Lovers of Starlight, part 2 episode 9 of “The Starlight Trilogy” by Thea Washington
The characters in this story are fictional and not intended to depict the present or future of any individual.
The character “the Rock Star” is based on Adam Lambert.
Most of the videos in Part 2 reflect Lover’s favorite music (R&B, soul).
They were selected to enhance the story but are not required for your entertainment.
Chapter 16 – TRANSCENDENCE
Starlight had returned from her trip exhausted and frail. She was grateful she’d heeded her BFF’s advice, who’d been right all along.
The Neurologist spoke frankly about what to expect. Lover took it harder than Starlight, who insisted that hospice was out of the question. When they got back home from the Doctor’s, she called her attorney to make sure all was in place. Lover called the home health care agency, making arrangements for a nurse to move into the mansion. Angel called home at least four times a day.
She could feel it would be soon. One night, when the house was quiet and she couldn’t sleep, she slipped by Angel’s room where the Nurse was dozing. She startled, sure she’d heard something in the hallway. Starlight froze in the silence. The Nurse dozed off.
Starlight made her way downstairs. It was difficult but she was determined. Slowly she went to the study and opened her laptop, composing what she knew would be her last letter to her Angel. She finished the letter but, before she could finish her name, she was gone.
Halfway around the globe, Lover suddenly sensed the world slip off its axis. Later, when he heard Angel’s sobs in the hallway outside the dressing room, he knew it had. It left a hole in the world shaped like Starlight and for an instant he wondered how it could go on without her. The next thing he knew, he was running down the hall to Angel.
Chapter 17 – FARE WELL
They told the Guitarist how it had probably happened. She’d been found in the study at the desk, her laptop open in front of her, its screen dark. BFF and her husband were just getting up. She went downstairs first, her mind on making coffee for the house. She was the one who found her. Her scream brought her husband and the Nurse running.
They’d called 911 right away, even though the Nurse knew. The paramedics worked to try to revive her but couldn’t. They’d known it was too late; her body had already begun to cool. They called the Coroner, who came and confirmed that she’d been dead for hours before she’d been found. BFF got to say a private, tearful “goodbye,” doing what Starlight had asked her to do. Then she was gently placed on the gurney, covered and taken away.
It took some time for everyone to recover enough to even begin to think about how to tell Angel. By then they calculated he was preparing to go onstage. He usually called after performing. Should they call now or let him perform first? They knew what Starlight would have said, so they waited. Should they call Lover and ask him to tell Angel? They knew Lover was there with him; they decided they couldn’t let him be the one. He’d be too upset to hear them. They finally decided to call the Guitarist, Angel’s longtime friend who’d seen him through those awful days after the assault, before Starlight had asked him to come home. He’d been close to Starlight, too. But he would have just enough in him to listen to them and be able to tell Angel and Lover what had happened.
As soon as the Guitarist answered the phone and turned to him, Angel knew. He stood there, shaking his head and whispering, “No. No.” Then he doubled over as if he’d been kicked in the gut. The sobs wracked his body while he continued whimpering, “No. No. No. No. No.” A high keening wail escaped from him as Lover fought his way through, getting in front of him and pulling his body to his. They were both sobbing, shaking, holding on to each other, not caring who saw them or who could hear. Nobody moved. Nobody knew what to do. Everyone cried.
The Guitarist recovered enough to get Angel and Lover back to the dressing room. He was in there a long time while the grieving momentarily stopped. He left only because Lover said he’d take over for him. As soon as the door closed, Angel again was in torment.
The Guitarist told the Band, Dancers and crew the little he knew so far. He’d told the two grieving men but only Lover had been able to hear and understand what he was saying. As, slowly, Angel began to recover, Lover asked him if he wanted to hear what the Guitarist had told him. He nodded and listened while Lover gently explained.
The following days were torture. Everything seemed in slow motion. Even the house felt wrong. It was like this dense, invisible cloud filled every room. Even the garden seemed affected. Later no one could even remember what the weather had been like; someone said it had rained all that week. No one doubted that was true. Tears can look like rain when there are enough of them being shed by enough people.
Lover escaped by becoming the chief organizer. He began to handle all the details, the notifications, the media, the people, the transportation arrangements, reserving the chapel, ordering the flowers and planning the memorial service. BFF and her husband did what they could to help but Lover was afraid that, if he stopped, he’d fall apart, too. Finally, with help from Angel’s family, they all convinced him to let them help and that by doing so he would be helping them. And then he could help Angel.
Sadly, he climbed the stairs to Angel’s room and knocked softly on the door. There was a quiet, “Come in” that sounded as lifeless as the woman he’d lost. For those next horrific days Lover never left his side.
After the service, after almost everyone had gone and only the families and closest friends were left, they took Starlight’s ashes to her favorite crag overlooking the Pacific Ocean. With the Minister’s assistance, three readings had been chosen; then everyone was asked to take a moment for a silent prayer of their choice. Her ashes were released.
BFF had saved the platinum friendship band Angel had given Starlight. She’d returned it to him, as Starlight had asked her to do. He kissed the platinum band, whispered “You love me” and held it to his heart. As the ashes caught the wind on their way to the sea, they were followed by her ring.