before saying it, not to get misunderstood and derail the conversation somewhere we both didn’t want to go. Still gazing at the constellations, I answered her on a ‘I think’ convincing voice.
“Even if everyone wants to focus on the big things, we all tend to care more about the little things. It’s like trying to find a little bit of happiness in everything so in the end you’re happy whatsoever the result you get right? If you work twenty years without ever smiling once, there isn’t any end to this that will justify the sadness you would have been through, do you understand?”
I asked her a question, but I kind of already knew the answer so I kept on talking before she could even try to say something.
“Big things like stars are too far from us, to gigantic to grasp like it’s nothing. Sure they look really tiny from here, this hill that has been host of many discussions about life in the past and probably the future too, but even if you try and reach out your hand to them, you won’t catch them like that, it’s not the way it works, you don’t have to stretch your arm every night in hope that someday your arm will be long enough. I believe it’s how life works and people who care too much for things they can’t even get a glance of yet are fools who cannot appreciate enough the present time and are eager to be something they aren’t. That’s how I see the whole thing, I prefer getting every feeling and memory from the present and enjoy them rather than wait for later, like those nights spent with you under the stars, talking about useless stuff. That’s how life should be.”
I finally turned my head at her to see her reaction, I was expecting either a confused face or a boggled mind. At the opposite, she rolled herself in her blanket up her nose and looked directly into my eyes with hers being wide opened. I felt a bit uneasy and shy about this turn of events. I wasn’t the only one.
“W-why are you blushing?”