"Cassiopeia," George said with a sigh, as if answering my little question took a great deal of effort, "Cassiopeia is my favorite constellation."
I looked up at the stars. They were barely visible. Light pollution, and all that.
"I like Cygnus," I said.
"There's nothing wrong with swans."
"I guess I just prefer stars with stories."
He said this to bother me. I could tell. It was the way he said it, as if his precious Cassiopeia was greater than my Cygnus. I wanted to say something clever, but I didn't want to push him away. He tolerated me. Maybe that meant he loved me. I could thank him for that.
"Swans have stories," I said pathetically, pulling blades of grass from the ground.
It was his fake laugh. It was a laugh that said, Hey! I think what you said was stupid, and I want you to be aware of it!
It was a laugh meant to hurt me.
But, of course, the gesture wasn't enough for him.
“Cassiopeia was beautiful. What is a swan?”
“Swans are beautiful.”
Again, he laughed.
“Poseidon was jealous of Cassiopeia's beauty. He was so jealous, he flooded a whole country. And to save her country, she sacrificed her daughter. What’s a swan ever d-…”
“Cassiopeia was a bitch,” I interrupted. I surprised myself. The words just fell out of my mouth. I looked up at him, scared of how he might react.
He was angry. He forced nonchalance onto his face and he slowed his breathing. He was angry, but he didn't want me to know it. He didn't want me to know that he could be hurt.
“What is a swan?” he said, trying to maintain the apathy in his voice.
“Is it beautiful? Why?”
I opened my mouth to reply, but he interrupted me.
“ Is it beautiful because it was once an ugly duckling? Is it only beautiful by that contrast?”
A disgusting smirk crawled across his face, as if he realized something funny.
“Is that it? Is that your connection to your precious Cygnus?”
He was mocking me. Why was he mocking me?
“Will you be beautiful someday, Ruth?"
I thought he loved me. I trusted him. I thought he loved me.
“Will this ugly duckling become a swan?”
“WHAT IS CASSIOPEIA?” I exploded, “Why is Cassiopeia so beautiful? WHO SAID CASSIOPEIA WAS SO GOD DAMNED BEAUTIFUL?”
He chuckled. Was he enjoying this? Who does he think he is? What does he think I am?
I decided that I didn't care.
I got to my feet and brushed myself off. I looked down at George and sighed, as he did.
“Cassiopeia was a bitch,” I said, mimicking George’s false apathy. Maybe he’d notice it.
“Cassiopeia couldn't keep her pretty little mouth shut. She mocked the gods and the gods got annoyed. That’s all that happened. The gods flooded a country just to shut her up.”
Still trying to maintain his composure, George opened his mouth to say something.
“SHUT UP,” I interrupted. He’s said enough, he’s insulted my swan enough.
“She gave up her only daughter to save her own ass. She wanted to stay queen. That’s what your precious Cassiopeia is known for. She’s just a big mouthed bitch who gave up her beautiful daughter just so she could keep her Goddamn crown.
“And the only reason she’s up there…” I said, pointing to the stars, “Is because she was CHAINED there. She was chained to those stars so everyone who saw them would know what she was; a STUPID, ARROGANT BITCH. And that’s all she’ll ever be, until those stars burn out.”
There was a long, uncomfortable pause. George just laid there in the grass, staring up at the stars. His eyes darted around. Maybe he was thinking of something smart to say. Or maybe he was looking for his Cassiopeia.
I turned around and marched off.
I’d lost George, and I was more than fine with that. I was not going to let some pretentious prick abuse me.
“GOOD NIGHT, YOU UGLY DUCKLING,” George shouted, trying to mask his clearly distressed voice.
I stopped. Without looking back, I shouted back, “UGLY DUCKLINGS CHANGE. CASSIOPEIA NEVER COULD.”
He screamed something, but I couldn't really make it out. I didn't really care. I kept marching along. I didn't know where to go, but I had to keep moving. I was so desperate to get away from George that I had to hold back tears.
After a good 10 minutes of walking, I couldn't hold it in anymore.
I was alone again. I was something to no one. I was nothing to anyone. I fell to the ground and let myself sob, hoping to God that no one heard me. I cried until I had no tears left to cry, when I was just pushing out breaths just so my chest didn't feel so tight.
I looked up at the stars.
There she was; my precious Cygnus, shining through the pale city lights that filled the sky.
I sat up, allowing myself to smile.
I’ll follow Cygnus. She’ll lead me somewhere.
What? I can't hear you! I have a BANANA in my ear!
Last edited by BananaBuddy; 05-16-2013 at 02:05 PM.