We were on a white sandy beach. Before us, the azure ocean shone unusually brightly under the grinning moon. Swathes of countless stars were smeared accross the sky and the waves whispered gently, lapping the shore. Faint echoes of singing whales could be heard, complemented by occasional birdsong.
Katrina rested her head on my chest and sighed happily. The gentle wind carried traces of her lovely flower-like scent. Her hair was like her eyes: soft, brown, and beautiful. A calm smile played upon her rosy lips. "Tell another one."
"Okay, see this group here?" I asked, waving abstractly at a random collection of stars.
"Yes," she lied; she never understood constellations. "It's pretty." She squeezed me. "What's its story?"
"Well the indigenous people of Polynesia call it Anirtak, after one of their goddesses. She was the most beautiful of all the goddesses and kept the men happy with boutiful harvests if they planted flowers in her honor. When the flowers are plentiful, the joyous butterflies hang the constellation of Anirtak in the sky, and the farmers know the harvest will be good."
"Wow, that's interesting," Katrina said in mild wonderment. "How do you know all this stuff?"
I laughed shortly and confessed, "I made that one up."
She giggled. "I didn't think Anirtak sounded like a real word, but then again I'm not familiar with Polynesia."
"Anirtak is really just your name spelled backwards," I revealed.
She shook her head, amazed. "How do you come up with these things?"
I shrugged and shook my head contentedly, and gave her a little squeeze of my own. "You do one."
"Me? I couldn't!" Katrina cried.
"Oh, come on. Just try. It isn't very hard, you know."
She stared into the stars for a moment. "Alright, that one there." She pantomined a vague heart-shape in the air. "It's also from Polynesia, the natives call it...the Tell-Tale Heart. The butterflies hand it when the villagers begin telling their fantastic stories after the harvest." I smiled at her cleverness. "Sometimes, if a story-teller is really good, he gets put into the sky, too."
"Oh? Does he get put in the middle of the heart?" I asked, amused.
"No, silly." She hugged me again. "He gets put right next to Anirtak, whom he has made very happy." I looked at her, shining in the moonlight, and had to grin.
We sat in silence for a few moments listening to the whales' song. After some length, I sighed and said,"I love it here."
She nodded. "It certainly is beautiful isn't it?"
"It is," I agreed. I stared at her. I didn't love it here because it was so lovely and so peaceful; I loved it here because I was with her. We locked eyes, and for that infinite moment, we thought the same thought. I felt warm and tingly and we traded that special, secret smile that only young lovers know, and we held each other.
After another drawn out silence, she said, "You have to go soon."
"I know." I nodded and smiled sadly.
"You'll be back?"
"Of course!" I grinned reassuringly.
"Good." With her angelic smile, she kissed me. "I love you."
"I love you," I whispered back.
Suddenly, the sky faded, the ocean disappeared, and the singing whales stopped. I was back in my dark room. Outside my window, lightning flashed and thunder fan-fared. It would storm today--again, as it hadfor the last three days; as it had since Katrina had died.
My alarm went off. The radio announced that more soldiers would be called up. There would be a war soon. Its blabbering shifted to talks on the ever-feeble economy, and how the recession was only going to get worse. I shut it off quickly and rose from my bed. I stared out into the brewing tumult, knowing that beyond the sheets of rain, angry traffic was flowing into the grayish city. I thought of my angel, Katrina. I imagined her next to me, holding my hand, encouraging me. And I couldn't help but smile.
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