Under the Stars Tonight

We didn’t set the tent up tonight; there weren’t enough bugs to make a difference here, and the stars went on for a million miles.

“The sky is so much bigger here,” she whispered as she snuggled deeper into her sleeping bag. “I never want to go home.”

I didn’t reply. There was nothing I could say. She knew as well as I did that we had to go home one day, and one day would come much sooner than either of us wanted. I reached over to rest my hand on her arm through the sleeping bag. It was a little chilly for my bare skin, though, so I squeezed and returned my hand to my own sleeping bag.

Maybe the tent would have been a good idea after all, but oh, the stars were so beautiful. Scattered across the sky above us like ten thousand conflict diamonds.

I listened to her soft, even breathing as she slipped away into sleep. It blended perfectly with the starscape above us, and the fresh air smell perfected the scene. I realized that I really didn’t want to go home. Like, ever.

Maybe we didn’t have to. We could live out here forever. Forage, live off the land. We could do it. We didn’t have to go home.

But it was only August, and we already needed our sleeping bags. We couldn’t possibly survive a winter out here unprotected, and we sure didn’t have either the time or the know-how to build a shelter before the first snow.

But maybe if we moved further south we could do it.

Except, if we decided to do that, we’d have to find a phone somewhere. Because one of us would have to tell Mary.