I hope you like this story- I’m really proud of it actually. Just want to give a content warning~
CW: personal loss, mention of suicide
The sky was a mural of patterned darkness, each patch unique in its own way, shimmering with the light of the stars that were so far away.
Prati stared up at the sky without blinking.
They were so untouchable, the stars. Nothing ever fazed them. They were always there, twinkling in the night sky and just out of reach during the day.
“I wish you’d come back,” Prati whispered to the empty winds, her words muffled by the breeze that sent goosebumps prickling down her arms.
The stars didn’t respond. Not that she had expected them too, of course. She just…
Prati sighed and sat up, brushing stray pieces of grass out of her hair. She was going crazy- talking to the stars about her problems and expecting them to respond.
She was lying in her backyard, the lawn under her hair. In the night it all looked black and blue, but in the daylight, her backyard was a gorgeous green with magnolia trees and gorgeous flowers in the garden.
Lately, Prati had taken to lying down in her backyard with the stars as her blanket when she couldn’t fall asleep. Which was almost every day.
It started five weeks ago, the night of the funeral. She couldn’t sleep that night after having to go to the function and paste a grateful smile on her face and accept everyone’s condolences when someone was dead, ok? She just couldn’t. And before she knew it, she’d found herself outside, laying on the grass, cradled in the arms of the earth and the sky- the two places she was the most comfortable with.
Prati hugged her knees to her chest, her flimsy cotton t-shirt doing nothing to keep her from the cold. Usually, it didn’t bother her, but tonight it was all she could think about.
Reluctantly, Prati got up and trudged inside, opening the patio door as quietly as possible and slinking inside to her room.
Prati opened the door and nearly shouted out loud when she saw someone sitting on her bed.
“Don’t worry, it’s just me,” the person said, and Prati immediately relaxed. The voice belonged to her older sister, Priya.
Prati closed the door behind herself and walked in slowly, sitting on the bed tentatively.
The two sat in silence for what seemed like hours before Priya broke the silence.
“I miss him too.”
Prati willed herself not to cry, blinking away the tears that formed in her eyes.
“I miss him every morning and every night,” Priya continued in a quieter voice. “And everything reminds me of him. It’s unbearable.”
Prati jerked towards her sister. “Why are you telling me this? If you’re trying to help, it’s not working, okay? It’s never going to be okay!”
Priya took Prati’s hand in her own, squeezing it gently. “Prati. By bottling it all up, you’re only going to be miserable. It’s okay to be sad right now- it’s normal. But sharing your emotions with someone will make it easier to bear.”
Prati could feel the tears building up and her throat tightened as she let out a choked sob and pressed her face with her hands.
“Maybe I- maybe I don’t deserve to be happy. Maybe I deserve to suffer through this. I would be happy and fine right now if I just talked to him and told him how much I loved him, maybe we could have had a family game time every week to make him remember how much we needed him and-”
Priya grabbed her sister’s shoulders, and when Prati lifted her eyes up to meet Priya’s, she was shocked by the intensity of her gaze.
“Stop! Prati, you need to stop. It’s not your fault! I- I thought that, too, for a little bit. If only I had stopped by his room that morning and talked to him a little bit about school, if only I had been there for him more so he could tell me what was going on in his life- but it doesn’t help, Prati. It doesn’t.”
Prati looked up at her sister with tear-stained cheeks and took in a deep breath.
“I just- I just miss him so much, Priya. He was so radiant and fun and eager and everything that I wished I could be. But- but he did it so much better, you know? He always knew how to make you laugh, how to console you, yet when he was the one who needed a shoulder to cry on, I wasn’t there.” Prati whispered, closing her eyes.
Priya was silent.
“Yeah. I miss him too,” Priya said. “And… And I’ve wondered a lot. About why he did it. Why he took his own life.”
Prati started ugly-crying, and the tears wouldn’t stop coming.
Priya pulled her little sister in closer, placing an arm around Prati and wiping her sister’s tears with her shirt.
“It’s not going to help us to keep wondering though,” Priya continued, stroking her sister’s hair. “What will help us is to remember him through action.”
Prati felt Priya’s hands being cupped around her chin and she looked up at her sister.
“We need to move on, Prati. Not forgetting him- that will never happen. We need to remember him at his best and worst and show him our love by moving on with our lives. That’s what he would want.”
“That’s what he would want,” Prati echoed. “That’s what he would want.”
“Come on,” Priya said, gently easing her sister off of her. “Let’s go get some air.”
The sisters walked quietly through the halls and out of the patio door, stepping outside to be met with the same stars as before.
How wonderful was it that in fifteen minutes someone’s whole life could change yet they would come back to see the same stars as before?
Prati silently sat down in the same spot she had sat at before, but now with her sister by her side.
They leaned on each other, gazing up at the night sky.
“Remember that time when Pranav convinced both of us to prank our dad with shaving cream on April Fool’s Day?” Prati said suddenly.
Priya laughed. “Oh yeah! And we got in trouble but it was totally worth it. And that time when we drove to Starbucks ourselves because Mom and Dad didn’t want us to drink sugar?”
Prati smiled, thinking about how they had had a sugar rush for the rest of the day.
“Mom and Dad could probably tell by how we were acting like five-year-olds,” Prati joked. “But Pranav was a master liar. He got us out of so many tricky situations.”
Priya smirked. “Oh, and when my boyfriend dumped me so you two cheered me up by making pancakes for dinner!”
“What about when Pranav ditched his friends to stay at home with me because I wasn’t feeling well?”
The two sisters continued sharing stories about their brother for a long time, joking around and remembering all the good memories they had of Pranav.
This time, Prati was sure that the stars were listening.
I hope you enjoyed the story! If you weren’t able to read it because of the content warnings, I totally understand and support you ❤
Did you enjoy this story? Have you ever experienced a personal loss?