BY MADELEINE CHOU
Her left hand reaches out to the night’s full moon, holding its silver incandescence. Her right hand reaches out to the stars nearby, bright freckles in the balmy sky.
“Yet, how could this be?” she wondered as her eyes appraised the specks. “The moon is too bright. Its brilliance! Its might! The stars should’ve drowned but there they continue to shine… I wonder why.”
She tilted her head. “Then… perhaps… they aren’t stars? Perhaps they’re just the lowly substitutes, the satellites, fragile yet consistent stand-ins for the stars too shy to shine. Are they not the fake dreams of the muted stars that are overshadowed by the moon’s luminescence?” She blushed a little, self-conscious that she was speaking in such a way. “They’re definitely not anyways,” she muttered and then continued on with her rambling monologue.
“Are my own dreams, then, like these pitiful stars? Hiding behind fronts, not bright but more beautiful, eclipsed by the glare of reality.
The brighter the reality, the dimmer my dreams, but the others, I can’t let them know. They can’t know that the stars that they esteemed to guide and reveal are but figments of a hope too bright for me. I’ve lost trust in their navigation, so I’ve put up my own. Shiny new satellites with preset paths that guide me as they will. No more muddy paths. No more untrampled meadows.”
At this point, if there were any people nearby, the girl would have lit herself on fire. She was actually almost halfway there, seeing as her cheeks were both a bright burning red. Yet she continued to speak.
“They are the common dreams, the concrete paths that countless have tread, will tread; the well-worn path that beckons to me. My own dreams too bold, too ambitious… I’ve put them afar, scared that someone somewhere might notice and mock these heights too far for me. So now they glimmer and shine, behind the round white moon of reality.
I can’t shoot for the stars for the moon blocks the way. No, what of the moon? What makes me so confident that I could even reach the moon? So I land closer, on the metallic wings. Close to a dream, my dream, but at the same time much too far.”
She finally stopped, half-afraid that someone would appear and laugh at her. But only the crickets answered and only the moon and stars bore witness to her confession.
At a distance, the stars murmured to each other, “She’s right… she’s right…”