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Starry Night

Glenda Gaynor

     Starring Lake was just another lake to everyone in the burb's of Minnesota, it was surrounded by big beautiful trees that have been there for hundreds of years. The water in the lake was definitely water you didn't want to be swimming in, but it still looked beautiful. Nearby the lake, resided many huge houses that overlooked the lake from where they stood. If you were there, lost on the path somewhere hidden under the trees, you felt as if you were all alone.

      Christine and James had been together for almost a year. Next week would be the couple's one-year anniversary. This would be their last month together before Christine went away to school. Christine was going to the same school her mother attended, Vanderbilt University. It was expected that Christine go there. James had decided to stay at home and work with his father at the restaurant their family owned. He was putting pressure on Christine not to go to school because it was too far for him to see her often. Even though the two were quarreling, they ate another Sunday night dinner with James's family at their restaurant. Christine always joined them for dinner on Sunday. Something about their family restaurant felt like home to her. She was really going to miss Sunday night dinner. James's grandmother used to tell a story after dinner. She had some of the greatest stories.

     As Christine was helping James's mom clear the table, Grandma told her to sit down and listen to the story. She sat next to James, and he put his arm around her and said he was sorry for badgering her about going away. James whispered in Christine's ear, "I love you."

     Tonight Grandma told the story of Starring Lake. Christine and James like to go there to take walks every now and then. "When your grandfather and I were growing up, this wasn't what it is now, it was a beautiful prairie. Nothing surrounded Starring Lake except for those beautiful trees. There were very few roads running through these parts as well. I first met your grandfather at Starring Lake. It was late in the afternoon. He lived not too far from our house. I decided I was going to walk to Starring Lake to look for berries. It was about a mile and a half from my house, but it was a beautiful day. The blue sky was shining and the sun too. I had gone to the lake to look for some berries, mom was making jelly, and he was just fishing off one of the docks. He was a sight for sore eyes that afternoon, just sitting on the dock with his feet dangling in the crystal clear water, only wearing his shorts." Grandma had a cute voice which started trembling as a tear formed in her blue eyes. Grandma had been happy all her life, but she missed grandpa.

     "Grandma..." James sympathized.

     "And that is when I decided to go say hello. We were about the same age as you two. When I muttered hello, I kind of scared him and the fish away because he jumped in the air. After that I asked him if I could sit with him for a minute or two, at least till the fish came back. We just started to talk, and before we knew the afternoon was gone. Later that day is where I got my first kiss, sitting on the dock of the lake with my future husband."

     "That is such a beautiful story, it must have been something else growing up somewhere that was beautiful and innocent," said Christine.

     Grandma responded, "Yes, it sure was beautiful, but you to can have that kind of happiness if you want it." Christine was confused by James's Grandma, but she just smiled anyway.

     Later after dinner, Christine and James decided to go for one of their walks. They went to Starring Lake. They enjoyed taking walks together fairly often. Although tonight, James was still frustrated about Christine, and Christine was off in lala land thinking of the story that was told at dinner. One thing Christine was always thinking was how they couldn't see all the stars, but the ones they did see they just looked at in amazement. "Just think James, when your grandma was here, imagine how many stars she and your grandfather saw that one night they met. I would love to have seen what it was like, back then." They walked around the lake and stopped at the same dock every time to sit and talk. They would sit on the dock for at least an hour, and then finish the walk and James would drive Christine home.

     "Christine, I really want you to be happy, but can you be happier at a school closer to home?"

     "James, it is the school my mom went to, I feel like I have to go there. It is not like I really have a choice. Please don't get on my case again about it."

     "You have had plenty of time to think about all of this. Please don't go! I love you. I don't know what I will do without you by my side, or nearby." James was starting to get tears in his eyes. Christine looked over to him, and reached out her arms to hold James.

     "James, I love you too, but you need to give me some time to think things over. I just don't know what to tell my parents, I think they will be very disappointed in me. And if I do go away to school, that doesn't mean that I will stop loving you!"

     All of the sudden, James and Christine saw what looked like a spark come from the lake. And as they slowly turned around, everything looked different. Nothing looked the same. James looked down at the water. "Christine, look at the water, it actually looks clear. And look behind you, it looks as if that prairie goes on for miles. At least what you can see in the dark." They both just sat there on the dock stunned, both speechless and wrapped in each others arms. All of the houses were gone, the only thing that looked the same was the beautiful trees and the dock.

     They both got up to look around some more, to see what had happened. "I can't believe this, it is like your grandma said at dinner, this lake really is magic."

     "She just says that because this is where she met my grandpa. You don't really believe that do you?"

     "Well then, Einstein, how do you explain this?"

     Just as James was about to reply back with some little smart-ass comment, he looked to the sky, and he was spellbound by all the stars that he could see, "What happened to the sky, it is as if all the city lights are gone." James sputtered. The sky was twinkling with many bright and shooting stars.

     "It is even more beautiful than I imagined. James, I think this means something, maybe I am supposed to stay here and be with you forever, like your grandparents. If there was only way to make my mom understand."

     James walked over to the shore of the lake, where he saw a flower or two, and he picked them and placed them in Christine's beautiful sparkling brunette hair. The flowers pulled out the blue in her eyes. The two decided to enjoy the night and stay under the stars.

     Christine turned to James to speak, "James, this is so weird, but it is just for us. What happens tonight no one else will ever believe or know about. This is our Starry Night."

     All of the sudden Christine looked up to the sky. Christine was still spellbound by the stars. She had never been in the country, or anywhere where she could see the stars so clearly. She caught something in the corner of her eye. It turned out to be a shooting star. She quickly showed James, and the two embraced each other tightly both wishing the night would never end. They fell asleep in each others arms, sung to sleep by the lapping of the water on the shore.

     Christine and James found themselves being awoken by the bright and cheery sun. They looked at each other with the same smile they fell asleep with. They had not forgotten what happened last night. They both sat up, noticing the flowers still in Christine's hair. They decided to walk back to the car. While they were walking to the car, Christine decided to talk to her parents and see what they think if she didn't go to Vanderbilt University, it wasn't going to be easy, but it had to be done.

     When the two got in the car, the radio went on as the engine began to warm up, the DJ on the station said, "Good morning to all, it is going to be a beautiful Sunday with highs in the 80's." Christine and James both turned to look at each other and smile, for they knew that tonight would be another Starry night!


I would like to thank my wonderful friends, who helped me and encouraged me with my writing. I also would like to thank my classmates who helped me with revisions of this story. Without all of these people this story would not have possible.

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