She was a strange little world to crash land on. The skies were dark green, with a dash of vermillion between the darkened clouds.

I always thought of her as a mentor. Someone to look up to, confide in and never dare disappoint. It hurt too much to see her frown.

I remember watching the clouds with her. Apart from the muted sun rays, they were the only spectacular part of the sky.

The stars never came out on this world, even at night.

She taught me how to make friends, make love and make do. Only one of those skills has been beneficial so far.

I told her I’d rather burn out than fade away. Not because I do, but because it’s an interesting conversation to have.

She said I wouldn’t die young because I was like an apprentice to her, and that the clouds blocking the sun ensured her pupils die late.

It was dumb. But I laughed. And then I cried into her elbow while she caressed my face in her arms. Her hairless head shone even in the dim evening light.

It’s hard to lose someone, but I think it’s harder to know it’s going to happen before they’re even gone.

I guess I’ll just have to make do.

I broke away from her and stood up to look at her, almost blaming her for fading away. I wasn’t just angry — I was outraged.

I wanted to kill her right then. At least it would have been me rather than a soulless mass of rogue cells inside her. I wanted to keep her. But I couldn’t. And maybe it’s better that way.

Because as the sun set for the night and she took her last breath, for the first time in years the clouds parted and the stars came out to claim her.


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