Community Stories. Get Inspired, Get Underlined

Scars and Constellations

By @grey_and_okay


Jax woke in a haze, watching dim lights dance across his vision. His head throbbed, fueling an ache behind his eyes from an unseen strain, thoughts swirling and storming through his mind in a foggy rage.

He tried to sit up and felt a wave of nausea overtake him in a fraction of a second. He saw a shadow toying with the corners of his vision and groaned, trying to blink away the dark spots that spread from it, struggling to sit up. He shifted back against the wall, using the cool surface against his spine to ground him and digging the heels of his hands into his eyes, trying to dissipate the pain hidden behind them.

“Woah there,” A voice drifted through the air, low and calm with a slightly musical tone. It swirled in and out of Jax’s grasp before coming into focus. Jax felt a hand on his shoulder, steadying him through the warmth of another living being. Jax nearly put his hand on theirs, having been alone in space for God knows how long and desperate for human contact, but something stopped him. He looked up, nausea and dizziness drifting away, and recognized the face of the boy that he had seen before drifting into unconsciousness.

He had dirty blond hair that fell in waves to a couple of inches above his shoulders and stunning green eyes. Not stunning as in bright, for these were deep and pensive and the color of a peridot stone, but stunning as in a person could see the intelligence and wit in them. He had a high nose and a sharp jawline, but he also had a small scar on his lower lip, a small imperfection (not that Jax was thinking that he was perfect) that made him seem more real.

“You’ve been out for a few hours.” The boy said, snapping Jax out of his hypnosis. “Honestly, you should sleep more, but I’m guessing you’re gonna have a bunch of questions, so it’s no use anyway.” He continued, with a certain expression on his face that Jax couldn’t place. At first, he thought it could be a look of concern, but after some light observation, it seemed more to Jax like longing. Then, Jax remembered that he was actually interacting with this person and nodded to affirm the boy’s previous statement. He had more questions than memories.

“Ask whatever you want,” The other boy smiled invitingly, but Jax could tell that something was bothering him. Jax sat up a bit more in the cot and was immediately overtaken by a wave of dizziness. He fought it back and blinked the spots that appeared in his vision away.

“Let’s start off easy,” He said, trying to be personable, which was odd. He had just been stuck in an escape pod for who knows how long and had been knocked out for hours. He didn’t need to be pleasant. But somehow, he felt like he needed to make a good impression on this guy. “What’s your name?”

A hint of the look that washed across the boy’s face before resurfaced. This time, it looked sadder, but it was quickly replaced with an amiable smile. “My name’s Silo Cheva. Si. Whatever you call me is fine.” He looked away for a moment, only to return his gaze back to Jax. “What’s yours?” It came out stiffly as if it bothered him to ask, but Jax brushed this aside like all of the other things that he noticed. Silo (at least he had a name now) must have been floating around in space for a while too and the weariness may have been getting to him. But even so, something tugged at the back of Jax’s mind. Something felt wrong.

But then he realized that Silo was staring at him and remembered that he had asked him a question. “Oh, sorry. My brain kinda zones out sometimes,” Jax smiled nervously. “But my name’s Jax Bell. As far as I remember, which isn’t very far, to be honest.”

Silo laughed in a way that made it seem like he was letting out tension, his shoulders releasing in a way that made his olive green t-shirt tighten around his collar. He seemed to relax, which made Jax feel immediately more comfortable. He was aware that he was an empathetic person, picking up on other people’s emotions and feeling them in turn, and the fact that Silo had started to feel at ease helped to dissipate the knot of anxiety brewing in his stomach.

“So,” Jax started, rubbing his shoulder for no particular reason at all. Nervous habit? Subconscious reflex? He had no idea. “Where exactly am I? And why’d you pick me up?”

“You’re in my ship, Jax Bell,” Silo gestured grandly at the small room. “But more specifically, you’re in my bedroom. It used to be this ship’s med bay, but it was repurposed.” Jax could see what he meant. The room had silvery metal walls, sterile white tile floors, and no furniture except for a desk protruding from the right-hand wall, a chair that must have belonged to the aforementioned desk positioned next to Jax, with Silo perched at the edge of the seat, and the cot set in the corner, which had no mattress and was more reminiscent of a hammock, which Jax was laying in, the few blankets covering it draped over his legs.

It was then that Jax realized that he was in Silo’s bed, which gave him a strange feeling of closeness mixed with embarrassment mixed with something else that Jax couldn’t put his finger on at the moment.

“As for why I picked you up,” Silo continued, pulling the waves of blonde hair into a ponytail at the nape of his neck with a small band on his wrist. “That deserves a longer explanation.”

Jax nearly asked about what he meant, but his head still spun from the feeling he had gotten, in addition to the more pressing matter that he still needed to bring up.

“Hey, I need to tell you something,” He blurted out, immediately regretting it when he made eye contact with Silo and noticed that in the right light that there were small flecks of gold swimming in the sea of green in his iris. 

“I– uh,” He averted his eyes and blinked repeatedly to clear his head. “I don’t remember anything before waking up in that pod. And I’d like to know why.”

Silo didn’t look as surprised as Jax thought he would, but instead paused and then nodded resolutely. “Then I’d better show you what you’ve missed.”

But before either of them could do anything, there was the sound of an explosion, the sensation of the ship pitching under them, and then everything was plunged into darkness once more.

Join the conversation

Like Love Haha Wow Sad Angry
Post a comment
2 Likes 3 Comments
Like Love Haha Wow Sad Angry

Become a Book Nerd

When you’re not reading books, read our newsletter.

By clicking Sign Up, I acknowledge that I have read and agree to Penguin Random House's
Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.