written in the stars

A fiction short story by Tea Jay

She was a cosmic kind of person. The kind of girl who was always reading her horoscope…but also checking yours, because instead of simply asking you how you were doing she believed the placements of the planets provided a more detailed insight to your life than your biased mind.

So that night you sat on the swing set under the stars, hand in hand, still in that kind of puppy love where you’re hopelessly devoted to this girl for the rest of your life, willingly…that night when you saw the shooting stars, one, then two, trailing behind each other in the night sky, fizzling out like the end of a sparkler…she thought it was fate. She knew in that moment that your love story was written in the stars. She always knew you were “the one” but that was a sign from the universe that you were fated lovers.

You took her home and as you laid down next to her soft naked body you thought this is it. Finally, after a lifetime of misery the universe, her universe, was gifting you with everlasting love. As you made love to her you memorized every curve, the taste of her tongue, the way she whispered your name.

If only it was that simple.

Did she believe in the stars and fate so much that she thought she could neglect you without consequence? Did she get so caught up in her world and theories that she forgot your existence? Where did she go when she sat quietly in the corner of the room, staring off into the distance. They call it dissociation, detachment, but what do you call it besides from your greatest fears, your life falling apart?

The chemical imbalance in her brain was not in her horoscope. The fortune cards she kept under her bed didn’t tell her she would slip, that she would lose her mind. It became a daily struggle for her just to live, how could she love you? You understood, because you’re a good person and you know no one is perfect no matter if when you look at her she glows below a crooked halo.

She’s not perfect, she’s not perfect, she’s not perfect.

Yes, you understand that she’s a damaged person and hurt people can hurt people, but where did the girl who stole your heart disappear to? Will she ever come back, because God knows you can only hold onto hope for so long. God knows you need a fucking cigarette or a goddamn break because the stress of holding her together when you were never healed, when your festering wounds were exposed to the bacteria and fresh air, molding under bandages. She was supposed to save you, she was supposed to lift you up and make you a better man. How does it feel, diving in to save the woman you call love from drowning, only to be dragged down into the depths yourself?

Her healing is like an inexperienced rock climber tackling Everest as their first summit. There’s moments she’s moving up the mountain so steadily, making progress, shimmying her way to a safe place to rest her head for the night. But when she falls, it’s catastrophic, absorbing broken bones and bruises as her body smashes against the jagged bottom of the slope. You watch her, feeding her words of encouragement because you need her to make it to the top. You need her to get better for herself, for your relationship, for your future. You’re climbing up the mountainside along with her, without any of the credit, without any of the glory she’ll get once she plants her flag in the peak.

And that’s okay, because if sacrificing your peace of mind means her happiness you’ll gladly surrender your sanity. And you do, and you did. And I’ll be damned, but your love was enough to snap her back into reality. You did it.

It’s a little unfair how she floats around from cloud to cloud with people dotting on her, and you can’t help but grow to resent her for everything she did when she was engulfed with the pits of despair that now lay dormant in her mind. You filled her up and give her your all leaving yourself nothing to give you drive. But you can’t blame her, that’s not who you are, you live to love the people who you let into your life, your built to endure harsh winters and broken-hearted people. Your life is becoming rotten because everything has been unfair since the day you were born. Your life has been one tragedy after another. What kind of cruel joke is it that your safe haven becomes a grudge against your own heartache?

This is the part where you have to admit her illness hurt you.

Every day she gets closer to being the person she was when you fell so deeply in love, yet, she gets further away from being the girl from that late summer night. She is growing and you hate to admit it but you are too. It is uncomfortable. In this moment you thought you would have clarity, but you’re left with more questions about your future with the girl you call home, a broken home on the mend, the house you flipped yourself.

But she was never home, was she? At least, she never wanted to be. She’s a wanderer, nomadic, on the move. Let her be the sails to your ship, let her take you harbor to harbor, let her take you out to sea. It is time you stop looking at her as your anchor when she wants to set you free.

She doesn’t believe in fate and zodiacs as much anymore. Not as much as she believes in you.

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