The date had gone well.
She wore her prettiest purple coat, the one her sister had given her, brand new and pressed clean.
He picked her up at the right time, and he kissed her during the movie.
Afterwards, they wandered for hours through the city streets, gazing up at the pitch black sky.
I'm so happy right now, he said.
I feel so
She had nodded.
She wore her prettiest purple coat, the one her sister had given her - her sister loved purple and pink.
Five years old, bouncing on the bed, her sister grabbed the puffy dress-up dress they shared.
I get to be the princess!
Four years old, cross-legged and still, she pulled up the crinkled white sheet and wrapped it around her shoulders.
I get to be the goddess.
It worked for both of them.
I feel so alive, he said.
You, in that coat.
You're so beautiful and alive.
His arms were inside her coat, wrapped around her waist, and she looked over his shoulder.
The sky wasn't pitch black after all, it was gray without color, swirling thickly where it hung below the stars.
Blinking color, red and purple and green, framed the moon instead.
Cars roared past without breath, tossing her long loose hair to the side, hugging the coat tighter around the two of them.
The city was alive around them, and the moon hung dead in the sky.
Four years old, hair braided for bed, sheets draped around her pajamas.
Her sister, framed against the open window.
When you wish upon a star, she sings, off-tune as she gathers up the pouffy skirt in her hand.
There are no stars outside of that window.
Not even when she turns her head, her eyes, so so careful not to rustle the sheets.
No stars; only the moon.
When he drives her home, he gives her a goodnight kiss.
Tonight was good, he murmurs.
Her sister watches from the golden window; she flings open the door to let her in.
Did you have a good time, did you, did you?
Face pulled up into lines, bright smile, fingers running over the beautiful coat.
Did you, did you?
She shrugs the coat closer.
I felt alive.
Midnight, perched on the edge of the bed, the coat glowing purple like a heart on the white bedsheets, and her sister braiding her hair.
Bedtime, you're tired, tell me everything tomorrow.
I'll tell you everything tomorrow.
The window is open, the breeze on her hair less and less.
She uses her shirt to dry off the tears down her face.
I felt alive, she sobs.
I felt alive.
Outside, no stars, only the moon.
She can't sleep.
Her dreams feel too alive, even when she wraps the sheets around her shoulders and wishes the colors away.
The breeze is cool through the window when she stands, and she thinks she might shiver.
She grabs the coat on the way out, flings it on, the purple princess coat barely holding on to the ice white sheets.
Out in the garden, the trees are black, and she can't see the city's stars, but there is the moon, always, there is the moon.
She gives up on warmth; she lets the coat slip off.
Her and her sheet, under the moon.