She was an Astronaut and He was a Poet


She was an astronaut and he was a poet. He's known of her since elementary school.He's known her since before he knew of the words he should've used to describe the way she jumped off the jungle gym like Armstrong stepping on the moon for the first time, like she was born to float in space. She was weightless, but when they first began, what bound her to him was how they both loved the idea of other worlds. Years later, she was the one that would teach him about the stars, when he was tired of writing poetry about heartbreak. She met him in junior high, and knew he was different from the way he spent too much time in the library and thought before he spoke. She got closer to him, library aisle by library aisle.  She found herself drawn to him, and instead of looking for nonfiction about Apollo 11, she soon began looking for his back hunched against the bookcases.She thought she knew about gravity until she heard the weight of his poetry. She... was a poem he had lost the first draft of. He always had to remember how exactly he felt like when he saw her for the first time-but through different eyes, even though he didn't believe in reincarnation. It was painful because he always thought the first draft was the best one..but he learned to love her over and over again, metaphor by metaphor. She started to think there was nothing poetic about science. When she lost her dad, she realised life wasn't a sci-fi movie. Electrochemistry and enzymes and organic based compounds didn't bring people back to life but they did bring her closer to space. She stopped reading, and left the silhouette of him against the bookcase for her textbooks and NASA tours. He noticed she was gone on a rainy day and wondered if the clouds were weeping for her too. He thought about it, but pushed the idea away when he realised she was on her way to a place where the rain couldn't touch her anymore. He was no prince charming in the beginning, or even now, so when he saw her hurting for the first time, he let her mend herself. He would fill the years between them with reading the stories she'd miss while chasing her dreams.She wanted badly to float away, but he brought her back to Earth again. She almost forgot about him until she saw his back in the University cafe, and remembered all the stories that made the world she still didn't understand a little easier to swallow.When he smiled up at her for the first time in years, like he had been waiting all along, she remembered how strange but wonderful it was for electrons to dance as they fell and rose from one energy level to the next. He had written a poem for everyday she had been gone. He had wanted to explain all the things the science textbooks couldn't and why no scientist had ever figured out how to stop hearts from hurting.  Even though she wasn't religious, sheshe was close to the stars and the planets, he had somehow found a way to be closer to God.

Together, they found a way to cheat pain and realized that when they couldn't be together, she should cry only when she was aboard the ISS so that the 0-gravity could wipe away her tears in his place. They whispered under the night sky about their plans, and made wishes on the stars even though they knew every star was nothing but a pinhole giving them a glimpse of heaven.


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