“Oh my, stars!” Sheila gasped, face skyward, “So many of them. How to describe them?”
“Big balls of gas,” Jason, ever the realist, answered annoyed. Sheila got on his nerves.
Sheila sighed. She felt Jason’s annoyance, and it broke her heart. She wiped a tear from her eye, but Jason did not notice. His attention was on the little screen in his hand.
Sheila observed him for a moment, then turned her gaze back to the stars. Tell me what I should do, guide me, she prayed.
Orion twinkled above and seemed to wink.
Is it over? But I still love him. In her mind she heard her sister’s voice: “Jason is your Achilles heel, the chink in your armor.”
Sheila’s lips quivered with sadness because her love for Jason was as grand as the stars of Orion, but she feared he didn’t reciprocate.
Sheila contemplated Jason, Orion and Achilles; the great Greek heroes. Orion, the hunter of the skies, could walk on water, and, wading through the sea of Sheila’s emotions, turned ripples into waves. Jason of the Argonauts, searched for the Golden Fleece. Jason is always on a quest, he’s always moving ahead and I fear I can’t keep up. Sheila was Achilles, the invincible warrior, and her one weakness was Jason.
The night was crisp and a faint aroma of burning wood lingered in the air; firewood and ice, the scents of winter. She glanced up at Orion as she got in the car. Jason turned the ignition. Metallica’s “Orion” blasted from the speakers.
“Huh,” Jason pointed to the stereo, smiling, “I wonder if it’s a sign? We were just looking at Orion, the constellation, and now we’re listening to Metallica’s song.”
Sheila considered telling him the story of Orion and the Scorpion, but refrained; she irritated Jason with silly facts and details.
“You know,” Jason went on, “my grandmother used to say that Orion’s belt were the Three Wise Men. The three kings who traveled from faraway lands to visit the newborn Christ. Every year, on Epiphany, we put a letter in our shoe and left it by the nativity scene so they could give us gifts. We always got pajamas.”
He smiled at Sheila as the song faded out.
“That’s something we could do, right? When we have kids? It’s a great tradition, I wouldn’t want to lose that.”
Sheila turned to him, bewildered. He never spoke about kids. She was cautious of broaching the subject lest he rejected it; she wanted children more than anything. Sheila met his gaze and nodded. They drove on in silence.
“You don’t annoy me,” Jason said as he pulled into their driveway, “I know you think you do, but you don’t. And tonight, I would have enjoyed the stars with you till Kingdom come, but my asshole boss wouldn’t stop texting. He’s a workaholic and assumes everyone else is too.”
His words lightened her heart. Silly girl, always letting your emotions blind you.
“Do you want to sit out in the yard with a glass of wine?” Sheila asked, a smile on her lips and tears in her eyes.
“I want to do more than that.”