Your Sun and Your Moon
By Eleine Kruez
The sun slowly disappeared into the faint red-orange sky. The last rays of the setting sun gave little warmth as a gentle breeze picked up, causing the long raven-black strands to dance with the wind. The sky was gradually darkening and it would be mere minutes before darkness descended then light would come from the sky, provided by the moon and the million stars scattered across the horizon.
"See you tomorrow, Anya!"
Another afternoon wasted. Another afternoon spent watching Ken pathetically attempt to catch the stoic model's heart. Another afternoon endured with a knife thrust deeper.
Serena Alessandra Maise looked away, keeping her eyes trained on the trees and shrubbery. His voice was dripping of pure hero-worship, it was pathetic. She leaned against the brick wall and sighed impatiently.
The last hour was wasted waiting for her best friend who wasn't even in the building—who didn't even have the decency to tell her he was playing hooky with the Goddess of Art and Beauty. She suddenly felt conscious. Anya's golden curls were looking perfect as usual while her own black curtain was looking like it just experienced its first hurricane—she ran all the way from the bus stop to the school's front steps, fearing she was late when in fact—Serena stopped and silently admonished herself.
Of course next to the Goddess she was nothing but dust and dirt. Anya Zhairm wasn't just an artist. She also modeled for fellow artists. Her eyes were the rarest shade of violet, an exquisite hue compared to Serena's own emerald green. Skin of flawless ivory and slender limbs, her hair was her crowning glory. The color of sun-kissed gold in gentle waves that framed delicately her heart-shaped face, she was the Perfect Vision of Beauty to all.
She directed her glare to the ground. God! She didn't know why she even agreed to come anyway. She disliked the sight of her best friend throwing himself all over the beautiful lady's feet and practically crawling on the ground she walked on. She detested (immensely, actually) Anya's casual indifference to the precious gift Ken offered him: his heart.
But most of all, she hated with vehemence the pain that clawed her very core whenever she saw her best friend within a mile of the one he offered his love to.
When she was sure Anya was well out of sight and the puddle of drool by her friend's feet had dried up, she walked toward him and offered a small smile, instantly forgetting her waste of time for nothing. "Were you able to paint her today?"
Ken merely blinked at her, still with the goofy expression on his face. After a heartbeat or two, he shrugged. "Not really. I wasn't able to paint this afternoon, or even sketch. Spent the afternoon downtown. I'm progressing, don't you think?" It was brimming with happiness partnered with an idiotic grin Serena wanted so much to wipe off his face.
She was about to argue that forcing Ken to spend the day (and his money) treating her around town when he should've been sketching wasn't exactly the conventional way of indicating progress (intentionally being ignorant of his true meaning) when he spoke again and all line of reason left her in a moment of stupor.
"She agreed to go out with me this weekend."
"That's…" fucked up, she said in his mind, "great." I need another session with Broken Hearted and In Denial Anonymous. Maybe it's time to find a new broken-hearted and still in-denial club. She can be the founder. Whoopee-do.
"I really think she's interested in me," Ken said softly, a faint blush coloring his tanned cheeks. They started walking toward the street lined up with diners and small shops. "I know you've already heard this a million times," he paused, rolling his eyes at her, "but I feel different when I'm around her. She's different."
By this time, Serena learned to tune him out when he was talking about Her. Her. HER. HER. It was always about her. She guess she shouldn't let this affect her overmuch. Really, before, Ken was already always jabbering about Anya, she reasoned with herself. How beautiful she was, how he'd like to paint her someday, blah, blah, blah.
There was once a time they both shared the same dream concerning the sought-after belle. They both dreamt that one day they would be able to paint her together. That one day they would be able to capture her seemingly ethereal beauty in a canvas that would be preserved forever.
Funny that until a year ago, she wasn't even interested in painting. It was just a silly hobby then before she met Ken. He showed her the depth of Art. She learned from him that painting could be something other than a simple pastime. It could be your life.
But unlike him, the young woman wasn't gifted as he was. She could paint well, but never beyond what was normal. Serena didn't have it to make painting her life. But Ken did. And she was happy just knowing he had it and supporting him. That was enough.
Then he met Anya Zhairm. Anya had it, too. Painting was Anya's life, it was pretty obvious. And from painting her, Ken wanted to be with her. She doesn't know how exactly that happened but she knew it before he did.
It has always been that way since they met at the first day of classes. She would always stand at the back, observe him, support him then notice things about him. She was Serena Maise, Kenneth Seneda's personal one-man cheering squad. She would always be behind him, urging him to go forward and relentlessly cheering him on.
But does he even notice? Sometimes, she guess. Her ego wouldn't take it too lightly if her existence had been entirely overlooked. Not that she'd mind, when you think about it, but it would hurt. But she's grown accustomed to it.
What's a one-man scowling cheering team to the very embodiment of beauty, his life?
That's right. Anya embodies The Art for him.
Which brings her back to the same dream they once shared. They both saw Anya as a dream then, nothing more. Painting didn't mean as much to her as it did to Ken, but it didn't mean it was completely nothing to her. It gave her a purpose, breathed life into her otherwise insipid existence. It gave her something to do, a means of expressing herself, something she found great difficulty in doing.
It holds true for the both of them; Anya was Art epitomized.
Only they embraced that fact in different ways. Sure, like the moon gets its light from the sun, painting gave her life. But like the moon orbits the earth, her life doesn't revolve around it.
Ken's case was different. He was sunny; he thrived in sunshine. He was trapped in the sun's orbit as she was ensnared in her own path revolving around him.
Serena snapped out of her trance-like state and irritably glanced at him, realizing he had been trying to get her attention for the past five minutes. "What?"
"I said I can't wait for tomorrow," he replied with that impossible smile of his.
Does he know how much power he held over her merely with one of his smiles? Perhaps not. If he does, he never let on.
"You'd like that, won't you?" she taunted, still looking irritated, but hurting inside. "Because with tomorrow's promise of sunshine, you'd be dragging me across town just so you can have another session with Anya, right?"
He just gave her that stupid grin. She sighed, letting him see her exasperation but never letting on the secret pain. That's right. She is your sun after all. But during the night when your sun is not around to shield you from the darkness, I will be here, your moon, with my borrowed light, to guide you and light your way until the first rays of your beloved sun shyly glides through for another day.
High above, the silver moon peeked from beneath the clouds, casting its light on the odd pair of youngsters walking side by side along a crowded street, gleaming spherical body seeming to follow them with each step that they take.