The twilight grass was like ice beneath my bare feet. Up above, the sky was starless. Nothing to wish on that night. No, it was a night to make my own choices. My house was behind me, where my dad and sister slept. They were lost in their dreams, in their peace. And I was here, below the endless night sky. It was just past two in the morning. I was thanking whatever force controlled the world it hadn’t snowed yet, but I was still shivering in the mid-November chill.
My house wasn’t what one would call a farm house, persay, but there was a barn about fifty yards away. Mostly we ignored its looming presence. But that night, with only the moon guiding me, it was my final destination.
The door opened with a creak that seemed to echo all the way around the world. I cringed against the sound, certain it would give me away and awaken my family I could just imagine Wynter standing in the doorway, eyes drooped in sleep, blonde tresses all in unintentional disarray. In my mind, in the image I saw of her, she seemed much younger. Perhaps it was merely my way of clinging to how innocent she was.
I moved through the darkness slowly, unsurely, until I had reached the center of the barn. For a while, I simply stood there. Motionless. Letting the world go on turning without me. Then I took it out. It was heavy in my hands, and oh so cold. Still I turned it over and over, straddling the line between reality and the complete loss of it.
In my heart I knew that my mind was made up. I’d wished on every star, and now the time had come to take the wheel and drive myself. And I knew that it was a favor I was doing. To my father. Wynter. Xander. Myself.
I closed my eyes and tried to imagine myself somewhere else. In Xander's arms, perhaps, where he would kiss me and promise that it would be okay, even if it wouldn’t.
Xander would be freed, like Wynter and my father and myself. Like a butterfly.
I walked with measured steps to the door. Above me, a few stray stars had managed to penetrate through the inky curtain. I asked myself what I saw in them, in those balls that offered such hope. Holes in the nothing where hope could seep through.
Then I turned around, closed my eyes, and pulled the trigger