Shooting Stars for Your Smiles

I was leaving. Someplace far away, I supposed. Having an enlisted father did that. For three years I had continued to discover all the extraordinary wonders that Sayerbrook, Massachusetts had to offer. It was as every other town in New England was: small, friendly, and breathtaking. Life was normal there. And I found myself loving the constants that the residents brought into my always changing life.

It was the summer before my senior year when my father sat me down in the pale yellow kitchen of our home. David Hatton was a burly man whose face was scarred over with deep wrinkles and set off by midnight blue eyes. I knew before he even began to talk what this was all about. If there was one thing about my father, it was his inability to keep feeling out of his gazes. Not even his strongest promise of keeping me here until college could make us stay. I understood that, and I would have not had a problem with the sudden move if it had not been of one person.

A girl, in fact, that went by the name of Scarlett Nestland.

We met when I had trouble finding the bakery. She smiled at me, lips perfectly plump, and looked my way asking kindly if I needed help. That smile nearly killed me. It lit up her entire face, even her chocolate colored eyes, and at that moment I saw that it also lit up my entire world. Cheesy as it may sound, it was the truth. I, Gregory Hatton, was smitten with Scarlett Nestland with just one smile.

At first, I was hesitant to make any ties with her. Fearful of being shipped off again, I held Scarlett at arms distance. But she would have none of that "nonsense". Arguing that I needn't be so gloomy, she pointed out that there were always telephones and email to keep in touch.

And so, our friendship was born.

It was the night before I was set to leave. Scarlett refused to come anywhere near me afraid that she'd break down into tears. My departure, she said, wasn't supposed to happen. Not now, anyways. I agreed. Figuring I only had one shot left to tell her how I feel, I wanted to do something special for her. It wasn't anything too romantic. Or at least I didn't think it was. I read in a book somewhere that the guy left a trail of clues to hint where he was to his lover. My idea was a much better alteration, however.

I ran up to Scarlett's front door, rang the doorbell once and left a note in the shape of a star on her door mat, and then hid behind the tree that was situated on her front lawn. It was around ten at night on the warmest summer night that Sayerbrook ever experienced. A yellow light peeked out from behind the red door as Scarlett peered out. She looked confused until she caught sight of the golden star on her doormat. Her small hands fiddled with the tab to open the note up. Two brown eyes melted as they scanned the message.

"Meeting you was fate, becoming your friend was a choice, but falling in love with you was beyond my control."

-Star Gazer…

P.S: A constellation will form if you continue to gaze. Think the hills, my dear, for your next star waits on Henry's bench.

Her thin lips opened slightly as she breathed deeply. I smiled in satisfaction and darted down the street to my car when I saw her step out onto her porch. So, she continued to play. I was one step closer to telling her myself. I ended up at the Rolling Hills Park in less than five minutes. A new star now sat upon the bench that Henry Dandor, a legendary story teller of Sayerbrook, claimed as his own. Scarlett always talked about how she would sit with him for hours, listening to his stories of World War Two.

She was always a sucker for history.

Sitting upon the familiar bench, she began to read the next star. If I could have seen a little better, I would have seen a tear drop down against her rosy cheek. But I wouldn't have been sure if it was because of happiness or pain. It would have been too difficult to determine, and I probably would stop playing the game.

"If I could reach up and catch a star for every time you've made me smile, I'd have the entire night sky in the palm of my hand."

The slide beckons, darling. Care to join me?

-Star Gazer

I watched her as she slid off of the wooden bench and ran towards the playground. She was like a little girl all over again. Henry's bench and the slide were, as I remembered, the most wonderful things to her when she was a girl. And I knew, that if I showed her I remembered, I could show her that loving me was like the loving memories of her childhood.

Long legs slid down the cool red metal of the all-too-small slide. The third star was gripped tightly in between her two hands. As she reached the sand on the ground, she opened the note.

"I was going to name a star after you, but none of them were beautiful enough."

One more star, dear, until the mystery is complete. I believe it might be larger than the big dipper. How about a lakeside picnic?

-Star Gazer

The picnic was already set up, as I sat down on the blue blanket over the moist grass. The moon and stars reflected perfectly over the crystal clear lake. I had hoped it would feel like a dream, for her at least. We had both been saddened by my departure, but there wasn't anything that I could do to stop it.

I sat with my legs stretched out in front of me as I rested back against my palms. The final star was sitting on my lap, glossy under the real stars that shone bright above, and the star that stood directly in front of me. Her eyes were wide and her hair flying around wildly. But I didn't mind. She was beautiful. Even the stars couldn't compare.

"Greg…" She murmured, obviously speechless. "What, I mean, how…"

I smiled, easing her confusing state a bit. She gently wrapped her fingers around the last star that my hand offered her. Glazed eyes peered back at me, ready to spill at any second. Her breath was hitched as she unhooked the last note.

"Love is like a falling star, beautiful, magical and everlasting."

I love you, Scarlett. Always have. And even if I move away, it doesn't change that.

-Star Gazer

"Scarlett, are you okay?" I asked, cupping her downward chin. A pretty face was covered with salty trails of tears. It was by nature that I hugged her close.

Her arms wrapped around my stomach as she rested her head on my chest, crying quietly. My fingers tangled themselves into her messy ponytail and I chuckled softly.

"Greg, I wish you didn't have to go." She cried. "I wish that more than anything else."

I shook my head mutely and nudged her shoulder, making her look to where I was pointing. Up in the sky, brighter than ever, was a comet that glistened against the pitch black canvas it was placed on. It was followed by a shooting star.

"Make a wish Scarlett." I whispered into her ear. She closed her eyes and hugged me close. Her crying ceased and she smiled up at me. I had no other choice but to kiss her. And I did just that. It was sweet, innocent, but loving and powerful, as any first kiss should be.

A few more tears trickled down her cheek as we pulled away. But I knew that they weren't sad tears. They were happy. I knew because the way she smiled. It was the same as the first day we met.

And even though it was pitch black outside, it lit up my entire world.

I knew that with Scarlett, I wouldn't be able to have dark days or nights. All I had to do was look at her smile and think of the stars it compared with. Each star was just a fraction of her glow.

Yet, not even a sky full of stars could shine like she did.

That's what made me love her so much.

A/n: This is my first attempt at writing something with original characters. I would appreciate any type of criticism. I hope you enjoyed this tiny piece of fluff.