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seeing stars

By @frncsg


The brightest star in the night sky is known as Sirius, the most curious, encaptivating star that, in my opinion, man has ever had the opportunity to study. Sirius illuminates brighter than over two hundred billion stars currently residing in our solar system, and is a mystery that leaves scientists and astronomers perplexed. I thoroughly enjoyed astrology, however I felt especially intrigued with Sirius because in a vast majority of stars, all close in similarity, Sirius manages to stand out. I felt a whisper of a smile tugging at my lips. For reasons unknown to me, thinking about space and all the undiscovered galaxies and planets it contains, as well as all the mysteries yet to be discovered, never fails to bring me back to reality and chase away my grungier thoughts. There was something so captivating to me about realizing how small and insignificant we really are, living our silly lives on earth while millions of miles away stars are exploding and asteroids are colliding. Sometimes it makes me wonder why we bother at all.

I stifle a yawn, then proceed to glance over at my small, digital clock that hangs on the smooth, white walls of my bedroom. Around three months ago, I had been sitting down in my wooden desk, reading, as I often do, when the pale, blue color that had previously occupied my walls began to feel sharp and threatening. As if one day, the azure shades would simply swallow me whole. So I painted them white. My clock read 6:30AM, which meant I had, once again, failed to succumb to sleep. I groaned inwardly at this discovery. It was not at all uncommon for me to lose track of time in my books and read through the night, however I had made a mental note to myself earlier in the week to attempt my nightly roulette with sleep at least once a day. This meant, for the second day in a row, the omnipresent downward tug on my eyelids would be prominent throughout my day, even more-so than yesterday.

I unfurled my limbs from the mess of blankets they had been tangled in and walked over to my closet to dress for the day. I did not take much pride in my appearance, usually favoring the rotation of the same outfits every week.  It was no longer a struggle for me to choose my daily attire after I had thrown out all of my intimidating clothes and replaced them in white. My parents had not been particularly commending about this great expense, but as I had reminded them, it was my money to do as I pleased with. Upon leaving my room after throwing on a plain, ivory sweatshirt, I wasn’t surprised to discover both of my dad and step mom had left for work already. The house was eerily silent as I plodded across the recently cleaned, hardwood floors, causing me to be very aware of all my movements and emitting a feel like reality had been altered. I shuddered as I closed the door. My house was big and grand, some may even go as far as to call it a mansion, but for what? The house was inhibited by only four people (me, my father, and my step mother and brother) and we certainly do not need the vast amount of space we had, nor do we utilize it.

My standard, weekday routine consists of walking 0.84 miles to an uncomfortable, dingy bus stop then waiting 2-6 minutes precisely for the sputtering school bus, the exact color of a lemon that has been weathered and bleached from sitting out in the blazing sun for to long. The walk there was always uneventful, as it should be. I chose not to own a phone, so I had no chance of using that to entertain me, however I found that I didn’t mind not being plugged into the latest trends or stressing about who liked my photo. Instead, I prefered to inspect my surroundings. The neighborhood I lived in, Brookhaven, looked like something off the cover of Luxury Home Magazine, all the houses containing a suspicious vibrance about them that normal houses only achieved after it had rained. The blades of grass in each lawn were exactly the same length, all standing up perfectly straight, like assembled soldiers. Every house contained so much personality, having the curious ability to all appear similar, yet they were different at the same time. The less-than-remarkable school bus had no place roaming along the streets of Brookhaven, with its less than adequate appearance. The bus was like me, in a way. I had wispy, white-blonde hair that framed a pale, pointed face. My eyes, framed by thick, dark lashes, were a dull gray with a permanent red hue resting below them due to my frequent lack of sleep. I also had the distinct look as if the sun had washed me of whatever color I could have had. Piling white clothes over my lanky, skinny body only further added to my skeleton-like appearance. People often regarded me with looks of apprehension due to my haggard appearance, like I would float away into the wind if blown to hard.

The bus finally rounded the impeccably paved corner, four minutes after I had sat down. Just enough time for the tip of my nose to turn pink from the cold stings of fall. I was the only student that attended Westlake, my public high school, the lived in Brookhaven. All the other teenages in my city typically attended Weathering Academy, the prestigious, private high school that adults believed to be the only acceptable program to receive an education from. My dad had many times encouraged me to transfer, seeing as my brother attended, but his attempts were fruitless. I fully believed the success and reputation Weathering always flaunted was all for show and the huge difference thought to exist between Westlake was virtually nonexistent.

The two, double doors parted for me with a breezy whoosh, and I stepped on alone, like usual. My presence caused no stir amongst the occupants of the bus, all deeply absorbed in conversation or their glowing cell phones. Most seats were taken except for a few at the back so I made my way down, taking great care not to trod on anyone’s shoes or jostle someone’s shoulder. As I trudged down the aisle, I caught the eyes of the familiar face of someone I had used to call a friend, Ian. His eyes widened slightly when they landed on me, probably because I didn’t exactly resemble a healthy human at the moment, but he quickly forced his expression back to neutral and gave me a shy smile. I didn’t return his gesture, assuming he had simply forgotten that I was no longer friends with him or his group and had accidently succumb to past instincts. This didn’t seem to be the case, however, because as I passed he she reached out a calloused hand, most likely due to his intense football training,  and gently tugged at my arm. Surprised, I spun around and found myself, for the first time in weeks, face to face with Ian, as well as a few others that, up until a few weeks ago, I had called my friends.

“Hey Felix,” he muttered, trying to sound confident, but I could hear a nervous undertone to his voice. “Er, are you okay?”

I gave him a questioning look. We had gone weeks without speaking and that was the first thing he bothered to say to me? No,  Hey Felix, sorry for pretending like you didn’t exist for like two weeks just because of a silly, little incident! Forgive me? Nope, none of that. I stared at him for a while, noticing the rest of my ex-friends glance up just long enough to give me a cold stare then look down once again, refocusing their attention on more important things, I’m sure.

Finally I swallowed the lump in my throat, just long enough to mumble a quick, “I’m fine” then hurried off once more to the back. I was relieved to see my best friend, Felicite, already sitting down, waiting for me, her legs thrown across the shabby seat saving my spot. Felicite was the only reason I even tried with school in the first place. If it wasn’t for her, I bet I wouldn’t even bother to show up. She was everything I was not, with thick, vivid red hair that curled into compact swirls, flowing down to waist length, an array of freckles that perfectly accessorized her face, and brilliant, green eyes that reminded me of a vast ocean. She was everything I was not, in the sense that nobody that looked at me ever looked twice, however with one glance at Felicite, you couldn’t draw your eyes away. She liked to go by Fizzy instead of Felicite, a nickname she claimed made her seem more dangerous. She also detested the name Felicite because she associated it with an old, boring women born in the eighteen hundreds and constantly claimed that her parents were ******** for branding her with it. Even though Fizzy and I were so different, we still managed to get along stupendously. Me and her went together like a puzzle piece, a crazy, mixed up puzzle, but nonetheless, she was my perfect counterpart. When she noticed me approaching, Fizzy’s face lit up like a Christmas tree and she quickly moved her legs off the second half of the seat so I had room to sit down.

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