I see his face in the stars. His warm smile and his mocha eyes. His amber-toned hair flecked with a shot of espresso. I can’t even glance at coffee without bringing him to mind.
Ten years since we parted, since his lips last brushed mine. He never let me see his tears. They slipped from his eyes at night, staining the grey pillows a rich and intense charcoal.
A proud man. A practical man. Stubborn like his father. They were alike in strange ways; I never figured the tumours would get him, too.
Weeks ticked by with regularity, slipping from autumn grace to the slumbering stillness of winter. Back into the light when spring awoke to kiss the blushing tips of these trees.
The stars were our theatre, bringing us joy and making us sigh. We sat in their radiance, with tickets purchased for the sweetest show on Earth.
“I’ll be up there soon,” he said. Just once. “Joining the others to light up the night with a song. With laughter.” He hadn’t laughed in a while. Once so free and forthcoming, his amusement became limited to smiles. Weak smiles.
Every clear night I search the sky until I find his star. His face. I smile then, knowing he’s extending his joy with each and every twinkle.
Copyright © 2015 by Emily Clayton
Originally appeared on 200 Word Tuesdays: