The blood of stars flowed in her veins.
There she stood across the room, a meager five feet tall. Her hair fell much like the way snow did in winter. Flawlessly.
Was that her?
Of course it was, I’d seen photographs. It had to be.
But why was my heart racing? Almost tachycardic. Skipping beats in protest of my hesitation.
Open the door, you don’t have all night.
Her eyes widened as she looked up at me. Her face brightened; not like a child’s on Christmas morning, no. But as our eyes met for the first time, it was illuminated. Everything was.
Hand her the coffee in your hand, idiot. What are you waiting for? Say hi. Don’t. Forget. To. Say. Hi.
So I did just that, and ineptly made my way to the rear of the store.
She was brilliant. I didn’t know too much about her, but of that I was certain. Who in the world mentions Pavlovian conditioning during casual conversation? This girl.
She was intriguing. Alluring, irresistibly so. Inside and out. Something about the way she carried herself set her apart. She was the furthest thing from normal. In the best ways imaginable.
“I’m anemic too,” she disclosed wearily one November night. An iron deficiency. Women require 18mg of the substance per day to remain sound of health. My mother shared the same condition.
Iron is an interesting element. It’s a fundamental part of both hemoglobin and myoglobin, cells specialized in transporting, releasing and storing oxygen. An integral part of the human anatomy, and of the blood which courses through it. Without it, mammalian life would cease to exist. But it’s also exactly what kills stars. When a stellar supply of hydrogen is exhausted, helium is burned in order to survive, and consequently, fused into other substances. Eventually heavier and heavier elements are fused together, in an effort to continue burning. But iron doesn’t release energy when it’s fused together; instead, it further diminishes the star’s dwindling supply. This progresses until it can no longer overcome its own gravitational field. The penultimate step towards an inevitable collapse.
A necessary collapse. If stars never died, none of us would be here. She wouldn’t be here. I gave mention to iron supplements that night. November 22nd, a Tuesday. She (despondently) confirmed their inexorability. They were indispensable, granted she didn’t intend on fainting. Or as we’d call it, syncope.
She was a girl anyone would fall for if the opportunity presented itself. Extremely well-read, a self-proclaimed bibliophile; a quality her father instilled in her. She played piano and clarinet like myself, and also had a preference for dark chocolate. Loved grapefruit in spite of its intrinsic bitterness. I found that interesting. We shared a mutual disinclination towards the most distinct foods. She radiated ambition. A bona fide, burning passion for what she was studying. I loved that about her. Our cognitive processes coincided with each other on every level imaginable. “Beauty and brains go together like a line out of a fairytale for a reason.” I mentioned that to her once. It was true, you simply don’t find those qualities in a person. But not her. Cygnus inter anates. She was a swan among ducks.
Well over five octillion atoms comprised her tiny anatomy. That’s twenty-seven zeros. All symphonically coalesced into individual compounds, structures and substances; some of unfathomable complexity. Seamlessly amalgamated into one living, breathing, gorgeous being. To call that amazing would be an understatement. To call her amazing, an injustice.
Even so, she never quite understood what I saw in her. That wasn’t feigned modesty either, it was genuine humility. A femme fatale, utterly oblivious to it all.
She was in possession of the most intricate, beautiful mind I ever had the pleasure of encountering. Her smile was from another world. It was brilliant. Made me weak at the knees each and every time. The English language paled in comparison. To this day I can only think of one word that did it justice. That did her justice. Plaecarus. Beautifully striking.
We spent dozens of nights staying up until the early hours of the morning, tired, but unwilling to stop talking. Her words caressed the very core of my being like no other. I called her peculiar one night. We both grew fond of the adjective.
As we did of each other. I didn’t merely like her, no. I fancied her. Everything about her. She was a marvelous creature. God took his time with this one, that’s for sure. I know atheists who’d agree.
Each and every atom in my body was aligned in her direction. She was a foreign language I lusted over. I wanted her smiles, her laughs, her touches, her breaths, her lustrous beauty, her theater of expressions. I wanted to be like the air she breathed; that unnoticed, yet that essential, that vital. I craved her presence each night, I wanted her beside me, as intimate as two pages of a closed book.
But for now that book remains unfinished, and so it remains open. I can’t shake this feeling. I don’t intend to. I know I met her for a reason. I don’t know what it is yet. I may not tomorrow, either. But I will one day.
The blood of stars flowed in her veins; and God, do I miss her.