Eating her donut, X made a range of noises showing her satisfaction, and when she was done, licked her fingers with a cheeky glint in her eye. In the ever-dimming sky, the first stars began to show. Pale and almost not there, the journey of their light filled me with a gut-wrenching sense of melancholy. Looking to see what had caught my attention, she strained and pointed to the same stars with the curious wonder of a child.

‘Why do they make you sad?’ She asked.

Wiping my dripping nose on the back of my hand, I tried to find the right words as she made a face at the sight of my dirty habit.

‘It’s because they remind me of how temporary this is. Our entire lives play out, and yet they, those stars, remain the same. They never change. Frozen in time, that’s the way they’ll stay while we come into bloom before fading away.’

Cocking her head to one side, she slid the fingers of her right hand into mine.

‘But isn’t that a beautiful thing?’ She pleaded.

Turning my attention to her as we crossed the road, I saw how her pale skin was as soft as snow in the fading light. The circles around her eyes the colour of toffee.

‘I mean, we’re never really here, are we? Beneath the stars, we play out our lives, and then before we can make sense of what’s going on, our atoms disperse, and our forms are no more. And yet there’s magic in us. There’s magic in the act of being here.’

Coming to a halt outside a boarded-up store that was once a Burger King, I looked at her, and she looked at me.

‘I mean, it’s sad, but why not enjoy it while it lasts?’ Searching my face, she glanced down at the ground biting her lower lip before bringing her eyes to mine again.

‘If there are no tomorrows, shouldn’t we make the most of today? We could have a lovely time if you liked. Who knows if they’ll be a chance to have another.’

Squeezing her hand as a gust of wind whipped around us, somewhere in the distance a siren cried out like a baby in its cot. The dying of the day was to be found in every direction, and in every laboured breath as the cold, dry air hit our lungs. Without her I would’ve drowned my sorrows, and yet tonight wasn’t like any other night. Behind that grin and her taste for sugar, there was a girl with a heart the same as mine for sure.

A Journal for Damned Lovers UK

A Journal for Damned Lovers US

Anthology UK / Anthology US

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