When they ask me about my future wife, I always tell them that her eyes are the only Christmas lights that deserve to be seen all year long. I tell them that she has a walk that can make an atheist believe in God just long enough to say, ‘God damn’. I tell them that if my alarm clock sounded like her voice, my snooze button would collect dust. I tell them that if she came in a bottle, I would drink her until my vision is blurry and my friends take away my keys. I tell them that if she was a book, I would memorize her table of contents. I would read her, cover to cover, hoping to find typos, just so we could both have something to work on, because aren’t we all unfinished?
It takes some time to put them up at home, and they have to go on the ceiling because his room doesn’t have beams to accommodate them, but Akira stretches up on his tiptoes and presses another little star onto the ceiling above his bed.
There are two quick knocks against his bedroom door, and then his mother is peering in. “We’re going out to–” She stops, looks at the stars on the ceiling as Akira carefully climbs down from where he’s standing on the mattress. “Akira. Don’t put those up. They’ll leave residue when you take them down.”
“Sorry.” He sits down on the edge of the bed and looks up at her, hand curling around the remaining stars lying on his bed.
Her lips are pinched into a frown, and she sighs before continuing. “We’re going out. We won’t be back until late, so don’t wait up.”
Akira nods. “Have a good time.”
She leaves the door open when she leaves, and Akira waits until he hears the car start outside before he goes to close it. She doesn’t do it on purpose, he’s sure. She just hasn’t lived with him for a year. She doesn’t know what he’s been through. She never will.
He looks across the room, looks at the stars scattered about his ceiling. He has no intention of taking them down.
He finishes putting them up instead, and turns the light off when he’s finished. They’ve been collecting just enough light that they glow faintly in the almost darkness. It reminds him of Leblanc. It reminds him of the planetarium. It reminds him of the place that has come to feel like home itself, and the people that have come to feel like family, and more.
Why is it, he wonders, that that almost feels better than what he has here?
He misses them, that’s all. He had missed his parents and friends here at first, too. The hollow feeling in his chest will soothe over in time.
Besides, it’s not as though they’re gone forever or anything.
Akira reaches for his phone off the desk and snaps a picture. It’s of him, in that almost darkness, with the stars barely visible in the picture. He tests out some filters and decides against it, sending the photo as is. It’s imperfect, but honest. No more masks. Of any kind.
He’s barely settled back into bed to gaze up at the stars before his phone chirps. He picks it up from the bed and pushes his glasses up his nose to read it better.
Now that IS a true work of art.
He only just stifles his laugh.
No, they aren’t gone forever. They are still with him, even after the end. Even after they have no reason to be, they are still there. He is still there.
Akira smiles, closes his eyes. Rests his phone on his chest and places his hands over it protectively.
can you believe how fiercely renee walker cares about jean moreau? can you imagine how jean felt to receive a call from her, telling him she was going to get him out of there, and she actually showed up like a legit angel and jean looked at her like she was the Light™ and she Set Him Free® (sublimal the get down context)? and renee looked at him, quietly thinking to herself, i love this boy with all my heart and nobody is going to hurt him ever again