Note: Did you miss Part One? Check it out here. I hope you enjoy the next installment in the story!
Four days after Luna stood on my rooftop, I climb back up the stairs after bar close to find her laying out on the rooftop. Luna clasps a tapestry from the bedrooms in front of herself like a thin blanket. She doesn’t say anything until I sit cross-legged beside her on the rooftop and tilt my chin up to the night sky. “What’s your favorite constellation?”
“What?” I am thrown off-guard by her direct question, one I did not expect to hear. “I… uh… I actually don’t know much about constellations.” A blush rises to my cheeks at the admittance of my inferior knowledge to a girl. Father raised me to think men must be smarter, but Luna is proving otherwise.
“Well, mine is Cassiopeia.” Her hand absentmindedly flicks her long hair off her shoulders onto the concrete rooftop. “My mother always told stories about her. Half of which she made up on her own. Wanna hear one,” Luna asks, turning onto her side to look at me.
I take a long look at her, from her toes to her eyes. Luna’s eyes glow gold like the fake stars my father hangs up around the summer solstice. The makeup my father likes all his girls to wear is rubbed clean from her face. But her beauty is not what attracts me to her. Her voice draws me in, instead. As she tells her stories about Cassiopeia, I close my eyes. Her voice draws me into a dream-like state. I lay my body down beside her and melt into her voice. Piano notes rise along with her voice from a few blocks down. The story of Cassiopeia resonates with terror, lust, joy, all emotions in her voice alone. Not one expression from her face is shown to me through my lidded eyes. Only her melodic voice.
I find myself looking at Luna during the nights I work at the bar in The Mansion. She changes from the VIP section to the front stages, but after bar close Luna always visits the Star Room. Slowly, I work her down from the rooftop to walks through the Star Room. Each night she tells new stories about the constellations, from Hercules to the Twins. Quickly, I fall in love with more than Luna’s voice. I fall in love with Luna’s expressiveness, her stories, her… everything.
Luna’s expressions make me worry, however, for her future. If Father notices like I have, then I may never see Luna again. One night, I decide to voice my worries to her. Luna stops in the middle of the wood planked path and stares at the statue of the couple leaning their heads in towards the other. Their foreheads touch, and their palms barely brush the other. The passion between the two is tangible, but the vulnerability of their relationship is more so.
“I can’t stop it,” Luna whispers, facing away from me. I walk up behind her and place my hands on her shoulders. “I tried once or twice. Life became dull.” She turns her body towards mine and tilts her head towards the stars. I see tear stains make paths down her ivory cheeks. “Each time Marcus gave me a new emotion, life became vibrant. It gave me purpose. All this purpose, joy, love, anger… life in one little bottle and needlepoint.”
“But the consequences…” I begin.
“All worth it,” Luna finishes. “Would I have ever talked to you like I have these past few weeks, months, if I was like the other girls? Would you have-”
“Yes.” I knew without a doubt that whatever the question, my answer would be yes. “Yes, Luna, I would have looked at you. You are not dull. You are like the stars you love, like the constellations. You are my star, my constellation, my night sky. Luna you are my moon.”
Her blue hair covers her face until suddenly she directly looks into my eyes. “Theo?”
“Luna,” I pause, wanting the moment to last forever. “Luna, you are as beautiful as the moon.”
“A moon child?” A grin replaces her sullen look.
“Yes, so stay wild.” While she laughs loudly, I pick her up, throw her over my shoulder, and run through the entire Star Room until I reach my bed. Luna flings herself off my shoulder and spreads out over the comforter. She reaches her hands up and toys with the glass lamps shaped like stars I have hanging over my queen-sized bed.
“Is it fit for a queen,” Luna asks, posing as if I held a camera.
“Yes, for my queen. Now let’s see if you can fit a king alongside you, moon child.” Our laughs meld together until our mouths follow.
After the night I spend in Theo’s bed, I know I only have one option left for my mind to receive comfort. I have to show him the Black Market. Theo became all I could think about for the past few months. Each night after bartending he came up to the roof for me. All he asked about were my constellations. I shared the deepest part of me in those stories.
I remember the night before I left for the Mansion, Mom was having a bad day. She didn’t remember to take her medicine and didn’t go to work either. When I got home from school and noticed her car in the driveway, I was furious. I worked hard day and night in order for us to keep this house, but when I reached her in the backyard it all faded away.
“Luna, love, come join me,” Mother said from an old blanket on the grass in our small backyard. The star blanket took up half of the backyard, but Mother spoke as if she were sitting on the edge of the Earth. She always found the silver linings in every situation, on medication or not. I went and sat down beside her. “My Luna, when did you grow so tall and beautiful?” Her eyes began to tear up as she played with my short, brown hair. “How old are you, again?”
“Seventeen, Mama.” She always forgot these things without her pills. “Eighteen in a few months.” I felt her hands trembling as she struggled to continue brushing my hair out between her fingers.
“You grew up so quickly.” Looking over, I noticed tears welling up in her eyes.
“I’ll always be here, Mama. Right up there with the constellations. No matter what, I’ll be looking at those same stars.”
“Yeah. Right up there with the constellations. Tell me a story,” she asked, wiping away the tears. I spend the rest of the night telling her the stories she used to tell me as a young girl. “Well, Cassiopeia, over there…”
What do you think of the story so far? Is it everything you imagined? Did anything come true that you predicted? Let me know in the comments!
Much love, XOXO,
~A Writer Named Charley~