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Where The Heart Is

The moon is very pretty tonight. Nighttime walks are the best, it’s the only time I can really think for myself and relax. The town is a lot different at night, the only ones still awake are the cats and the bugs. They like me, and I like them too. Every once in a while I’ll run into a person though, and usually they ruin everything and take me back to my house. There’s someone laying on the ground in the park right where I usually sit to stargaze…

“Do you like stargazing too?” I ask hesitantly.

“I do. It’s nice.” Her voice is very pretty.

She looks at me and grins before asking, “What are you doing out and about so late, kid?”

“I don’t know,” I mumble. She’s probably going to ruin everything just like the rest.

She sits up and pats the ground next to her. “Don’t worry, I can keep a secret.”

Nervously, I sit down next to her. She smiles and then looks up at the sky again. She seems nice.

“Do you know about any constellations, kid?”


“Well tonight’s your lucky night, because there’s a rare one out right now. You see these stars?”

She traces lines between some stars with her finger.

“If you connect them, you get the goat. He likes to hide a lot so you can barely see him.”

“Why does he hide?”

“They say it’s because his father wanted to kill him, so he hid among the stars.”

“Oh…” I looked away, but she patted my shoulder reassuringly to get me to look up again.

“And this one…” She traces more lines with her finger. “…is the dolphin! He saved some guy’s life and got put up there as a reward.”

“That’s silly!”

“Right?” she chuckled. “One more. Connect these stars here… what do you think it is?”

“It looks kinda like a bird.”

“That’s right! That’s the eagle soaring in the sky. They say he carried a boy all the way to the top of a huge mountain for someone important.”

“That sounds nice…” I look over at the empty house next to the park wistfully. She puts her hand on my shoulder again and stands up.

“So what’s the story with this house?” She walks over to it and touches the wall. “Is it about a girl?”

I blush and turn away. “She left.”

“I see,” she says with a compassionate tone. “She must be important to you.”

I had been trying not to think about her anymore. Her family moved away without telling anyone and nobody knows where they went. Remembering her only makes me sad now, so I hide my face.

“Hey, how about you come back here tomorrow? I’ll show you something nice.”

I quietly nod my head.

“Alright! I’ll see you then.” She pats my head as she walks away. “Get a good night’s sleep, kid.”

I manage to sneak out of the house before my parents wake up. The sun is really beating down today, it’s crazy hot. I wonder what she’s going to show me? Suddenly I hear an engine start up nearby.

“Hey, kid!” says the lady from yesterday as she approaches on a motorcycle. “What do you think?”

My eyes widen, taking in the details of the bike. “I’ve never seen one of these in real life before…”

“Really?” she says, turning the engine off and dismounting. “Well I’m glad I can show you something new!”

“This is so cool…” I can only imagine what it must feel like to ride one of these. I never even had a pedal bike before.

“Why don’t you take a seat?”

My eyes widen even more. I look at her for approval and she smiles and nods at me before I nervously climb onto the bike.

“Know anything about riding one of these?” she says, moving to the front of the bike.

“I know how to turn, and this twists to make it go, and…” My eyes shift between the two levers on the handlebars. “…one of these is the brakes.”

“Very good. The brake is on the right, but that’s only for the front wheel. The rear brake is that lever under your right foot.”

“So what’s this left lever for?”

“That’s the clutch, you pull that before changing gears. And to do that, you use the lever under your left foot.”

After spending a few minutes getting acquainted with the controls and chatting with the lady, I hear my parents slam the house door and shout my name. I freeze up and try to hide my fear, but then I feel something on my head. The lady put a helmet on me and climbs onto the bike with me.

“What do you say we take it for a spin?”

Before I can stammer out a response, she started the engine, put her hands on mine and we started moving. The shouting of my parents quickly faded into the distance as she guided my hands and took us racing down the road. I tried to say something but the roar of the engine and the wind in my face totally drowns out my voice.

“Don’t worry,” I hear her saying softly, “Just focus on the road, you’ve got it.”

She takes her hands off mine and… after the first few terrifying seconds, I was riding on my own. All my confused and fearful thoughts melted away as the exhilaration surges through me. I rode faster and faster, just focusing on moving forward with no care for where I was going. She started tapping my shoulders to let me know when to turn as minutes became hours until we stopped in front of a small house.

“Well, here we are,” she says while helping me off the bike.

The door of the house opens and I see my girlfriend run out to greet me. How did this lady know where she moved to?

“Who are you, lady?”

“Just a wandering eagle.”

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