I actually wrote this story, a version of this story, years ago…and I can’t find it. Hopefully it’s not lost on an old hard drive waiting for imminent destruction. The other story was bare bones with an open-ended ending…this one has some flesh. The other one felt magical and I wanted that for this one but don’t know if I achieved that.
At the beach for a meteorite shower, Trish feels the magic rippling through her, except for Aaron, still strumming “Moon River” on his guitar in the screened porch. She thinks she should feel honored that he’s learning it for her because she’s loved the song since her mother sang it to her, a lullaby, a hymn during stress. But all Trish feels is alone as she flattens a beach towel out on the cool sand.
Aaron isn’t a mountain guy. He isn’t a beach guy. He’s a city guy. They determined that after a wave toppled him over and sand distributed itself over every part of his body, as it tends to do. His reaction would have been priceless, if she hadn’t once thought, he’s the one and if he hadn’t complained as if sand in crevices were terminal. Now thirty hours later, she knows better and feels slightly guilty that he’s learning a song just for her because when they get back to the city, they’ll be friends, just friends…well, and tonight too…and tomorrow.
His nasal voice sings “Moon River” on this calm night when the waves are just lapping gently to the shore. She stares up at the brilliant universe above, all of the stars glistening with the possibility of so much more, so much unknown, so much to be discovered, and she finds herself lusting for that knowledge she may never know.
Her heart leaps on the first meteor. She’s quick to make a wish. Her mother always said: “Make a wish, honey. Wish on a shooting star!” She wonders now what her mother wished for. Tears prick her eyes. Certainly, her mother would have wished to live beyond 36, if she’d only known she needed to wish for that.
Trish stares at the sky through blurry eyes. Bands of white light paint the starry blue like messages from heaven. For a moment, Trish wonders if her mother can see. Can she see the heavens? The Milky Way? Trish?
“Trish, I’ve got it. Come listen to me sing Moon River,” Aaron calls, making it clear he won’t come onto the beach.
Instead, Trish jumps up and runs into the ocean, which feels like the warm embrace of bath water. She floats on her back, salty tears mixing with the salty water cradling her as shooting stars streak across the sky and her mother’s gentle voice sings “we’re after the same rainbow’s end, waiting round the bend…”
After the video click the link for an interesting story about “Moon River” and its place in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.