by Anna Mao
The moon's gentle light has always comforted me in the darkest times. They say if you look up at the moon, the Moon Goddess Amphidea is watching over you.
She watches over every human at night, glowing beautifully as She rides on her loyal feline companion, the White Tiger, across the night sky strumming her pipa.
Her music tells a sad story of her yearning for her Divine Lover, the Sun Goddess Solidea. Each string that Amphidea plucks, Solidea can hear her across the Milky Way.
The sun and moon are eternal lovers, but always apart. Marina Hai sighed heavily as her round teal green eyes gazed wistfully at the cloudy dark sky. There will be no moon sharing my burdens tonight. She was all alone.
The moon shines because of the sun. Light from the sun reflects off the surface of the moon, that’s why the moon is so bright. Without the sun, the moon can't shine. The scientific explanation anyway.
According to the Celestite legend, Amphidea shines because of Solidea’s love. Even though they are far apart, Solidea kisses Amphidea with the rays of her light hoping they will meet again soon. Their passionate love echoes throughout the universe.
A tragic love story that stuck in my head that my mother used to tell me every bedtime.
Since I was a little girl, I hoped I would find my shining light like the Goddesses. I once thought there was someone who could shine into my cold bleak world cutting through my darkness. I thought I could be beautiful like the moon.
But everything was a lie. Sappy romantic legends are too good to be true.
Glistening tears brimmed in Marina’s round teal green eyes, rolling down her pale cheeks to meet the windowsill.
I thought I found my sun.
Marina wiped her tears with the back of her slender hand. Her waist-long, sloppily, braided, aqua blue ponytail was slick with oil and dandruff, unwashed for a week.
Then there are other things that disappoint me. I’m such a failure, a pathetic failure.
Sounds of a loud video game muffled the cries that escaped Marina’s pale lips.
Why? Why am I such a failure? She choked out a sob again, crying louder. Why did everything end up this way?
The video game music stopped. “Marina?”
Marina ignored the voice of her girlfriend.
Abbi Clay peered into the bedroom, noticing Marina was standing by the nightstand. She had short black hair, complimenting her dark brown eyes which were now ringed by dark circles since her late gaming addiction past midnight. She was still very attractive despite the bags under her eyes. She stood several inches taller than Marina, her slim pale body leaning towards the bedroom. They had dated since their freshman year in college.
“Are you crying again, babe?” Abbi asked in a pitiful tone. She wrapped her arms around Marina’s thin waist, kissing her tear-stained cheek. “Not tonight again, please. You’re ruining my game night.”
Flurry of tears covered Marina’s sight.
Ruin your game? You always game. You game every single fucking day. She wanted to shout those words at the top of her lungs, but it was so hard to speak when she was choking out sobs.
Abbi wiped off a tear from Marina’s eye. Her cold dark brown eyes transitioned from pity to annoyance. Abbi’s touch made Marina flinch, and she wanted to push her away. Her voice became dread to her ears.
“Why does it look like you hate me?” Abbi asked accusingly.
Marina looked away from her eyes. “I don’t hate you…”
But I don’t think I love the same person anymore…
“Is it about the job interview?” Abbi asked, pretending to sound concerned. “I told you that you wouldn’t get the cashier job. You wasted your time worrying about it. It’s not like you even have experience.”
I thought it didn’t hurt to try, Marina answered silently in her head. She blinked back a tear as Abbi’s long lecture continued.
“I’m collecting unemployment money, and my parents are willing to pay for our rent until I’m back on my feet. There’s no rush to get a job when we’re getting the support we need.”
“I think you should try harder…” Marina murmured.
Abbi released Marina’s waist, glaring at her wet teal eyes. “I am trying hard! I’ve been applying for jobs! It’s not my fault if they don’t get back to me.”
Marina winced at the rising tone, fighting back against her fear of Abbi’s anger. I have to say it to her. “All I see you do is game every day. I think you should apply to more jobs and—”
“And become like you?” Abbi shouted, stepping away from Marina. “Become obsessed with job hunting to the point of depression? You think I want to wallow up in misery just like you?”
Marina gulped hard. “I—I just want you to job hunt more,” Marina’s meek voice shook.
“Just because you apply to a hundred jobs a week doesn’t mean you’re getting any success either,” Abbi snapped. “Don’t you believe in me?”
Don’t you believe in me? Her words froze Marina, turning her blotched cheeks pale. “How—How can I believe in you when you’ve been sitting on your ass gaming for almost two years?!” The aqua-haired woman blurted. “When was the last time you applied to a job?”
When was the last time you applied to a job? The question hit Abbi hard, making her jaw drop at a loss of words.
The last time I applied to a job? Abbi could not answer it but did not want to admit the truth that she was distracted by video games. She worked hard in her former job as a copywriter a year and a half ago before she was fired. She worked long hours and never had vacation. Now she was finally getting a long break, her girlfriend was trying to ruin it for her.
Dark brown eyes shot Marina a deathly glare as Abbi recollected her voice. “After all I done for us, this is what you say?”
Marina fought back her tears. “D—Done what?” her voice cracked. “You stopped loving me a long time ago.”
“Excuse you?” Abbi scowled. “I keep a roof over your head! You’d be starving on the streets if it wasn’t for me!”
Marina’s cold teal eyes burrowed into the woman’s eyes before her. Chills crawled down Abbi’s spine as Marina’s angry gaze burned her view.
“When was the last time you did something for our anniversary?!” Marina’s voice echoed in the bedroom.
“When was the last time you remembered my birthday?!”
“Where were you when I needed you?!”
“When was the last time you said ‘I love you’?!”
Shocked, Abbi stepped back as the overwhelming questions attacked her.
“If you loved me, you would care more about our future.”
Marina’s heart pounded loudly, her vision covered by tears. Wiping her tears away, Marina stormed out of the bedroom leaving behind the dumbfounded black-haired woman.
I—I need to get away. Marina reached for the copper door knob of their front door. I need to disappear. Disappear from this world.
The door swung open, and then slammed as Marina left the apartment.
Abbi sighed heavily walking back to the living room bitterly. She must be PMSing.
She resumed her video game, burying the angry voice of Marina in her head.
Droplets of summer rain pelted down from the dreary gray sky, washing away the gray pavements. However, the rain did not stop Reese Bellerose’s gleaming smile.
She poked her head out of the window of her bright blue food cart, not minding the rain wetting the top of her dark red pixie undercut. Her round bright amber eyes complimented her tan complexion as her thick dark eyebrows enhanced her smooth toned facial features. Although grease was all over her white apron, Reese was still an attractive young business woman sporting a black tie on a short-sleeved blue shirt.
The food cart was medium-sized, attached to her black motor scooter, displaying colorful frosted and glazed donuts perked with two simple cat ears inside glass cases. They were Reese’s special cat-shaped donuts, Kitty Donuts, with their name largely printed in bold black across the side of her smooth blue cart. Names and pricing of donut flavors such as tea to fruit-flavored donuts, were clearly written on the chalkboard menu.
“Get your kitty donuts!” Reese called out cheerfully trying to draw the attention of two passing pedestrians.
A chatting couple sharing an umbrella walked by, ignoring Reese’s and her food cart’s existence.
The smile did not fade from Reese’s face. She glanced down at her watch realizing the time.
Oh wow! It’s almost 6:00 PM. Time flew by so fast. I should wrap up in three minutes.
Her amber eyes looked up suddenly at a young beautiful aqua-haired woman walking down the sidewalk in the rain. Her long aqua hair was sloppily braided into a ponytail, slowly consumed by the drizzle. She was unfazed by the rain wetting her hair and white short-sleeved moss green dress. Her hands were stuffed in the small pockets of her dress as she walked alone. Her round, glassy, teal green eyes stared blankly at everything before her.
Reese gawked at the beautiful sad young woman.
Is she crying? A frown glued on the woman’s delicate face as if droplets of her tears intermingled with the rain, but Reese had trouble telling if she was crying. Her frown made Reese’s heart grow heavy.
At the same time, Reese was intrigued by the stranger. Have I met her before? She looked too familiar but from where?
Reese tried to recall an aqua-haired woman in her memory, but could not recollect anyone in her mind.
Maybe she’s a past customer that I can’t remember.
She continued to stare at the woman, but now at her petite back. The tan-skinned woman soon realized the woman had just walked past her food cart.
Reese snapped back to reality, silently cursing herself for being distracted.
“Miss!” she called after the woman. “Miss! Would you like a kitty donut?”
Reese was too late for the aqua-haired woman was already too far to hear her.
Reese exhaled a heavy sigh.
I can’t believe I just let that happen. Guess that’s it for tonight.
While Reese packed up, the aqua-haired woman lingered in her mind. Why was she so sad?