What is it with you and your fascination with the stars?” he asked, slightly mocking the way she kept gazing up at the clear night sky. “I don’t know,” she sighed, even though she did, “I guess I just think they’re beautiful.” What she did not say was that the word beautiful didn’t even begin to cover it and that the sight of the stars made her breathless and sent her head spinning. With a slight smile she thought of the boy who had once told her that not even the brightest star in the sky didn’t shine as bright as her eyes did. It had been tacky, it hadn’t even been a genuine compliment, but it had been enough to make her blush. He’d laughed and she’d punched his arm because it was his way to take weight off the moment, to defuse the tension that was between them whenever they’d looked at each other. But this time was over, the heat in her cheeks long gone and replaced with the cold winter air. “You know how you look at them?” She tore her eyes away and focused on the boy who now stood in front of her. It was his time now, she reminded herself sternly, not the time to be nostalgic and drown in memories. It was not fair. He slipped his hand in hers. It was warm and welcoming. “How do I look at them?” “Like they’re whispering secrets to you. Like they’d vanish if you stopped staring. Like somebody you loved put them in the sky just for you.” She squeezed his hand firmly and closed her eyes to stop the tears from escaping. And she felt so very at home: standing beneath the stars with someone who meant the world to her. And one day she would share the story of the boy who was watching her from above, long gone – the boy who had compared a girl to the stars once, who had put them in the sky for her. The boy who was now one of them, the ghost of his smile still visible in the crescent of the moon..