You once told me you wished you were a star; overseeing everything but rarely seen by anyone, except for a fleeting moment. ‘That way,’ you said, ‘I would be untouchable, all the horror and pain in the world would float right past me.’
‘But,’ I replied. ‘If you were a star, you would be without emotion, and yes, you would be saved from the horror but you would also avoid the wonders of the world.’
One time you ran away and the town was in panic mode; your parents were a split second away from calling the police, but I knew where you were. I found you at the top of the tallest tree in the depths of the forest, looking dazed.
‘You can’t keep running away, you know,’ I called up to you.
‘I know,’ you said. ‘But when I run away I don’t have to think about anything – and sitting up here is so peaceful.’
‘It may be, but at some point you’re going to have to come down and face reality,’ I replied.
You plucked a leaf from the tree and stared at it like it held the secrets of every person to ever exist. ‘But while I’m up here I don’t, I can see everything and everyone and I’m invisible, they can’t see me.’
‘But if they look up, they will.’ I smiled.
‘But they don’t. They never do,’ you replied sadly. ‘And I could just jump, fly away and they wouldn’t notice.’
I often wonder why no one else noticed you or tried to stop you. Nevertheless every April 1st I buy you fresh roses – for you always said they shined the brightest out of all the flowers in the world – and I dance round the tree like we did that day I managed to coerce you down; and I look up to the sky every once in a while and I swear the stars are winking at me brighter than ever before. I hope you made it home.