1.. 2.. 3..

There was once a girl who couldn’t sleep very well, so she spent many nights sitting by the window and staring up at the stars. No matter where she was, even if she couldn’t see the stars with her naked eyes, she could still stare up at them because she had a special pair of starglasses that let her see the stars at night whenever she wanted. This is how she learned to count. How she learned to name things. To keep track of things. She counted the stars the way you’d count out seeds to plant flowers. Counted them the way you would gold coins in a treasure chest or jelly beans in a jar. She tried to spread them out across the universe as evenly as possible so she could get a good look at every single one of them. But when the wind blew the stars swayed, and when the wind blew harder the stars moved with it, and constellations formed that all at once perplexed, fascinated and annoyed her. She thought the wind only toyed with leaves and twigs and earthly things. She didn’t know it could reach so high into the sky as to roll the stars around the universe like marbles. That the same wind that ruffled her hair ruffled the stars. She didn’t know that the stars were actually blazing birds, or burning ships sailing across a black sea. She didn’t know that the stars liked playing connect-the-dots, or that they needed to move and be moved as much as any restless soul does. And she didn’t know that the wind was an old friend, and that the stars were all madly in love with each other, and that this old friend had always been wildly in love with her. She didn’t know any of this. But how could she? She was always too busy counting.

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