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Landan Reimer Landan Reimer
Recommendations: 5

Stars


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She had a friend.

My cousin asked me for help with a writing prompt for his writing class, and I liked the prompt so much I decided to give it a try. Here's my creation


      “Beautiful aren’t they?” He said quietly as he stepped to the railing beside her. The ferry was still an hour out from the city and no lights were visible from it. But the sky was still alight with what seemed to be a million shining jewels. “Makes you feel so free from everything down here.”
      
       “The stars?” She said with a hint of incredulity. “They make me feel so small and alone. I’m just waiting till I can see the skyline of the city. All those lights and the busy people, it makes me feel like I’m home again.”
      
       He studied her for a moment, a look of curiosity set in his features. “I’m Vic,” he said matter-of-factly, extending his hand to be shaken.
      
       “Kathy,” she said with a little laugh and took his hand. “No one seems to shake hands anymore, all too caught up in their technology and twitter and such to be polite.”
      
       “We’re a dying breed, aren’t we?” Vic said warmly as he turned back to back to the ocean and the stars. “So you really don’t like the stars? I find that hard to believe, aren’t girls supposed to be all romantic and fall over the boys with a view like this?” He extended a hand, motioning to the reflection of the stars in the gentle waves the ferry was making as it moved nearly silently forward.
      
       “Ha, little sexist there Vic? No, my mother committed suicide while watching the stars. I’ve never been able to look at them the same.” Her voice trailed off to the end of the sentence.
      
       “Oh god, I’m so sorry. God I’m an idiot. I am so sorry for your loss.” Vic placed his hand on Kathy’s shoulder and gave it a sympathetic squeeze. She looked at him for a moment slightly confused then shrugged.
      
       “Meh, it happened years ago, I was just a kid. Dad had left us and she just didn’t know how to function on her own. Couple years later, she said she was going to watch the stars in the backyard. She never came back in. But enough of my crap, the night is dark enough. Why are you so in love with the stars?” Kathy put a smile back on her face and turned to him.
      
       “I don’t know really, I think I’m just in love with the idea of the idea of all that space. I have three older brothers and two sisters, one older and one younger-“
      
       “Oh that sounds just wonderful, having a family like that. Always around, always someone when you need them.” Kathy smiled a wistful smile and tightened her grip on the railing as if to keep herself upright.
      
       “You’d think that, but my siblings and my parents are all highly religious. In and of itself, that’s not that bad, but when I came out last year, they wouldn’t accept it. I haven’t been alone for the past thirteen months; they’re always there. My parents are over every day trying to convince me that I’m just going through a phase or that I’ve been confused by the liberal media of this world. My siblings keep trying to set me up with ‘proper dates’ and I have my apology speech perfected for when I sit down to meet the women they choose.”
      
       Kathy looked around the empty deck for a moment, then back to Vic with a raised eyebrow. “Seems like you’re alone right now, I think you’re pulling my leg.”
      
       “I’m supposed to be in the bathroom right now.” Vic sighed as he leaned his back against the rail and looked towards the doors leading into the ferry. “In a moment or two my older brother will show up, we’re on our way back from a camp that was really just a thinly veiled attempt to make me ‘straight’ again.”
      
       “Why don’t you leave them? I know its not my place to offer advice on your position but it seems like just leaving would be the best answer to you issues. I know they’re your family, but no one has the right to treat you like that. You are an individual who has every right to love who you want to!” A note of indignation had crept into Kathy’s voice.
      
       “To put it simply, they’re my family. They may not love me for who I am, but I’m not going to hate them for following their hearts. I hope that by showing them love and acceptance of who they are, they will eventually come to terms with me being who I am.”
      
       “Huh, that’s pretty deep there Vicky-boy.” Kathy jokingly gave a playful shove to Vic’s shoulder. Vic turned fully to her, a look of concern in his eyes.
      
       “You’re uncomfortable with serious things aren’t you? I’m sorry to have bothered you. Have a good evening, its time I was done in the bathroom” His tone had become formal and distant as he turned to leave the deck. A look of shame and fear flickered over Kathy’s face.
      
       “Wait… You’re right, I’m sorry I made light of your issues. I’ve never been able to handle things that make me uncomfortable. Especially when it comes to family. I guess… I guess I’ve never had anyone there for me and I feel it’s not fair for me to be there for anyone because I assume they’ll abandon me before I need them.” Kathy took a deep breath to steady the quivering in her voice. “I guess I don’t like giving myself away, committing to real things because I’m scared I’ll lose it all to someone else.”
      
       A look of understanding passed over Vic’s face, and a compassionate smile flickered across his face. “I totally understand that, and I think it’s fine that you react that way. But not everyone is going to let you down… I wouldn’t. Want to have coffee and just talk sometime? I know that I barely know you, but I feel like we’re supposed talk more.”
      
       Kathy opened her mouth, but another voice came across the deck from behind Vic. “Hey, there you are, I thought you said you were heading to the bathroom? You know I worry about you lil’ bro.” A muscular man stepped up to Vic and put his arm around him, and turned to Kathy. “He bothering you Miss? He’s a little confused and just wanders off sometimes. I’m sorry if he’s pestering you.”
      
       Kathy didn’t respond to the newcomer but instead turned to Vic, “of course, I’d love to go on a date with you sometime this week, do you have a pen on you? I’ll give you my number.” Vic looked at her confused as he started to check his pockets for a pen. Kathy simply smiled at him and gave him a quick wink.
      
       “Oh sorry bud, didn’t realize you were asking her out, I’ll go look for a pen for you.” He excitedly turned and left the deck. When they were alone again, Vic turned to Kathy with an upset look on his face.
      
       “I don’t need you to lie to them, this is only going to blow up in my face later. Why did you do that?”
      
       “Well if we’re going to have a coffee, you’ll need my number wont you? Besides, I wasn’t ready to let you go quite yet, I’m quite enjoying our conversation.” Kathy smiled fully for the first time in the evening and turned back to the ocean.
      
       “You caught that I’m gay right?”
      
       “Oh yes, I just happen to agree with your thought that we’re supposed to talk more. And I want to, for the first time… You know, you’re right, they are very beautiful,” Kathy motioned to the stars as Vic turned back to the ocean. She slid her arm through his and smiled at him.
      
       The city appeared like a beacon across the water moments later.


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