The story begins on a rooftop. You lay on your back, shingles digging into your shoulders like asphalt. The girl next to you is throat-catching danger like laying in the middle of the road to count stars.
The girl next to you is counting stars. She rolls over, looks you in the eyes. Says, ‘tell me all the constellations you know. Tell me the truest thing you know.’
Somehow her eyes are capturing the glint of starlight. You tell her 'the Big Dipper.’ You tell her, 'all of this is just old light.’ You tell her, 'there is a supernova factory inside your eyes.’
In this version of the story, she doesn’t roll over away from you. In this version of the story, she builds a house inside her heart with a safety deposit box where she stores your words.
The story begins on a roof. It’s July. Her legs are flushed from sun. Your cheeks are flushed from looking at her legs. You lie there next to her on that rooftop. She is counting stars. You are counting fireflies. She keeps her eyes on the sky.
This is the version of the story where you kiss her on the 4th of July. Red, white, blue, and her lips on yours. You pretend the fireworks are celebrating the two of you. You give her a mason jar full of fireflies and tell her it’s the closest you could get to stars. Tell her they’re all shooting, all full of wishes as big as her imagination. In this version of the story, she grins. She doesn’t look away. She doesn’t let the mason jar shatter and she knows those wishes are too valuable to let them escape. She doesn’t break your heart in this version.
This time, her heart isn’t tattooed with a road map leading away from you. You are more than just another stamp in her old passport. In this version, you are the end point, the destination. You are enough for her.