Author's Note -- ( 2:18 PM 8/2/03 ) Written in the desire to find something new. I'm not very good at displaying very deep emotions through words, nor can I really illustrate a serious mood to save my wee soul. Here was my attempt though. Make of it what you will. Kind of gives me a environmentalist feeling. O_o

______________________________________

I've Never Seen The Stars * By Seph Lorraine

______________________________________

He is no angel, that man on the roof. He sits and he stares for countless hours at the nothingness of the sky. That's right-- nothingness.

The sky has long since left us.

All there is to see is the dark grey-black of smoke that covers this city like a blanket. Choking, threatening, killing. Harsh are the ugly clouds that hang above our world. Yet every night, he comes out and sits at the same spot on the tin roof of his apartment building, and looks up into the bleakness of what we mortals have done to our planet.

And every night, I watch him from my window. Hiding in my blackened room, I peer out and follow his gaze to the nothingness above us, where there once was a rumour of jewels that sprinkled a dark-velvet sky. It's funny to imagine that there could have ever been anything like jewels embroidered into a dark blue gown that covered the Earth.

Or maybe it's just too unrealistic.

He sits there for hours watching the area above, silent in the heat of the night. It's late November and it feels like July-- another change that came with the sky. It never gets cold anymore. I've never owned a coat in my life, though I remember how my Oma* used to speak of "winter" long ago when I was a child. I've never felt the cold, before.

Just like I've never looked up into our scarred grey skies and seen diamonds.

I wonder just what it is that he sees when he looks up into the nothingness above this city. I know it must be something other than what I see, or why would he be so intent to watch it? Humanity has grown depressed over time, but I doubt there is really that much pain in anyone, anymore.

No one ever looks into the greyness above, except for him.

I've seen through the windows of his apartment across the quiet street. He moved in nearly a year ago, yet he has never unpacked his belongings. Boxes of material possessions line the walls of his small residence, they look dusty and old. I wonder if he intends on staying around.

I watch him for a while longer as he stares unmovingly up into the void of grey.

Something within me acts differently this evening, and barefoot-- clad only in a pair of flannel pajama-pants and a white top-- I leave my apartment, crossing the street to his building, where I take the steps two at a time to the top. At first I had no idea of where I my feet were leading me, and when I opened the door to the roof I was quite surprised at my actions.

The door closed behind me and my feet had stopped moving. I was staring at him more closely, now. His back was to me and he seemed completely unaware of my presence, and I suddenly cursed myself. What reason had I been so urgent to come here for? Why had I not even stopped to put on my shoes? Surely I had left my apartment unlocked. Why--

"I've been waiting for you." His voice, a semi-deep mysterious sound, cuts through my train of thought, and again my attention was only on him. He made no move, nor did he turn to look at me, and I stood in a sort daze.

"What do you mean?" My voice is timid and small compared to his boldness-- the smirk nearly audible in his voice.

"I've been waiting for you since I moved here. I'm surprised it's taken you this long to come." This time he turned his head away and I could see his eyes focus on me, "Come sit with me."

My feet again took control on their own and I was tredding forward lightly to sit by him, "Why have you been waiting on me?" I turned to him, finally able to see his face clearly.

His narrow eyes were a deep brown, flecked with gold, it seemed, and they stared forward into the grey with an intense yet emotionless glare. Deep brown hair hung loosely past his ears, messy and in states of various disarray as many strands fell into his eyes. He had a narrow pointed nose and narrow lips that turned up lightly into a mischevious smirk. He looked all as if he held a secret that he was ready to taunt about.

He shrugged at my question and the smirk vanished, his gaze suddenly tired as he kept his eyes trained in their usual direction. "You need to be saved."

I frowned, "If you're some sort of religious freak, you can forget that--"

"That's not what I mean." He smirked again and finally turned to watch me, "From the day I came here, I made it my business to see everyone and everything I could. The city itself is lifeless, but everyone I see has something or someone that keeps them alive. When I saw you, though, I found you to be the only one who was dead."

"How cryptic." My voice sardonic, "I'm sure you mean this in some sort of metaphorical sense? For I assure you, I am very alive. Heartbeat, oxygen intake, and all."

He sighed and chuckled deeply, "You are as dead as the grey that looms above you."

I glanced up at the sky and frowned more deeply, "It's above you, too."

There was a twinkle in his gold-flecked eyes and he watched me more keenly, leaning in a bit more before he spoke, "What you make of the sky above us is what you see. When you see grey smog and storms, I see the moon and the stars."

"Stars?" I questioned quietly.

His eyes widened for a moment in surprise and he was silent, "You don't know what stars are?"

I blinked, unfamiliar with word, and continued to watch him.

He smiled, "I'm sure you've heard of the diamonds that used to stud the sky?" He paused and I nodded, "Those were stars."

My mouth formed a silent 'Oh', and I nodded.

"I'll show them to you someday." His eyes were soft and his smile delicate, and I watched him blankly.

"What is that supposed to mean?" I suddenly felt a spark inside of me. I feeling of excitement, as if about to leave on a trip, and go somewhere I could only dream of.

He stands and offers a hand to help me up, "Go pack lightly and meet me beneath the lamp-post in ten minutes. You and I are going to go find the stars."

When we did leave that night, both of us carried very little and I was a bit disturbed as we walked down that quiet street. I had the feeling that I might never return. Not a bad feeling, though. It was as if leaving some pain or sadness behind me, and heading on for better things.

He and I are off in search of the real sky, now. A sky that's unclouded by the dreary grey nothingness of the city. As we walk I have the feeling that I am lighter than air, I feel as if I could sing-- but I'll spare him my less than admirable talents.

He assures me that if we stay together, I will soon be able to see the stars. I believe him and follow him willingly, and though I see him as some wonderful being, now, I still know he is no angel. The shallow scar down his left cheek speaks a reminder of that. Though, sometimes his beauty makes me forget.

The darkness that we're leaving casts a shadow across his being, and there is pain and fatigue in his eyes. Maybe we're not really looking for stars. We're just two dead souls looking for life.

Looking for salvation.

______________________________________

* Oma- Grandmother (Germanic origin)