Binary Stars

Ella stood on the corner, waiting for the WALK light. She must feel safe for the moment, for the hood of her puffy black parka has it’s faux fur lined hood down. It always comes up when she is afraid.

I watch the cold wind whip her wild and frizzy black curls, like tendrils climbing towards the too bright light of the street light above her head, things lost in the night that are starved for luminescence.

Binary stars, she said once. We are binary stars. Watching a space documentary about stars stuck in mutual orbit. We spin and circle around each other, never able to let go, to leave the other. Bound forever.

Or like another kind of binary star, one who has collapsed into a singularity, a black hole. Draining the light from the other. One of us is almost always in singularity, sucking the light from the other.

There is a smattering of flurries, glittering in the too bright street light, white on white. Some fall in Ella’s dark, dark hair, and are white petals for a moment before melting away.

Her parka keeps the flurries, those glittering jewels. Part of the magic. She said she has a friend who is a real magician that put a spell of protection on it, like armor from one of those old Dungeons and Dragons games.

The hood, with it’s caramel latte colored faux fur lining, is down, which means she feel safe in the moment. She must believe in the spell. I want to believe in the spell. The hood is down, meaning she feels safe.

I walk beside her, take her gloved hand into mine. On this dirty street with it’s piles of black snow, and squat and ugly red brick buildings, at the end of a bitter, bitter year for us and the world, things seem alright.

Binary stars, spinning away into the night, as the WALK sign comes on. We walk hand in hand, never free of the other, bound forever in the night and the cold and in the sky. No singularity sucks us away tonight.

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