your hands cradle nebulas like candles

trying to get out of the story ditch im in
heres a weird little scene

“You know,” she says, baleful, eyes slipping closed when she tilts her head back to bathe her face in moonlight. “He told me, once. When he was drunk, one of the only times I’ve ever seen him that way. Drunk and sad. He told me about how they met.”

Diane’s hand is hot when she uncurls it, sweating slightly inside her sweatshirt pocket, so she pulls it out and presses it to the cold metal of the fire escape. She doesn’t comment.

“She met him on a bridge,” Faye breathes, the words almost visible in the faint mist billowing in the cool air, warmth spilling from her lungs. Contrasted with her frozen eyes, it seems like the only warmth she has. “Standing on the edge, his sneakers squeaking, young. As young as I am, twenty-three and so completely lost in the enormity of London. And she reached up a hand, dark skin almost lost in the night, and he took it.” Her eyelids are silver with starlight, and Diane’s afraid that if she reached out and touched, Faye might open her eyes and there would be nothing there but cold galaxies swirling in her pupils.

“I don’t want to be here anymore,” Faye murmurs, low and almost a buzz of sound, and Diane knows she doesn’t mean the university, the fire escape, the half-assed party by tired and hopeless students trying to forget that they don’t have anywhere to go for next Thanksgiving weekend.

Diane doesn’t drink. A genetic predisposition towards alcoholism will do that, but sometimes she wishes she did - seems like it’d be easier, drowning all your sorrows in liquid. Suddenly she thinks that this wouldn’t be so terse if she had a bottle by her side, but she doubts it simultaneously. She remains unspeaking, despite the tension present that hangs in the air like tangible humidity, doesn’t say anything even after they’ve lapsed into silence.

Faye just breathes, like it’s a hard task, eyes finally pried open, the stars and dark sky reflected in the shine of them. Her fingernails scrape against the metal underneath her thighs, already-chipped black nailpolish coming off in tiny flakes.

Diane just sighs and determinedly doesn’t think about how that makes her think about her sister, rolling her head on her neck and inhaling the cold air almost stale with quiet.

“Funny how she left and he didn’t,” Faye smiles, a bitter, ironic twist of her lips. She brings up an idle finger to fix the smudged mess of her lipstick and when she pulls it away, the make-up’s cleaner and there are miniscule red scratches from the rough edge of her bitten nails along the curve of her mouth.

The words float in-between them, painfully loud, and Diane thinks just for a moment that she could walk away, walk back into the party and be swallowed, but she knows she won’t.

The skies have opened up, eating their confessions and admonissions, the empty phrases Faye throws into the night because she knows they won’t matter in the morning, don’t matter right now to her or Diane or to the listening stars. The skies have opened up, and they pass down with dark clouds of hands the gift of snow, tiny sparkling white diamonds in the night. Sporadic and melting, they glimmer in the air with their tumble to gravity, and Diane curls hesitant fingers out to catch one, watching it turn to a bead of clear liquid a second before it comes in contact with her skin. Faye doesn’t move, and a couple slide down her cheeks, painting tracks of dull shine onto her flesh.

“Oh,” Diane exhales, the only thing she’s really said all night, and sits there watching the snow fall and the darkness descend heavier around them, muffling the noise of urban life and the abandoned party. The only sound Faye makes is light breathing, having run out of words, and they don’t move, both afraid of shattering the moment.

The moonlight smears silver onto their faces, and for a brief minute, they look like lost stars.

They both feel a little like lost stars, if they’re being honest.

The End

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