The night was breathtaking. Midnight-blue silk lay above, open and expansive. It was grazed with the scattering of stars, sparkles that someone had thrown with beautiful precision across the sky, so that they now nestled and shone in an unsurpassable home.

The night was comfortable, and the scent of jasmines and desert flowers danced together within the warmth. Drifts of Latin American music twirled out from next door, evidence of a young couple's new marriage. A tuxedoed man, still wearing a pair of Sketchers but with his black hair impeccably slicked back, jumped out from a red Mustang and hurried into the festivities, clutching a wrapped package for the hosts.

The inn itself was quiet, the elevators unoccupied, the balconies empty except for her. She leaned against the iron-wrought railing, her face tilted upwards. She wore a blue t-shirt, and a soft skirt that fluttered against her knees. She wore it because it made her feel graceful and lovely.

Dark red mountains rose within her vision: beautiful, unyielding forms, small and humble against the sky. Between the inn and the mountains, lay flat stretches of desert land, partly occupied by human existence. Neon lights blinked, and the loud thumps of bass rose towards her, beckoning her to join the nightlife that existed.

But she softly refused.

She breathed in the heady scent of flowers, stucco buildings, and sand and saw, with her eyes, ears, and skin, the beauty of it all. It was heartachingly precious, and she felt heartachingly...

Appreciative. Overwhelmed. Joyous. Tragic. Lonely.

She trembled, her chest suffocating with everything she knew, thought, missed. She trembled, homesick for all that she hadn't seen and experienced.

How strange the way some lives cross once, twice, three times before diverging forever. Yes, how strange life was...

Her fingers curled themselves around the warm railing and tightened. She could stay here until midnight-blue faded to purple to cerulean, until the sky crashed to pieces around her, until the sun blew its last gush of hot breath towards her children.

She was standing at the edge of a river flowing forever into fantasy.

Her fingers loosened on the railing, and she slowly pulled away, pulled away from the edge of the river.

It flowed on, but the night remained, its loveliness surreal and untouchable.

A small smile graced her pink lips, and she let the desert breeze blow one more time.

Her mouth formed hello and kissed good-bye.