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Never Alone

It was all so sudden. Aileen still feels like she is in a nightmare.

“May God welcome him into his kingdom…” Fr. Valdez looked sober enough while saying those words but was all those true?

Memories of the past flooded her mind. They were coming home from the grad ball. The sky was sparkling with stars; the wind was warm enough to excite the senses but had a bit of a chill for some cuddling with that special person. It was one of those nights that people read in books and watched in movies.

Next week was the graduation but it was not the only reason why her spirits were up. That night, under the diamonds of the sky, Jeff proposed and she accepted.

She wanted to decline at first but looking in his eyes she saw her future and all else faded. This is her destiny. Then, in a horrid twist of fate, she was robbed.

“Why did he have to arrive at the exact moment we made a turn?” Aileen wondered aloud. Her voice was full of hatred and tears welled in her eyes.

“It was that damned drivers fault. Him and his damn truck and damn alcohol.” Aileen said as she absent-mindedly beat the gravestone with the flowers she brought. Hopelessly, she lay next to it and tenderly traced Jeff’s name.

Tonight was the same night as last year but now, she’s alone. All alone with no one to comfort her. Weeping silently, she gazed at the stars twinkling brightly at her. She hated those stars; their seeming cheerfulness feels like they’re mocking her.

Suddenly at the corner of her eyes she saw something different. It glowed brighter than the rest but something in it seemed to comfort her. It felt like it was watching over her as if it were her very own star.

“The north star,” a voice behind her said.

Aileen carefully stood up and smiled at Mang Pedro, the cemetery caretaker.

“The north star is the brightest of all the stars,” he continued. “It doesn’t sparkle that much but it offers comfort to those in grief.”

Aileen stared at it, feeling hope surge through her for the first time since the tragedy. “Could it be my star?” she shyly asked. “My guiding light?”

Mang Pedro smiled sympathetically and lightly touched Jeff’s gravestone. “It can be anything you want.” Winking, he turned around and headed towards his cottage.

Aileen sighed and looked back at the once nameless star. She still feels empty inside but the star was starting to warm her heart. She knew now – she will never be alone again.