Bria hesitated, her hand resting on the doorframe. She was reluctant to intrude on Holden’s late-night sojourn to the deck. It had started months ago. Bria woke to find him missing and discovered him outside staring at the stars. An occasional event had become a nightly ritual. Bria noticed other changes, his preoccupation, the deepening crease in his forehead, and the sadness in his eyes.
She thought it would pass, that her inquisitive, carefree and loving Holden would return. But as time passed, she grew less certain, fear nibbled at her heart and she knew they needed to talk. Bria gathered her courage and stepped forward, reaching for him she caressed his waist.
“What is wrong with you?” she whispered.
Holden sighed, looped his arm over Bria’s shoulder and drew her to his side.
“I didn’t mean to wake you,” he said as he kissed her hair. “Go back to bed.”
“No, answer me.”
“Home is calling,” he said.
“When?” her voice trembled.
“I could come with you…”
“You won’t survive the journey. We discussed this, remember,” Holden wrapped his arms around her and crushed her against him.
“But you’ll return,” she repeated the rehearsed lines.
“You will be old, and I will be as I am now. I will love you forever.”
“You will tell me the new stories of Myall.”
“I promise,” Holden said.
Bria closed her eyes, silently pledging to tell Holden of the star child she carried when he honored his vow to return.
Keep on writing.
Jo Hawk The Writer