I walk back tonight, head tilted up, with the widest grin on my face, because the sky is full of stars. And though it’s -3 degrees out, I’m warm inside, fully sated, and lost in the wonder of a twinkling sky. I trip and stumble – the pebbly floor unsympathetic to travelers with their heads in the clouds. But I spot Orion’s elusive sword shining; Betelgeuse’s distinct orange-red supergiantness; another planet’s steady light; the Big Dipper peeking out from behind some trees, and a laugh bubbles out. Everything is okay. Everything will be okay.
Someone steps onto my path. Head down, steps hurried, world of his own. Five more steps and he’d be under bricks, blinded by the lights, away from the sights. “Wait, look – the sky is clear tonight; the stars are out! And it’ll be the last clear night of this week…” I open my mouth but my voice catches in my throat, even in my head it trails off lamely. “He’s got somewhere to go and you’re just standing here,” the Voice chides.
From afar you could see the indecision on her face fade away. It’s cold, the spell is broken, and it’s too much effort to gather its faintly-glowing pieces. A quick shake, and she walks purposefully to the bricks. Last glance at the sky and she’s gone.