The difference was palpable, almost audible between the two, something she struggled to see. One was perfect—enamoured with her flaws. Emotionally available. Solid, secure, sound; together, she regained her health. The other—unstable at best. Atomically powerful to a fault. One held her hand gently amongst friends; the other glanced back ten steps too late. One inspired the wind to tousle her hair, sunlight to catch her heart. The other left her small, trying to stoke embers amongst a cloud of withering smoke. One remained. The other ran. One clung to her by a firmly woven thread; she chased the other to retain the link between her hope for him and her oscillating emotional capacity. One, as ethereal as earth; the other, magnificent with the essence of the galaxies to which he’d return.

She always found it tragic, how stars turned to dust.