I do know know how it happened, maybe it had to do with a conversation between me and Howl the night before. But just for one day, a spell was broken and reality was forced to take a seat in the back with its arm twisted behind its back. With a single misplacement of words, a selfish wish, there was that single day that the impossible happened. A day that by which made the final minute bitter.
That day I wasn’t given any assignments but was required to, however, stay up for the meteor shower that Halloween night. Sitting on the roof of the school’s astronomy tower in my Sherlock costume, the night sky was clear and haunting with the fullness of the moon. A cool breeze blew from the east, playing with my hair and undoing the ribbons in my hair.
“Very funny Howl.” I said opening up my palm. They flew upward and then hovered, a bit out of my reach, before landing in my hand. A boy, translucent like a projection, wearing a tux, sat next to me, grinning proudly at himself.
“You must admit it was funny” his voice whispers in my ear.
I shrug “We are not out here to have fun. It’s just unfortunate that no one else asked to use the school for the meteor shower tonight.”
“An evening alone is an evening alone. You have not had a time like this in the last two weeks” Taking the ribbons from my hand, he tries to braid my hair but his fingers only limply lift it, forming a loose, messy braid. I hated to admit that he was right on that point, that I had not received a night free of work until now, but admitting this to Howl is out of the question.
Silence falls in anticipation for the shower. Looking over a Howl, he sits quietly to himself, his long skinny arms wrapped around his skinny legs, staring at the roof tiles beneath. A strong cold fall wind blows trough him, as though it never happened. I edge myself closer to him, wishing to put my hand out and touch him. But roughly 6 years of knowing him, I had learned that to touch was one sided. To reach out my hand, I would only go straight threw him.
Smiling, I cheerfully declared “Look Howl, it’s starting! Oh, look at how their falling.” Indeed the sight of rocks burning through the atmosphere was a beauty that I rarely got to see. He smiles slightly, seeing through my attempt to cheer him up.
“What would you wish for, Shun?”
“If you wish on a shooting star, it will come true.“
“What would I wish for? Why would you ask that?”
“You have been stressed of late. Don’t you want to be happy?” his voice shrunk down, shirking like a scolded school boy.
Gazing up at the sky, cocking my head to side, I close my eyes. ” I guess, I wish that you were human Howl. That you had flesh and blood and warmth. That I could hold your hand without feeling weird and feel normal instead of a child with an imaginary friend.”
As I said this, my eyes rested a star streaking across the sky.
Putting his hand on top of mine, Howl gave a weak, but true smile. Although I did not understand what he meant, his reply was domino that started the following chain of events.
“Shun, if that is truly what you want, then it is sure to come true.“