The Night Sky

Star is a girl. Like all the rest. Except she isn't. Life has already fell apart for her. Her mother died of cancer a year ago, and now she's left to cope with her dad and two brothers'. When she unexpectedly comes across a man with a knife when she was walking down the alleyway, she doesn't know what to think of it. Instead of opening up, she's always kept things hidden. Just like the night sky. But can she keep this one a secret, or will it just come spilling out?

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2. Background

A few weeks earlier I was moving into our new house, with my dad, and two brothers’. We’d left our life in London behind, and decided it would be better to live in a safer place – or supposedly safer place – here in the ‘countryside’. My Dad has just bought a small house with the bare minimum needed: 3 bedrooms (my two brothers’ agreed to share), a kitchen, one bathroom, a lounge, and a tiny garden. There’s not much to it really, but it’s all we can afford. My mum sadly passed away last year, due to cancer, and it really upset us all. Especially me.

She was the only person in my family that understood me. We were the only girls, us against all the rest. And now I’m here on my own. Me being the only girl in our family. I know I’ve just got to deal with it; I’m 14 now, but my Dad just doesn’t understand girls at all! And I’m not just over exaggerating.

                                                                    ~ ~ ~

Now, I carry on running, ducking beneath the branches that poke out wildly from the fences either side of me. I know the man is probably not following me anymore, but I carry on anyway, not wanting to risk anything to do with death, even though my life is a misery as it is.

I take a quick look back. Nothing. I slow my pace down a bit, wiping off the sweat that’s trickling down my forehead. I come to a clearing, the neighbourhood ahead of me, and the night sky above, stars glinting perfectly. I’d always look up to them in the evening. It’s as if each and every star is a memory in my life, and doing this, they all come flooding back to me. A smile begins to spread over my face, and I take one step at a time, starting on my way back home…

                                                               ~ ~ ~

I walk past all the trees, the bushes, the houses, the everything. At night everything is different. Everything is seen in a different way. And then when the light of day comes flooding back, it’s all gone back to how you saw it the first time. And sometimes it even reveals the truth. But only if you look at it all…ever so closely.

As I think about this, I unlock the door to my house. Dad is in the kitchen cooking, and my brothers’ – Max and George – are sitting comfortably on the sofa, watching an episode of ‘Who’s there.’ Some program where you guess who’s hiding under the blanket, by asking them only 10 questions. To be honest, I used to like watching it myself, but since it was a ‘me and mum thing’, I never like doing it anymore.

“Hey,” I manage to say casually as I walk past them and start on my way upstairs.

“What’s wrong?” My Dad says immediately.

“Nothing.” I say, continuing up. Why does he seem so suspicious? It’s not like I’m making it obvious that I’ve just nearly been stabbed by a random guy in the alleyway.

“Are you sure? You seem…unlike you.” He says, whilst mixing something in the pan for dinner.

“Unlike me.” I repeat, my eyes still focused on the door to my room ahead of me, where I just want to be right now, away from all this.

“Yes,” My Dad explains, “I mean, when have you ever said hello to us when you’ve come back from wherever you go to?”

I turn my head. “I’m being polite.”

“Really? That also seems unlike you.” I start to get frustrated, reaching the top of the stairs and standing boldly at the top, staring down at my Dad.

“Why do you keep saying that?” I start to yell, “One minute you’re telling me to be polite, next you’re telling me not to. What do you expect me to do? Read your mind and know what you want me to do all the time? I’m not psychic Dad!” This is my typical day-to-day argument with my Dad. And yes, it is a daily thing.

I faintly listen to him drone on about how I ‘need to show manners’, and how I ‘shouldn’t be so hard on him’. Honestly. He really needs to appreciate what I am doing. Because that’s all he’s ever going to get.

I slam the door to my room abruptly, and I hear his voice fade out, followed by him muttering something under his breath. I lie back on my bed, staring out my window. Suddenly all the stars seem to have disappeared, except one little one in the middle. It gradually starts to fade away, resulting in it disappearing altogether like all the others, and I think about how that man in the alleyway could have killed me. I would be gone then too. I duck beneath my duvet, hiding myself away from the world, even if it’s only for one night…

 

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