The Moon - Excerpt from TINT

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"Is this almond milk?" I took a sip of the hot chocolate Aaron gave me.

"Yeah, that's all they had . . . Normal milk is bad for you anyway." He laughed at the look of disgust on my face and sat down next to me. "So," he tapped on the arms of the chair, "nice place to be stuck in right?"

I had been thinking that since the moment I arrived. Every detail of the cabin felt like it belonged in a fairy tale. The high ceilings and medieval-styled chandeliers perfectly complimented the stone walls and dark timbered floors.  

But the most magical aspect, and my favourite part was the glass wall that overlooked the mountains. During the day, it brought in this incredible natural light that blessed the common area with the sun's warmth. Though nothing could quite compare to the view at night. Even though we were snowed in, the sky was a painted beauty.

The stars flickered like candlelight, and the moon sat proudly as a guardian of the night. I was transfixed at the scene. I could have stayed there for hours, looking up in wonder.

When I was younger, I thought I was going to grow up and become a scientist. There was a fourth-grade project that opened my eyes to mysterious things outside of this world. We learnt about the stars, the planets and the solar system.

Little Maria had no idea that everything was so big. That night she took her mum outside with her to gaze at the stars. She saw the small red-tinted dot in the sky, pointed and said, "That's Mars!"

As her mother later went inside, Maria continued to sit, eyes sparkling and mind wandering around the galaxy. Her favourite was the moon. It couldn't have been a more perfect night. The sky was clear of any cloud, and the moon was at the peak of its cycle. She imagined many others before her, who would have seen what she was seeing at countless moments in time.

She wondered of all the stories the moon would have been able to tell, for it had been there since the beginning of time. And she was lucky enough to be part of it too. She was an extra page in the moon's story, so she wanted to make it a good one.

For a while, every night, she would sit outside and talk to the moon. She would talk about her day, about her friends, and what she learnt in school. It was her special friend. Sometimes her mum would join in as well, but she didn't seem as excited as Maria was, so she oftentimes left her to it.

Though as the years carried on and Maria grew older, she didn't feel like talking anymore. When her father left, she tried her best to help her mother get through it. The thing about the moon was that it could never talk back. But it was there to listen.

And there the moon was. It had been years since I even looked at it for more than a few seconds. Left completely forgotten about until that moment, where I felt that same sense of comfort I remembered from when I was a child.

For once, the memory of my past didn't make me sad. I felt enveloped with a warmth that I had missed for the longest time. I looked back at my life, and everything I had gone through, and for the moment, I felt proud of myself for getting through the pain, for still being there, just like the moon.

"What're you thinking about?"

I snapped out of my daydream and sighed into a smile, "I really like it here."

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