A Star

“Sequel” to The Copper Dancer

He smelled like summer, or rather, it was simply the boyish scent of salt, sweat and barbecue that everyone seemed to have in the summer time. It was musky though not unpleasant. Common, yet The Copper Dancer in particular was oddly identifiable.

We lay, stretched out as best we could on an old picnic table. Propped on my side, I ran my fingers through his hair, his slight curls as pitch as typewriter letters. I closed my eyes, taking in the scents and sounds of an outdoor party a block away. The base was heavy. From the distance, I could not quite make out the words, only the beat. The booming was like a heart beat, and in every rest one  could faintly hear party life before it was drowned by resounding pulse. I took a deep intake, letting out a small hum. No doubt something good was grilling.

“There’s gotta be some killer snacks there.” I sighed, peering longingly towards the distance.

“What are you going to do? Crash it?” He cracked one eye open.

“I’m seriously thinking about it,” I let his raven stands slip through my fingers and I lift myself into a sitting position. The rivulets fell atop cocoa, pencil tip dots of melanin. His eyes fluttered open. I went through the color wheel placing the shade. Amber. No, beige. Well, almost brick. Hazel nut of sorts.

“Nope,” he drawled, tugging me back down next to him with a grin. “Don’t wanna get up. Too loud.”

So I stayed, and we both looked up at the sky, which by now was painted in hues of navy and violet. It was an enormous curtain that was drawn across the earth, replacing the thick humidity with somewhat satisfying clearness. That night, I believe that the moon was waning, but it was no less beautiful. All around it, stars danced their starlight dances ceremoniously for us, their audience.

“Up there,” I pointed, whispering. “Is the big dipper.”

“Really?” The Copper Dancer hummed.

“No. It’s all a big jumble of dots to me,” I snickered. “The only one I know for sure is Cancer. Which is right–there.” I took his large hand in my smaller one, using his pointer finger to trace the constellation. I looked over to see him raise an eyebrow. “It’s a summer constellation. Oh! And the one right next to it. Do you see it?” His hazel orbs scanned the welkin and nodded. “That one is my favorite. It spells out ‘gullible.'”

He let out a soft chuckle, giving me a shove and I about went tumbling from the table. I clutch onto the side of the cool wood. I crawled back into my spot next to him when he spoke,

“Do you see that cluster over there?” I hummed. “It kinda looks like a rabbit.”

“Oh my god, it does!” I giggled, then pointed. “That one over there looks like a dragon.”

“I think any of these could be dragons if you look hard enough.” He smiled wider and pointed at another one. What seemed like hours we lay under the images written in crystal starlight, tracing line after line. It looks nothing like that. How could you not see it? And we laughed, losing all sense of time.

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