The Light of 1,000 Stars Prose in The Offenders' Neighborhood | World Anvil

The Light of 1,000 Stars

As Told by Theo

Written by Jacqueline Yang
First dates are scary. But first official dates are even more so. You see, sneaking around is hard, but sneaking around with criminal parents who taught you how to sneak; that's even harder. Thankfully, Sabrina and I don't have to do that anymore. We can date without having to be worried about getting caught.   Unfortunately (or fortunately, I'm still not sure) that means I need to step up my game. You see, Romance is extremely hard. Especially for a guy who already has a high bar. Gosh, darn it, I did too good on that first Unofficial Date. So, I started thinking of creating the perfect Official First Date.   Step 1: Ask her out.

Step 2: Try to get her to say yes, unless she's grumpy. In which case give up and try again later.

Step 3: Proceed to dating spot.

Step 4 : Pray step five goes well.

Step 5: Tell her you think you love her.

  I started with Step 1 when Sabrina and I were still living out of a hotel. She came into the hotel room that night looking tired. Because she look tired I was scared to ask. Did being tired count as grumpy? Should I ask anyways and just go for it? What if she said no? Maybe I should just let her go to bed and rest?   "Are you okay?" I asked, "You seem tired."   She shrugged, "I am, but I'm mostly fine. Just tired of stuff in general." She plopped onto her hotel bed and sighed, "I want to get out of this hotel. I think the staff is starting to get a little suspicious of us."   I nodded and, in my extremely, well-planned out, perfect first date state of mind, decided to continue with Step 2, so I said, "You know, there's this cool little picnic place down by Sorrell Drive. Wanna check it out?"   She gave me a look, "Are you seriuos?"   I nodded, "Yeah, it'll be fun And besides, now that we're not under our parents rules, we can make it our first date."   She sighed and rolled away, "Not today, Theo. I'm tired and I really don't think we should be going out."   I stared at her. Crap. What was I supposed to do now? Just wait until we saved up enough money to get an apartment? I doubted that was going to happen soon. I loved being with Sabrina, but I hated being with her in this hotel room. It was cramped and small and had gotten a strange smell.   I wanted to surprise her with a fun night, but maybe I should wait. Give her some space. Even if I loved surprising her with supposedly spontaneous dates, maybe she didn't like it.   So I sat back down on the bed and accepted it. Maybe it was time to start planning the dates and saving up for an apartment.   Then I heard Sabrina shift in her bed. I looked up and found her staring at me.   "Aren't you going to ask me again?"   "What do you mean?"   "Well, why aren't you asking me to go out with you? The last time we went out, you practically begged me. Why aren't you doing it this time?"   What was I hearing? Of course! My darling, fantastically, lovely girl wanted a show. How could I have been so silly.   I grinned, "Oh, my darling Sabrina. My princess. My lady. My queen of this one hotel room with the strange stain behind the door, I beg of you to go out with this lowly peasant. Please, spare me a moment of your time. Give me the gift of your gaze for one night. I beg of you--"   "Okay, okay, Theo." Sabrina said. Her face pink. "That was a lot more than what I was expecting." She giggles.   "I try." I said, before pausing, "Sabrina, will you go on a date with me?"   She nodded, "I would love to."   I grinned, "I'm so glad you said yes. Because I already packed us dinner." I smiled and pulled out a picnic basket from inside a suitcase.   She gave me a confused look, "How did...? What? Never mind. Let's go." She gave me a beautiful smile as we left our hotel room.   She was impressed. Step 2 completed.   It took a bit of a drive to the picnic place considering it was a little out into the country. Growing up in part of the city and in criminal homes getting out wasn't something Sabrina or I did often. So going out into the country was always a fun experience.   When Sabrina got out of the car, she took a deep breath, "It smells so nice out here. Like earthy, you know?" She blushed.   I smiled and took out the lunch basket, "Okay, so there's a lake nearby, and I thought we'd eat there."   "Oh, a lake. Maybe we can swim in it!" Sabrina said, starting down the dirt path.   I shrugged and took her hand, "I wouldn't mind. Maybe I'll chase you around with some seaweed, too."   She pulled her hand away, "Don't you dare!"   I laughed, "It was a joke!"   "It better be." She said, but held my hand again after a few mintues.   The lake looked like a clear glass mirror when we arrived. I took a deep breath in. Step 3 Accomplished. My nerves started to get to me. Should I tell her--?   "It's beautiful." Sabrina said, "Let's take a swim!"   I glanced down at her, "Without your swimsuit?"   She looked down at her T-shirt, "Yeah, why not?"   I shrugged, "I mean, sure, whatever you want."   She laughed and shouted, "Race you to the lake!"   She beat me, of course, she had a head start. She hit the water before me. I followed seconds behind, scooping her up and swinging her around.   "Theo!" She squealed, "put me down." She giggled, as I set her down. She stared up at me with her gorgeous green eyes. Her hair already a frizzy mess. I bent down to kiss her, but ended up with a mouthful of lake water.   "Hey!" I sputtered, "get ready to pay for that!" I swam after her, deeper into the lake, where I splashed her back. We went back and forth like this for hours. Part splashing, part sputtering. The other part playing Marco Polo, and 'who can swim fater'. (I won that one).   Once the sun had started to set, Sabrina climbed out of the lake shivering. I pulled her into a hug. "Cold?"   She nodded, her teeth already chattering. I should have brought a towel or something I thought.   "I'm sorry I didn't think to bring a towel or--"   "No! It's okay." She said, "Don't worry about it. I jumped in the lake first anyways." She gave me a smile and sat next to the picnic basket, "I'm hungry. What'd you bring?"

  I eagerly sat next to her nad pulled out some sandwiches, chips, and cake. Simplicity at its finest.

We talked while we ate. Mostly small talk. The nice weather. Horrible people at work. What our criminal familes were possibly doing and if any of them had landed in prison. The normal stuff.

We probably should have started back, but I didn't want to. I would have liked to stay out there with Sabrina forever. Just being with her was a gift I didn't deserve. I almost didn't want to do Step 5. What if it ruined the date? What if she didn't love me back? Maybe I should wait. It was our first date after all.

It was too stupid and implusive to do it so soon into our dating relationship. I could wait. Besides, she might not love me anyways.

We waited by the lake enjoying each other's company until the stars came out. We both sat looking up at their magnificence. Too numerous to count, and almost too beautiful to describe. The most beautiful, breath-taking, celestial beings were in my sight, but I couldn't justify looking at them, when the most beautiful being was lying right beside me.

  She glanced over at me and smiled. That one look made my brain stop functioning. My breath was gone and my heart stopped beating.

  Sabrina stared back up at the sky. The stars were beautiful. No doubt about that. But Sabrina was gorgeous.

  Her lips formed a small smile that alone could brighten my day more than the sun ever could. Her freckles were splashed across her face; the way the stars seemed to be splashed across the night-time canvas. Her hair was still slightly wet, and hanging down in loose, messy curls. Her eyes reflected the shimmer of the stars. She sat there looking up, while she glowed like the moon.

  I would much rather look at her for a second than at the stars for a thousand years.

Part 1:

Just One Night. . .
Prose | May 2, 2024

Starring Theo and Sabrina (Part 1 in A Series of Starry Nights) It's called an "Unofficial First Date"

Part 3:
Dancing in the Dark
Prose | May 6, 2024

Starring Theo and Sabrina (Part 3 in A Series of Starry Nights) A night of love, peace, and contentment


Author's Notes

Done in honor of Adventures in Romance

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Apr 28, 2024 22:12 by Ephraïm Boateng

This is a fantastic short story. I loved it. Nicely written, realistic (and funny) dialogue and vivid descriptions. Theo's inner monologue after each step, and when he though he had failed at step 2 (Ouch) is pretty funny and realistic too. You also got me curious about part 1, so I'll read that too ;)

Apr 28, 2024 22:22 by Jacqueline Yang

Thank you! That's really sweet.   And I actually have a part 3 coming up so look forward to that!

Apr 28, 2024 22:25 by Ephraïm Boateng

I will. I would love to see more of these two!