Kickoff written by ginevraustine

I saw the star falling

For those who are chasing for too long.

I was a kid when I met her—the hero of my life.

It might sound cheesy, but to me she was everything I ever wanted to be. Strong, beautiful, smart, and kind. I looked up at her from below where her feet stood, and the view was blinding. The star, the sun, or whatever the kid me would call her.

And during nights she sang me a lullaby; at mornings she delivered me a sweet kiss on forehead; at noon she guarded me from meanies. Whenever I stared at the mirror, I could see her staring back at me with proudness in her eyes. The gleam of her shield said, "it's fine. Keep going."

I was never a brave kid. Lonely at times, sad all the times. This life might take a toll on me but then again, as long as she was here with me, I felt like I could take on everything.

So I grew up; thinking that life is limitless.

I grew up; thinking we could be kids forever.

Nights after nights, the image slowly decayed. At first I thought I was just tired, and that the storm would soon pass so I could see her
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in the clear night sky again, since I began to forget how she looked. I missed her. I yearned for her smiles, her voice, her assurance. I really did. So I waited, I waited for another chance we could see each other again by the mirror.

She appeared once during one of the raining nights.

How she looked, however, wasn't how I used to remember.

Her skin was pale, scars were visible beneath her tattered clothes. Hair's thinning and bones sharp. She was also surprised to see me at the end of the line; the ghost of her lips whispered to me through the chilling breeze, "I'm fine. Keep going."

The next time I saw her again, it got gradually worse.

Her clear eyes had faded into hollow pits, as more flesh-open scars crossed her skin. She lost her shield and almost all the shining armors, limping barefoot to me and said, "it's going to be fine. Keep going."

And finally, the third time we meet again, I...

"Where have you been, Miss?"

I missed her.

I missed her so much; I stop her
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from leaving again.

"Why is the war so long? When will it stop?"

We've been together for so long. I wondered where did it go wrong.

"Why are you losing...?"

You are my hero. You are supposed to win. You are supposed to be my dream.

So why do you come back an empty shell? A mere ghost of their own words; a wanderer without a map; a corpse of once a great mind.

You are everything but what I wished.

She breaks down to her feet, the lack of light blinds me dark. The next time I know, I hear a faint cry from underneath me, followed by pleas. They say, "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry."

I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, to never end. Forever I am trapped in this world of nothing with endless echoes suffocating my head.

And then I see it. The night sky, a clear one. Stars blinking from distance, and for once I find the one I'm always keen of. Beautiful as always, bigger than the rest, brighter than I can imagine.

She smiles at me, and I feel warmth. This is like back
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then again, I mutter to myself, when we were all kids.

She draws closer, and I thought she's going to kiss me, just like how she used to do. Closer, closer, closer, until she burns me.

And the stars are showering down the earth like a summer rain, shattering the atmosphere and the lives under. Falling, falling, falling, all I see is fire, fire, fire. It hurts, it burns, it scars. I am screaming in my own flesh as pool of scars starts to paint me the same as her.

I creep my way out to a pond and catch my own reflection, to see how bad I've been damaged.

For a second I feel relief when I see her again, but soon the flame rages more to the response of the devil, when I see my own the girl's staring back at me blinking when I blink.

She isn't supposed to do that.

"No," I say.

"No," she replies.

I have become her. The one whom I loved and yearned, the entire stories of my childhood.

My star. The fallen star.

My hero. The fallen hero.

I have arrived in the future.
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