A/N: This is a prologue to something I'm currently working on. Let me know what you think.
I used to wish on stars. When I was a little kid, on warm, clear summer nights, my mom and I would lie in the cool grass of the backyard and watch for falling stars. Whenever I saw one I would shout in excitement, pointing and reaching toward the streaking light, as though I would catch it in my hand.
"Make a wish," she said. Like always, I closed my eyes and crossed my fingers. Sometimes I wished for things, like a new videogame or a puppy. But mostly I wished that my dad would come back, that I could meet him, and that he'd like me. I never told Mom my wishes, and she never asked.
After wishing, she said to me, "Do you know what falling stars really are?" I lifted my head and looked at her. What did she mean? I thought they were just stars that were somehow shaken loose from the sky. I shook my head.
"Every time a baby is about to be born, a brand new little soul is called down from heaven. That's what that little light is you see shooting across the sky. It's a new person being made."
"Is that why we wish on them?"
"Yes," she said. I could hear her smiling. "What can be luckier to wish on than a new life?" I fell back and stared at that expansive blackness with new eyes.
Later on, in school, I would learn the truth about falling stars. They aren't even stars at all. They're just pieces of inert rock traveling through space. And that light we see? That brightness that we call beautiful, and pin our hopes and dreams on? It's just meteors burning up in the atmosphere. It's not new life, just destruction. An end, not a beginning. I thought of all those wishes I sent out into the universe, believing that someone out there was listening.
I don't wish on stars anymore.