my first ever one-shot! wow! I got inspiration for this from my current experience– I live out in the country and the sky is so beautiful... because weather has been permitting (thank you, to the season of summer!), I've been sitting outside for nights on end to stare at the stars. I saw my first shooting star a couple nights ago and I got so excited... the sky is filled with stars, those silly satellites and hey hey! I also live near an airport! throw in some planes! and lines of the death cab song seemed to fit perfectly.Writing this, I realized that I had written a similar chapter in one of my other fics... but I assure you, I didn't write this because I had run out of ideas.A concept in this story I had learned in physics, but it was funny because one of the nights I was sitting out, my mom had said the same thing to me. Crazy coincidence, huh? But maybe I should stop talking or else I'll give it all away! I really REALLY hope you enjoy this and will be inspired to go out and stare at the stars for a lil bit!
just minor language. aparently there's a limit as to the title name... so it's listed as the difference between stars and satellites. (why! not fair!) but it's definitely called the difference between SHOOTING stars and satellites. in my world at least.
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then looking upward, I strained my eyes to try
to tell the difference between shooting stars and satellites
from the passenger seat as you are driving me home
"do they collide?" I ask and you smiled
– passenger seat. death cab for cutie
– – –
The Difference Between Shooting Stars and Satellites
– – –
He didn't know why he was where he was. If it had been his choice, he wouldn't be here at all. But of course, he had no choice. Why was that? The answer is simple. Because she always had her way with him. Of course, he would always protest, rolls his eyes, spaz out, and things of the sort. But no matter what, she always won. She always managed to get him out the door, to do this, do that, teach her how to drive stick, whatever. Just how the hell did she do it?
Kurogane didn't have time to fathom her mysterious ways; she had just openedher mouth to speak. And to his great annoyance, to interrupt his thoughts.
"Do you know the difference between shooting stars and satellites, Kurogane?"
"Nngh," Kurogane grunted in reply. His response implied, "Yeah, actually, I do but why the hell would I tell you?" and "Who cares?" into a one syllable answer.
Tomoyo took Kurogane's half grunt as encouragement to go on.
"I guess if you're just looking at the sky, they all kinda look the same. But satellites move." Tomoyo paused. "Well, of course shooting stars move too but I'm sure there's something distinct about each. Shooting stars move so much faster and then they disappear. So basically they all move." Again, Tomoyo paused. "But then again, I guess planes can look like satellites." Tomoyo turned her head to glance at Kurogane. "Can you tell the difference between a plane and satellite, then?"
"Nngh." Same answer as before and same implication.
"Let's try to find a satellite!" Tomoyo sounded excited as she snuggled into her over-large hoodie, a bargain steal she had managed to snag from Kurogane's closet.
Ignoring her, Kurogane continued to stare straight up into the star splattered sky. The big city sky was nothing compared to this countryside view. Off to the side was a fuzzy path of sky, muddled with what looked like tiny clumps of light. The Milky Way, that's what it was called. The sun's rays that were absorbed into the roof were slowly dissipating, leaving a slightly chilled summer night.
A few minutes passed in peaceful silence, that of which Kurogane was thankful for.
"Oh! Look!" Tomoyo cried in an odd mix of calm and excitement. Her arm shot into the air to point at a moving dot. "It's a satellite!"
Kurogane's eyes followed the dot as it traveled the sky. "It's a plane," he corrected, bored tone included.
Next to him, Tomoyo giggled lightly. "Oops. You're right. I see those flashing lights." A pause. "I wonder why planes have flashing lights on the outside? Satellites don't flash, do they?"
Kurogane rolled his eyes. Again, he painfully wondered why he was there. Another few minutes of silence ensued. Almost amazed at the long run of silence, Kurogane snuck a glance out of the corner of his eye at the girl lying next to him. No, she wasn't asleep, to Kurogane's disappointment. If she had been, Kurogane could have made an excellent escape.
Instead of sleeping, Tomoyo's eyes were open wide, straining to find her satellite or shooting star. Even though there was no moon that night, her eyes still seemed to shine. Her long hair just spilled all over the roof, waves of black in the dark night. And her lips... they were formed in the slightest of all smiles. Kurogane also recognized a pout of determination.
His eyes flitted back towards the sky. This time he raised his arm lazily.
"There's your satellite." He again adopted a bored tone, as if he didn't care. But then again, didn't he always take this tone of voice?
"Wow!" Tomoyo breathed. "It moves so fast..."
The satellite, resembling a speck out of a thousand other specks in the sky , moved steadily on course. It traveled right over Kurogane and Tomoyo's heads and both tilted their heads back to follow it for as long as they could. When the satellite disappeared from view, Tomoyo sat up; Kurogane could feel her gaze being directed towards him.
"Good job, Kurogane!" Tomoyo complimented cheerfully, in a manner suggesting she was praising her dog for rolling over on command.
Trying to avoid a major vein pop, Kurogane didn't reply and contented himself with another eye roll.
No, he really didn't get it. At all. Just how did he get roped into this stupid star gazing session? Forget that. How did he get roped into actually hanging around this girl? Out of the hundred of students on campus, out of the thousands of classes in different time slots, just how did he end up meeting this particular girl?
Oh, right. Kurogane remembered. It was orientation. It was last summer, a few weeks before fall term. Only a year ago and yet it felt like so long ago. Kurogane and his so-called idiot friend who would never shut up, Fai, were transfer students. Because it was the last orientation before school opened, the transfer student orientation was mixed with the freshman's. During the early morning check-in, Fai had dragged over a girl with porcelain skin and bright amethyst eyes. Fai claimed to have met her in the same last-names-starting-from-the-letters-D-through-F-check-in line.
She had smiled up at him and held out her hand. Said her name was Tomoyo and that she was a freshman. Kurogane had looked down at her with an unreadable expression. He grunted in reply; he knew Fai would take care of his own introduction. After all, the fool never seemed to stop talking. And of course, Fai introduced Kurogane, claiming they were transfer students and both juniors.
Kurogane didn't remember much after that. It was pointless to remember since the day was filled with boring lectures, talks of how college was different from high school, how they would meet so many different people, get a different perspective of the world and blah blah blah. All the dumb stuff Kurogane had heard when he was a freshman. It was all the same.
He thought that would be the last time he saw her. In a campus of hundreds and hundreds, what were the chances of seeing her again? Kurogane figured it would be a one time thing. Meet someone at orientation, exchange a few pleasantries, ask some polite questions, and say good bye at the end of the day. But oh no, it wasn't like that at all.
It was impossible to stay from Fai; the two had known each other since their high school days and seemed to be together everywhere. Not to mention that they shared a dorm. Kurogane feared he would never get away. But when she joined them for lunch on the first day of school, Kurogane just knew it was over– he would never get away from either of them. Outside of classes, the three did just about everything together (with one reluctant– the word 'no' was nonexistent in Fai and Tomoyo's vocabulary). They had become a trio. A freaking trio. Kurogane knew he should've ditched Fai a long time ago.
"Ohmigod!" Tomoyo cried, grabbing Kurogane's arm and sitting up. "It's a shooting star!"
A thin, short tail of light arced towards the earth and as quick as it had appeared, it was gone without a trace.
Following Tomoyo's outburst was pure silence. Tomoyo was looking up at the sky with fascination. She turned to Kurogane, her eyes full of delight, and squeezed his arm.
"Did you see it, Kurogane?" she asked breathlessly.
"Yeah," Kurogane muttered.
"It was so beautiful..." Tomoyo murmured. She gave her attention back to the sky. "I'm glad you saw it."
She was still holding onto him.
"I want to see another one. Then I can make a wish."
"What d'you need to wish for?"
The question surprised Tomoyo, though her face didn't show it. It was the first question Kurogane had asked in regards to Tomoyo. She looked back at Kurogane and was yet again surprised to see that he had actually turned his head to look at her. She smiled as she tilted her head cutely. "Silly. If I told you, my wish wouldn't come true."
Kurogane continued to look at her unblinkingly; Tomoyo had already looked back at the sky, anxious to see another falling star. She remained seated, instead of lying back down.
About ten minutes passed when Tomoyo cried again. "Oh! There!" She pointed.
The second falling star lasted longer than the first, its tail almost twice as long. Again, a spell of silence fell as if Tomoyo hadn't cried out at all.
"So? Did you make a wish?"
Tomoyo looked at Kurogane, only to be looking a little confused. Her eyes were wide and lips were slightly parted. Then she laughed. "I forgot! I got so excited that I totally forgot!" She clenched a fist, determined face set and ready. "No worries! The next time I see one, I'll definitely remember!"
But after seeing the third, fourth, and fifth shooting star, it was all the same. Kurogane asked his question again, only to have Tomoyo laugh, claiming that she forgot. This time, when her giggles subsided, she looked thoughtfully at Kurogane.
"It's strange... I've seen five shooting stars already... But every time I see one, I get so excited as if it was the first one I've ever seen in my entire life. It makes me forget about my wish. I wonder why that is..."
Tomoyo giggled again. Kurogane, with his expressionless face, continued to stare at Tomoyo. She smiled and shrugged at the same time. Her back made a muffled 'thump' as she lay back down.
"Hey, Kurogane..." Her voice was soft. "Isn't this amazing? Right now, we're looking into the past. Did you think about that?"
"No." A curt reply.
"Some of these stars have already died. But their light takes light years to reach us here... We're looking into the past. We're in the present and this is our only possible way of actually going back in time." Tomoyo's voice had fallen into a whisper but Kurogane could hear her plain as day. "It's so amazing..."
She was falling. Tomoyo could almost feel like she could reach out and grab them– a handful of stars. And yet, they were so far away. The sky was so deep... She was falling...
There was a bit of rustling and Kurogane was surprised to feel Tomoyo huddling up next to him, most definitely closing the semi-distant gap between them. He turned his head and was even more shocked to see her face turned towards him, less than inches away. Their noses were almost touching. Instinctively, Kurogane would have moved– probably as far as humanely possible. But he couldn't. It was like he couldn't get control of his muscles. What was wrong with him?
She smiled at him, like she always did. "Thank you for coming out here with me, Kurogane. It really has been so educational. Now I know the difference between shooting stars, satellites, and planes! Imagine that!"
Holding her gaze for a second, Kurogane said nothing and looked back up at the sky. It was so vast that it almost seemed impossible that something they couldn't touch was so big. He felt her gaze linger before Tomoyo herself looked back up to the black ocean.
Something inside him stirred.
Unseen to no one, a corner of his lip turned up, ever so slightly. The ever slightest of smiles...
Really. How did she do it?