What does love look like? Recently I found myself staring out my bedroom window late at night in a dreamy sort of state. Seeing as I was never wont to do this before, the other members of the colony noticed when walking down the hall (rooms are without doors you see). Nothing was said, only looks and whispers of curiosity.
Life passed much like that for a while with Dusty. One day he met a girl for lunch at the café. Dusty did, my Dusty. I felt my heart break in two but could only watch from affair in between work routes. I couldn’t even keep a constant eye on him or her. Maybe she’s just a friend? They talked and laughed then parted ways, by all accounts innocently. Dusty walked back to his big building full of possible jobs. I felt no better. That night I looked out the window in my room and cried. I could not sleep or even move; seeing, thus knowing, we were still under the same star littered sky gave me comfort and connection to the man who, undoubtedly by now, had my heart.
A knock on the door frame. Wiping my cheeks, I glanced to see an elder waiting for an invitation to enter. I bade him come in but moved little from my vantage point. As I noted before, my race is one big family. Everyone born before is either your older sibling or parent; everyone born after is your younger sibling or child. So reluctantly, like a child, I turned towards my father. “I’ve heard you crying for some time now,” he said. “What is the cause?” He spoke kindly, folding his hands behind his back as he awaited my answer.
Looking at the ceiling, I sighed. “I think I’m in love.”
He laughed. “With who?”
“A boy,” I curled my toes in embarrassment at confessing my affections out loud for the first time.
A combination of questions crossed the elder’s expression. “A boy… Where?”
“5th and Western.”
“A human boy?”
I hesitated, already seeing the end. “Yes,” I answered. “But –”
His look silenced me alone. “Angel…” he smiled. “A human boy? Love?” He scoffed, but seeing my expression grew serious. “Initially such a little thing wouldn’t warrant attention, but crying? Over him I can only assume. I’m concerned.”
“There is no need to be.”
Pursing his lips he continued. “The bottom line is this: it’s affecting your work ethic. Lack of sleep, emotional instability, distraction throughout the day,” he looked up sharply. “What are you thinking?”
Shifting uncomfortably, I smiled. “I don’t know. I’m sure if he knew me, he would like me. We would talk and –”
“But you cannot,” he interrupted.
“Why?”I found his eyes and refused to let go.
“You are a foolish, selfish girl. Let it be.”
“No.” I said.
He blinked twice. To go against a family member’s wish was to go against your very self, your very nature. “You should concern your life with other things than luxuries such as love. Family comes first, not strangers you don’t know anything about.”
“But I know a lot about him!” I pleaded. “I know he has a sweet tooth and always takes cream and sugar in his coffee, plus caramel. I know what book he’s reading right now. I know what music he likes. I know he works in a big building two blocks from his favorite coffee shop. I know –”
“All from observation. Spying on the man while he is none the wiser to your very existence –” he huffed, furrowing his eyebrows. “Nothing will come of it.”
“I’m not so sure.” I said, turning back to the window.
“You will learn the hard way,” the elder promised as he left the room. “You will learn and forget.”
The next day changed everything.