The journey is more fun with friends you can stand by.

Reforging Bonds February

Empty Sky

What lies beyond the end of everything you used to know?

“I just… don’t know what to do anymore,” I mutter to myself, barely audible as I grip my head inside the palm of my hands. Today I’m meeting in the park with a good friend of mine named Ashin, but I jokingly call him “sempai” since he has a tremendous amount of wisdom for someone so much younger than me.

“Alright then, Keir, so tell me again from the beginning, what is it that you’re so uncertain about?” Ashin inquires as he leans forward on the park bench we share. I unconsciously sigh as my body tenses up. My thoughts linger on where to start this tale as the clear blue afternoon air prepares itself for the night.

“…Before I met you and everyone else, I was part of a different friend group. ‘Friend group’ is a generous term though: we were all together because of one person: her. And when I thought about it back then, it all seemed so simple and clean. She was someone who made me feel safe and certain, and the first person in a long time to have me open up and become closer to my authentic self. Through my experiences with her, I found out I was someone who had a lot to say, and wanted to be heard because of it. It felt amazing, and I wanted more of that feeling… but the longer I observed, the less chances of this would ever come true. What she did made me feel special, but as it turns out, it was anything but. She treated everyone around her this way, and that’s why they all became enamored with her, just like I was. It sucked, because I knew my place, and it wasn’t to be anyone important in her life.”

I look up longingly at the sky, and Ashin’s head follows in suite.

“So if that’s the case, what’s the problem here, Keir? It just sounds like to me you had a case of the feelings and they didn’t pan out. It happens, so why are you so hardstuck on her?”

I sigh half-heartedly once more.

“That’s the thing, Ashin, I didn’t want to be anymore. But the more I tried to pull away, the deeper I let myself get ensnared. I told myself I was through with her, but subconsciously it was like I was waiting for her to reach out and bring me back in. To validate my existence and need me once more. And when of course it didn’t pan out, I wanted to be angry and upset at her for not paying me any heed, but then I would get angrier and angrier at myself because I was really just expelling my insecurities. The few times I did hang out with her afterwards, I felt like utter garbage. But even in my garbage self-esteem, the deepest part of me wanted to keep this going, liked it intrinsically believed it everything would work out… but I hated this feeling. I hated feeling like I’m waiting hands and knees for someone else to save me who never will. But without someone like her, I just wouldn’t know what to do…

I feel myself quivering restlessly when I feel a hand rest on my shoulder.

“Listen, Keir, I feel you, I really do. But I think… you’re too stuck in this moment to realize just how silly your feelings are right now. Take today for instance….” Ashin extends his arms outwards and to his sides as he rotates his body around. “When we met today, it was a bright and blue sunny day, right? Just like when you first met her? But take now for instance….” as Ashin rolls his head up to nod at the sky. “Right now it’s sunset, the last moment before to the night. The sunset is where you are now, and what you’re scared of is not the night, but traveling through the empty sky alone, right?”

My quivering stops as I tilt my head in response to Ashin’s metaphors, but he smiles and continues onward.

“What you’re failing to see… is what is in this empty sky!” Ashin declares in a loud tone as his index finger shoots straight into the heavens. Almost on command, the sun finally set below the horizon, and the night sky became to encompass the world above. I squint my eyes to adjust to the darkness, and slowly but surely, I see it.

“…A star?” I answer.

“Almost. Look closer. Or more precisely, look wider. “

I try to look “wider” as Ashin suggests, and then I see them. Not one, not two, not eight, not a hundred, but thousands if not millions of stars began to alight the night sky.

“A star is just a person that you haven’t met, an encounter you have yet to experience, or a dream you just haven’t realized yet. The empty sky you once feared is a tempest of stars waiting to explode into your life. But all that starts with you, Keir. Tell me, do you think you will get there by lingering in uncertainty with this girl forever? What if you just stopped, took a deep breath, and enjoyed yourself in the wonder of everything that has yet to be? Won’t you look back at this whole conversation and find it silly when you find an even nicer and more amazing girl in the not-so-distant future?”

Ashin then puts him hand down and places his elbows on the back of the park bench, and begins looking at me directly.

“So tell me Keir once more, and tell me with the upmost certainty: are you really someone with something to say? Will you make something worth acknowledging and respecting? Then prove it! Do you really need others to tell you how much you should love yourself and your own life? The world needs you more people like you, Keir: they need your voice, your actions, and your dreams far more than you can realize, but they will never happen if you stop here. I made my decision a long time ago, and now the choice comes to you: will you linger alone in the empty sky, or will you make a life worth living in this tempest of stars? “

This was a weekly crossover post between Sandbox Zero and the Altspace VR Writing Group.

This week’s topic is Influences on Creativity

  • When does monetization help or hurt the quality of creative work
  • When does knowledge-seeking help creative achievement? When does it postpone or hamper it?
  • What inspires you to create?

ASVR Writing Group’s Prompt was Talk about the future - emotionally..

So, you know, Atemosta has a lot of the same words as “A Tempest of Stars“… and it’s in the header images around this website, too. Huh, what a convenient coincidence…

edge-of-eclipse one-shots

Dialogue & Discussion