Looking Up

Bob Familiar
Bob Familiar

I haven’t seen much of the world in my own lifetime. There are certain intervals of time where I stop and think about our existence, and how the kind of people we are and can eventually become are so often illuminated by how we are linked to one another. I think about how people are intricately connected to each other through some type of serendipitous fate. As human beings, we all experience a fate we had to learn from. I often wonder about how so many of those kinds of narratives are written in the stars.

You were a big believer in the stars. I like to think that our narrative exists somewhere up there too.

By textbook definition, “constellations are arbitrary groupings of stars invented by people to break up different regions of the night sky.” They say that each individual star in those constellations do not have any relation to each other. In fact, most actually aren’t even close, but only appear that way in the sky. Somewhere in the myriad of those constellations, contained us. To others, we appeared closer than we could possibly be. But our stars became more distant the further you pulled away. Though I didn’t feel far from you at all, you eventually created a distance so tangible, and so painful, that I wish you never led me to believe we were living proof of what those astronomers had discovered centuries ago.

Stars are formed by fragments of clouds, but these fragments join together to become a core of what is called a protostar. A protostar is not very stable, and in order to live on, the protostar will need to achieve and maintain equilibrium. We were never whole when we met. Fragments and pieces of ourselves lay scattered on the floor, only to be picked up and sewn together by each other to make us whole again. I’ll probably never get those back. We couldn’t have been more wrong for each other, but I can’t forget how achingly right it felt at the time. You taught me and I taught you. You saw me for everything I didn’t believe I could be. There in our hearts, existed spaces and voids in which we both made home. You taught me the strength that lies in vulnerability. You made me believe that there’s more to us than which is palpable in being understood.

More often than not, we were a love that mattered, like raging star storms. I’m proud to say that we fought for these very stars. It was quite a battle.

But according to science, when a star cannot keep this balance, it dies.

We’re over. I’ve come to accept this fact, and that our stars had ceased to prevail for a reason. Stars wither, burn, and wade, much like the sound of my throat slowly fading over the phone when you told me you wanted to leave. Even though we no longer exist together in this world, I’ll always look up and acknowledge that we marked our place up there. I ended up loving you more than you did. That’ll always ache in the parts of me you traced and left your imprints. I believe that our futures are as vast as the galaxies where everyone’s histories are painted across.

I don’t know if this matters much to you, but I also like to think that in those very universes, are clouds that are going to form new stars and shine bright for every person in this world that looks up to them for hope. And that those connections will serve as reminders that they did experience what it was like to fall in love. And that they understood the kind of love that is bred from accepting both someone’s good and bad parts. And that they knew what it was like to never have to let go of a warmth so tender and so comforting.

I hope you’re able to find someone you’ll get to experience such stars with again. I hope that they’ll encourage you and tell you that you are able to accomplish anything if you wanted to. I hope they’ll tell you that it doesn’t matter what your dad thinks or what others doubt you can do. I hope they see you for more than you ever saw yourself.

We looked up at the sky often. Now when I look at it on my own, I’m in the presence of silence. But it’s not one of deafening loneliness that I used to feel, but one that echoes hope.

Those nights seem less crowded and less heavy. I wish I had kept in mind that you should never fall in love with temporary places. Those remnants of hope that I left with you are amongst those stars, but are never gone. I can recall that with you, I’d never felt such hope with someone in my entire life.

But now, I’ve learned to come home to myself.

That’s the kind of true, lasting hope I’ve finally found. TC mark

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