Why do you look at the stars?

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Why a person constantly looks at the stars at night, when to another it seems but a pointless, meaningless act and a waste of time...

Submitted: July 13, 2008

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Submitted: July 13, 2008

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"Why do you look at the stars," he asked.

"Do they feed you,
do they clothe you,
do they protect you?"

"No."

"Then why do you bother?
It's pointless. Do something more useful."

Ka'shir returned his gaze.
"But they do offer me...," he lowered his voice, searching for a word - "... something."

Bash'ir remained silent; yet a hint of a smirk began to crawl across his face.

"Like what?"

Ka'shir lowered his gaze, and stared into the fire before him.

"I mean come on."
Bash'ir said, trying his best to hide the demanding tone.

"Those stars...
who cares about them.

They can't affect our lives here.

Do they pay for our bills?
Do they solve the... injustice in this country?
Do they bring in more money?
Do they help our ageing parents survive?

Tell me, what's the use.
What's the use.
You stare at those stars every night.

I... I just don't understand."

Bash'ir assessed Ka'shir, whose eyes remained fixed into the fire before him.

Bash'ir continued.
"Dude, don't get me wrong, but you need to understand your..., I mean our, place in society."

"See that castle over there?
Magisters there have the luxury to stare at those stars all night long if they wanted to.
I mean, who cares what they get up to in their spare time. Let them do what they fancy; their lives are all sorted out, they're fed and clothed by the Lords, they have nothing in the world to worry about."

He stared at Ka'shir.

"But you... YOU."

"Do you understand who you were born to?"

"I mean, we shouldn't even be having this conversation. You shouldn't be pointlessly staring at those stars so much. We've got work to do. We could be spending this time doing something more productive... useful."

Ka'shir finally broke out of his acquiescence.

"What do you mean," he gently whispered into the fire.

"What do you mean, by more 'useful'... what's the point? Does it matter if we earn a few less coppers?"

He looked up at the starry night sky.

"You don't understand do you," Bash'ir replied. "The world is a tough place. The world doesn't allow it. You'll starve. You'll have nothing to wear. Nothing will protect you from the weather, the authorities, the gangs. Nothing. Tell me, are those stars going to come and protect you then? Nope. You can't trust much in life. Only this."

He jingled his copper coins in front of Ka'shir.

Ka'shir sighed. It had been a gruelling day after all. All day he had worked hard, yet he had also seen too many injustices. He had even seen blood. No one in the world was honest; no one in the world seemed to truly care about anyone, especially those that were unrelated to them. They all just went about their busy daily lives, in pursuit of that jingle.

"You see Ka'shir... There is a reason why most people don't spend their lives looking at stars." said Bash'ir. He knew that Ka'shir was still young. He had much to learn...

"Because they never bothered to look up at what's above them every night," came the sharp reply.

Ka'shir fixed his gaze upon Bash'ir. Bash'ir frowned.

"Bash'ir, I've always wanted to ask you a question."

Bash'ir looked at him in silence.

"Why do you live?"

Bash'ir looked away. It was ... difficult. Had it been another night, he would've chided Ka'shir for asking yet more pointless questions. Yet tonight... he didn't know quite why, but he couldn't do that. Something in him was ringing. Perhaps, it was from the desperation he found in Bash'irs eyes, those wavering pupils waiting for a reply.

"I.. I-"

Ka'shir broke in.

"If all we live for is money. Just like all of them," He pointed at the shimmering township before them, "are we really living at all? If all we care about is money. Money, money, money, more money."

"Yes, I know money is important. I know what society deems high is generally for a reason."

"But I feel a lot of people miss out on many things in life."

"Many people don't seem to... simply to LOOK around them. Realise what a magnificent world we're living in. Experience the beauty that is resonant in our lives. Marvel at the wonders."

"Where has it all gone?" Ka'shir's eyes shimmered.

"Why, tell me why, why don't people care?" His trembling eyes reflected the moonlight.

Years of the apathy,
years of indifference of the world,
had taken its toll on Ka'shir. The world was now foreign to him; full of mindless zombies going about pointless daily lives.

"When I look at the stars Bash'ir," said Ka'shir, stifling a tear. "When I see the beauty, the wonder...
I, I...
I find something in it that is missing from this world."

"You know what?"
He could no longer suppress the hot tears flowing down his cheeks.
"When the world seems like such a drudge,
it is those stars that have given me hope.

For once,
here, way up there,
is something untainted by those greedy, dirty, selfish human hands.

They are precious jewels, yet no one cares about them - because they can't keep them, they're so far away. I know that they have no effect on our lives. But -" he grinned ever-so-slightly amid his tears,"in a way, that's why I love them so much."

Bash'ir looked away, and sighed. "You're crazy." He whispered, staring at the ground.

Ka'shir smiled.
"Then perhaps that's what I want to be."


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