Don’t Miss the Stars
The rush of the wind might have been the best part. That and the sound of our favorite songs blasting from the car stereo. We were young and beautiful and free and infinite. You were driving us in that old pickup you bought with the money you saved up every summer. I didn’t notice that we were on the edge of death at first. It was such a small movement I almost missed it. The flick of a thumb. “What are you doing?” “I’m changing the song,” we had to yell to hear each other over the rushing wind and changing music. “No, you’re not. You’re driving.” “Dude, chill. I do this all the time.” I didn’t feel like arguing because the night was too gorgeous. The city lights snuffed out the stars, so we always had to drive far to our favorite field in the middle of nowhere. I laid my head on my arms that were perched on the window frame. My eyes closed to the strange serenity of air gliding over my face. The sound of the horn wasn’t as startling as my body slammed against the dashboard. “WHAT JUST HAPPENED?!?!” the sound of the horn was already fading. There had been no collision. “I’m sorry… I was just… And he came out of nowhere… We’re safe. We’re okay, that’s all that matters.” “THAT’S ALL THAT MATTERS?! You could have gotten us killed if that driver had been paying as little attention as you!” my seething mind shifted toward the song that had started only moments ago. As I thought about it, the song had changed just before I hit my head on the dash. “You were changing the song, weren’t you? Never mind. I know exactly what happened.” You seemed even more shaken than I was, but I was too angry to give you any mercy. “Give me your phone,” I snatched it savagely. “Drive.” We didn’t make a sound until we arrived, and both went to sit in the bed of the truck. “I’m sorry. Really.” Your words were broken and spilling onto my angry heart. “I know. I know you won’t do it again,” I said because I did know you wouldn’t do it again. I was sure of it, because when we looked up, we both got lost in the cosmos. We gazed into the heavens and saw that we were both miniscule and so, so important. We deserved to see the stars; we deserved to live.
The story of some friends who deserve to live to see something beautiful.