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“What time is it?” Emma asked.

“Uh… 2:14 in the morning”, Nate replied nervously.

That was the third time in five minutes Nate had checked his watch. It was also the first time in five minutes either of them said a word to each other. They were walking along that beach on the waterfront for some time now. Nate drove them there on Emma’s suggestion after their dinner at the Starlight Café. The night had been pleasant enough. Conversation had been easy between the two of them. At least it had been until they got to the waterfront.

“How long have we been here?” Nate said.

“That exciting of a night, huh Nate?” Emma said sarcastically.

“No! That’s not what I meant by-“

“Relax, I’m having a good time” Emma reassured Nate. “Otherwise, I’d have told you at 11 when we got here.”

“We’ve been here for three hours?”

“Crazy, huh?”

“I know” Nate said. “Feels like it’s been 20 minutes!”

“I agree” Emma said as she smiled at him brightly. “Beautiful, aren’t they?”

“What do you mean?” Nate asked.

“The stars.” Nate agreed even though he didn’t look to the sky above them. The night couldn’t have been better for their date. The stars above sparkled like a million tiny holes in the floor of heaven.

“Any idea where the North Star is?” Emma asked. This time, Nate looked up.

“Yeah”, he said. “It’s right there.” Then, moving behind Emma, he took her right hand, extended her index finger, raised it to the sky and perfectly pointed at the North Star.

“How’d you know that?” Emma asked.

“My dad showed it to me when I was younger. We lost my mom when I was really young – cancer.”

“I’m so sorry!” Emma exclaimed.

“It’s okay”, Nate replied. “I was eight at the time, so I barely knew her, but I thought about her all the time. One night, dad found me crying into my pillow so he told me that mom wasn’t really gone. Then he took me outside and pointed at the North Star and told me she was right there watching over me. Since then, every time I came home at night, I knew mom was keeping an eye on me.”

“That’s so lovely” Emma said.

“Yeah it is” Nate replied. They looked at each other so long, it felt like the stars would fade away.

“Did you know we’re made from the stars?” Nate said. At least he tried to say because by the time his sentence was done, Emma’s lips had met his and those stars she had asked about earlier all of a sudden didn’t matter anymore.

Created: Feb 19, 2014

Tags: short story, fiction, story

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