24: A Wish on Galaxion

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I sat staring out the window at Atamanaa as it became a small blue dot amongst the stars. The blanket wrapped around my body smelled of old cheese, but at least it was warm. Novus had made everyone hot chocolate. He called it a special delicacy from Earth that only the finest chocolatiers could recreate. I didn't have the heart to tell him how easy it was to mix together water and a chocolate packet. Such news would have only hurt his moment of successfully preparing an edible dish that was not on fire. But despite Novus's attempt to impress us, it was sharing the moment with friends that made the hot chocolate taste better than anything on Earth. Everyone nervously stared at their drink.

"Is it safe?" asked Leo, swirling his spoon in the cup. "I was told you were a bad cook."

"Just drink it, sillies," said Novus. "But be careful. It's hot."

I watched everyone take their first hesitant sip of the drink. Their faces lit up with joy.

"Oh my gosh," cried Celeste, swallowing. "This is heaven!"

"Oh it gets better," said Novus dropping some mini marshmallows inside.

"Boy, I need to get sent to your planet more often," said Celeste smiling in my direction.

"Cheers to everyone!" said Jupiter raising his cup. "Cheers to Eddie for saving the stars and ending the Djinn's evil reign. Har har!"

Everyone joined in, but I wasn't very thirsty. I placed the cup on the stand by the window. Novus noticed my distress and came right over.

"What's up, Eddie?" He said softly. "Did I mess up the hot chocolate?"

"No," I said smiling. "It's delicious." I turned to the window and sighed.

"Something's wrong." Novus plopped himself on the seat next to me. "You can tell me. We are friends after all."

"I'm sad," I said, tilting my head on the glass. "I'm sad that this is all about to end."

"What do you mean?"

"I have to go back to my aunts, back to my miserable life. I know some people there are worried that I am gone, and besides I don't have Galaxion anymore to bargain with you for another trip."

"Hey, Eddie," said Novus placing his hand on my shoulder. "Galaxion was just a star, like every other star out there. I mean look." He motioned out of the window. "This universe is full of them and each one has the same potential as the other. Like you and me. Some stars shine brightly bringing light to the darkness; other stars draw pictures in the sky to tell us stories about things that are and things that were. There are even some stars that flicker and glow so that when we look into the sky at night we remember we are not alone. Sure. You and I may come from different worlds, different solar systems, and have different experiences, but we all share the same universe."

"What's that got to do with anything," I said twiddling my thumbs.

"What I'm trying to say, Eddie, is you taught me a valuable lesson. For years I have felt alone, lost. I thought I would never be truly happy again. Boy was I wrong. I realized I don't need to wish on a star to get what I want. I've had it here inside me this whole time." Novus placed his hand over his heart. "And Eddie, even if you go back to your aunts, I'm never far away. Earth may not be my home, but it is where my heart lives."

Suddenly a bright golden light zipped past the ship. Stella twisted the steering wheel narrowly avoiding a collision. Everyone jumped towards a window.

"What was that?" cried Leo pressing his face to the glass. "I promised my parents I wouldn't get into any more trouble."

"I don't know," said Jupiter looking out another window. "It went by so fast."

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