One hot summer evening, a young girl of about fifteen was lying on her roof. The heat was suffocating, the air balmy and the only thing that made it bearable was the occasional breeze that cooled the body as it came in contact with the beads of sweat.
The girl often came here when she needed to think, sometimes when she didn't want to think at all. She would lie down right at the edge of the roof; it felt to her like she was at the edge of the world, she only had to roll over and she would float away into space, never to return. She liked it best on a clear, starry night. The twinkling of the stars calmed her soul. Her father had told her that God had made the sky, then blown glitter all over and they formed the stars. Later on, when her science teacher had told her that stars were just big balls of fire, she had chosen not to believe that. A sky sprinkled with glitter felt much less threatening.
Long ago, whatever long ago might be for a fifteen year old, she had come home to find her mother in one of her moods again; the one she got after she had stared at her childhood pictures for hours. Then she would sit by the window and cry silent tears. So the girl quietly filled water in a dirty, smudged glass and kept it on the table by her mother. Then, she climbed the cold, cemented stairs barefoot to the roof and watched the sky go from a clear azure to a murky orange to dark plum and finally a gloomy black.
Once, her father had then come up and lain down next to her. For a while, they both said nothing. The silence was a bit awkward at first, but then it felt completely natural; like when you meet a best friend after a few years, in the first few minutes there are a few awkward silences, but once the comfort zone is found, its like you never even parted.
Then he had asked her about how she felt and what could she have said? She didn't have an answer. She didn't really feel anything at all and that left her feeling guilty. Her mother's depressive obsession with her childhood home and memories had nothing to do with her. It didn't affect her at all. She wasn't sad or alone or miserable. She just was.
Her father misunderstood her silence to mean that she didn't want to talk to him. So he left her alone, but before he did he told her that if she ever felt the need to talk things out or share a secret or make a confession, she should do it out loud to the stars. They would listen without judging and they would be her secret keepers till the end of her days. She had liked what she heard so she heeded his advise and under celestial skies, had found safety and comfort.
This particular summer evening was different. It wasn't that it was hot, there was an uncomfortable aura all over the place that had nothing to do with the weather. She had come home to find her mother's chair empty, something that had never happened before. The kitchen was sparkling. She picked up the glasses, none of them had smudges on them. She should have realized right away, but she checked her mother's room anyway. Completely empty; she had taken everything with her. On the bed was a note with one word, "Sorry".
And so, for the first time in her life, the girl felt truly alone. Her father had left a long time ago, that was inevitable. Her mother's presence in the house had been enough for her. Now, she was gone too.
As she lay at the edge of the world under the summer sky, she had no one to call her own, but the stars. It was a simple decision, really.