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Chapter 1 : The Black Lake
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So in my mind I always imagined one star belonged to one person, and held the individuality of that person to never be forgotten. Until, of course, that star finally burst billions of years later. And then and only then, would that person finally be over with in the world.
My idea seems silly even to my own ears, but whenever I feel like nothings going right, I like to look up at the stars and pretend that one of them is mine, and that no matter what, there is still something that will live long after me, that belongs to me, right up in that huge sky.
And becoming a star seems like it would be perfect. Ever changing, ever recreating itself. Always morphing and glowing and hanging in the sky for all to see.
I explained this idea to you once. You just scoffed at me and told me to get my head out of the clouds. You told me it was stupid to think of stars as anything other than balls of fire, that burst into flames billions of years from when they start. You said they end up coming full circle; ending where they begin. And you proceeded to ask why would I want to become something that never amounted to anything.
I didn’t listen to you. I never did. I never will. I still believe that there’s something more to stars than the rest of the world lets on. And you might not believe it, but one day I’ll show you.
“Rose,” you said looking at me as we sat side by side, our feet dangling dangerously close to the surface of the Black Lake. It was an inky black. Blacker than the world lit up in moonlight. Blacker than the darkness that overcame me in the middle of the night when I thought about every fear that could possibly crush me. It was a glistening black that reminded me of gossamer strands twisted and twirled and pulled and plucked.
I was tempted to dip my toes into the sparkling water, but something about the Black Lake scared me. There was something so incredibly majestic about it that overwhelmed me to the point of seeing it as my greatest obstacle. So instead I adjusted my feet so that I was sitting on them. I needed to get rid of the temptation.
I looked at you in questioning. Your brow was furrowed in concentration, and I held back a smile I always made when you thought deeply to yourself.
“Rose,” you said again. And the smile on my face disappeared. We both knew what you wanted to say. And we both knew that neither of us wanted to hear it. So instead, I got up and walked away from the shimmering lake, and left you sitting there, staring after me. The shadow of my body passing over rock after rock after rock.
And as I looked up at the midnight sky I saw two stars dangerously close to one another, and pretended one was me and one was you, and that we didn’t live in a world where it was impossible for us to be able to be that close to one another without bursting into flames.
Your lips felt like the fluttering of wings against my own. Your lips felt like whispers that weren’t meant to be heard. And as our lips touched one another, it felt like we were in a whole other world. And like this thing that was pretend might actually be real.
It felt like we could actually drift away, and no one would find us until we were too far to reach.
You pulled your beautiful lips away from mine, and I stared into your silver eyes. I stared into them until I memorized every streak of blue throughout. I stared at you until I memorized every line of your face. Until I memorized every blonde hair on your head. Until, I memorized every furrow of your brow.
I had to memorize your face, because I wasn't sure if I'd ever see it this close again.
Our spot by the Black Lake didn’t seem so special anymore. The magic had disappeared. And as you pulled away from me I knew you felt it too. Which was probably the reason you were pulling away to begin with.
“Rose,” you said again, slowly, as if trying to convey the words we had refused to say to one another, in my name.
And I did what I always do whenever you whispered my name with those meanings woven behind every syllable. I pretended I didn’t hear you and instead got up and walked away before you could say anything that could possibly end this.
And as I walked away I looked back up at the sky. I looked at those two stars that were you and me. And they seemed to be farther away from one another now. It seemed like those stars didn’t even know each other anymore. And maybe the sky was right. Maybe we didn’t know each other anymore.
You were giving me that look, the one you give me whenever I say something that doesn’t make sense. And I wanted to wipe the look right off of your face. Who were you to judge me for the words that escaped my lips? I could go on spouting any type of words I wanted. You couldn’t control me.
“I don’t understand,” you said to me. I didn’t understand either. I didn’t understand why you were pressing the issue. I didn’t understand why you kept making me say it over and over again.
“What is there to understand?” I responded, looking down at my hands as they stroked the green grass beneath me.
The Black Lake no longer sparkled when I looked at it. It no longer beckoned me to jump in. I did not think of the Black Lake as anything more than it originally was. It was not the temptation it had once been. And neither were you.
So before you could say anything else, I did what I always do. I stood up from my spot next to you, and walked back to the castle. And before I entered the castle, I looked up at the stars that were you and me.
Our stars were spreading even farther apart, and though this should have worried me, it didn’t. I didn’t care where our stars were anymore. I didn’t care if you told me it was stupid that I looked at the sky. I didn’t care if you told me we’d be different than what everyone expected. I didn’t care for your reasons of why we should be.
I didn’t care anymore. The Black Lake no longer sparkled, and neither did you.
“Why won’t you say it?” You said coming up to me in the middle of the hallway. You looked rumpled and haggard. You looked like you hadn’t slept in weeks. And maybe you hadn’t. Maybe you had other things keeping you up at night, where sleeping was the least important thing on your mind. Other skeletons in your closet that chased you around in circles, leaving your mind nothing but a jumbled mess. Maybe I was that skeleton.
But you came up to me in the hallway, throwing me completely off guard. Why did you have to do this in public? Why couldn’t we just pretend it was nothing, I was nothing? Why did it have to matter to you? Why did I have to matter to you?
That was the problem between you and me, you never knew when to stop. You were like a meteor, bursting forth until you ended with a crash. But you didn’t know it. You just thought I needed to be challenged. You thought all I needed was to be told that everything was going to be okay.
And as everyone in the hallway saw you plead, they also saw me turn and walk away from you. They saw my face, a mask of indifference; they saw your face, one of unbelievable pain.
They saw me for what I was. Why couldn’t you see me the same way?
I knew you’d come here. Which is why I sat by the Black Lake, in our usual spot. I took in the trees that surrounded me. The leaves were starting to fall off of them, and the grass wasn’t green anymore. It was brown, it was dying. It was us.
The orange and yellow leaves swirled upon the grass, and I wished every last leaf would disappear, and the grass would become green again, and the black lake would sparkle like it used to. I wished that you and me didn’t have to be so different.
And as I saw your dark figure appear in front of me, I noticed the bags under your eyes. I noticed how unkempt your hair was, how pale your skin looked. I noticed that you were a human being, so fragile and easy to break. And I noticed that I was nothing like you.
“Rose,” you said, the same amount of pleading strung throughout my name as usual. All I wanted was for your lips to close around mine. All I wanted was for you to forget about everything else. All I wanted was for you and me to be up in that sky.
“Why do you love me?” I asked. Each word floated and spun its way out of my mouth, like the plucking of a harp’s strings. And I was genuinely curious for the answer. The words seemed so strange. I never thought that love and my name could ever be associated with one another. Who could love me, when I couldn’t even love myself?
You continued to look at me. Your face was pained and I knew that you finally understood the situation was so much bigger than me, than us. The situation was too big and too small. It was too much, yet it wasn’t enough. It was a partly opened door letting a cool breeze in, even though you were already frozen still.
And you didn’t answer my question; instead you did as I had done to you so many times before. You walked away from me. You didn’t want to hear what I had to say, and I wasn’t surprised. You never surprised me, yet I always surprised you.
And as I sat in our spot by the Black Lake, I laid my head on the grass and looked up at the sky. I searched for our stars. I searched every expanse of the sky for where you and me used to be. My eyes roamed and roared and wandered and wailed. But our stars had burst into flames and there was nothing left of you or me, or us.
I told you I’d show you that there was more to stars than the world let on.
A/N: I've been wanting to write something in second person forever just to try it out, and this is what I came up with. My first ever oneshot. A monumental moment in the history of myself.
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