Fiction Friday: Quadrantids

My breath was steady as the cold air hit my face. She didn’t tell me where we were going, but she seemed to know what she was doing. I was guided only by the faint light of the stars, barely dodging the trees as I tried to catch up to her.

“Slow down!” I shouted after her.

“Hurry up, we’re going to miss it!” She shouted back with excitement.

We soon got to a clearing and she turned to look at me.

“Ok, this is it.”

“What the hell are we doing here?” I said, slightly out of breath.

“Just lie down.”

“Are you kidding me. There is snow everywhere, we are going to be freezing.”

“Don’t be such a wuss.” She said as she sat down.

I reluctantly joined her. I was not prepared for this last minute adventure through the woods and my jeans soon became saturated from the six inches of snow below me .

“Ok, now look up.”

I rested my head on the snow and stared at the sky.

“What do you see?”

“Stars.”

“And how do you feel?”

“Cold.”

“No silly, how do you feel when you look at the stars.”

I had no idea where she was going with this but she was drunk, so I had to humor her. People are normally happy drunks or sad drunks. She was more of a philosophical drunk, usually delving into existentialism.

“I feel insignificant. A tiny speck compared to everything else.” I said, half-heartedly. “What are we waiting for anyway?”

“It’s already started, look closely.” She said, pointing to the sky.

I squinted, trying to figure out what she was talking about. I couldn’t tell if I was hallucinating from being so cold, but it seemed as if the sky was moving.

“What is that?” I asked her.

“The Quadrantids.”

“Quawha?”

“The first meteor shower of the year.”

We both stared silently as the sky began to produce brilliant streaks. I didn’t realize how still everything was until then. The only sound was that of my own heartbeat.

It had been a while since I stopped and stared at what was right in front of me. Last year was easily the worst of my life, and I wouldn’t have made it if it wasn’t for her. She helped me see the beauty in little things that I would otherwise ignore. Drunk or not.

In that moment I forgot about everything. I forgot about the cold, what I had done before or what I was about to do. Staring at those streaks somehow put me in a trance. As stupid as it sounds, it was as if I was up there with the stars.

“They are all little specks you know.”

“What?” I responded, realizing where I was.

“Grains of dust burning at thousands of degrees. They are all little specks, making their mark.”

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