He slips on his worn leather boots before swinging his Colt 45 over his toned shoulder.

His muscles have this move memorized considering it’s his morning routine.

Orion opens his eyes as the sun peaks over the galaxy like a mountain range,

Snow capped sunrises only gods can witness.

He’s known as a hunter around these parts.

The other constellations discuss his wandering and destructive behavior under hushed whispers.

His gun-shots are heard from light years away like lightening striking previously untouched earth and severing it into clean cut cracks.

He is always alone.

The other constellations never follow him, though they’re intrigued.

Fear keeps them from allowing their desires to approach Orion manifest.

He is dangerous, after all.

But there is one constellation who views him just a bit… differently.

He is not a hunter,

Only hunted, she believes.

He is not dangerous,

only reserved.

She on the other hand is radiant and well-shaped like a crescent moon hanging perfectly in a coal black sky.

She is, Cassiopeia.

And she is everything.

She breathes out crystal cut stars like it’s constantly winter and breath is white and visible.

She wears robes sewn together with flakes of gold and purity.

She is wanted here and there.

She is pulled from this place to that one.

And yet she only wants to follow him.

She wants to watch him hunt.

She’s almost begging to be hunted.

But Cassiopeia would never beg.

Instead she strolls around the sky searching for him, daily.

Ignoring the crass warnings of every other constellation.

The conversations are laced with disturbing judgments

She wishes she could pluck the hurtful words right out of their mouths

So they could never speak ill of him again.

He hunts down the meek and vulnerable and aims.

Targets the center of their foreheads and waits.

And yet he’s never killed a star.

He’s only watched them shoot straight across the sky and explode causing the gunshot sounds to ripple across galaxies and the whispers begin.

He’s never taken another star’s life for the sake of sport.

He aims.

The feeling of potential and power running through his veins to his fingertips and along the trigger is the only rush he wishes to have.

Cassiopeia waits around corners and watches the potential deaths and is not one bit surprised over his inability to kill;

To walk up to a star and demand his life.

Orion is not a hunter, but is hunted.

 

 

photo by: Alyssa Jiosa

~One Month Before “The Break”~

 

We were so close.

Lying together in that same bed.

But I had never felt further away from you.

“Please, just tell me what to do.” you panicked.

“I think I’m having an anxiety attack, babe. Tell me how to make this better.”

You pleaded breathlessly.

I was facing away from you on the other side of the bed.

Letting my fingers dig into your blue comforter as I sighed with a hint of annoyance.

“Just… breathe.”

Your breath shallowed and I heard whimpering for the next 15 minutes.

Then silence.

A sensation of overwhelming guilt flooded over my body like a blanket that threatened to suffocate me.

I was in no place to help you.

But I felt a more powerful feeling than even guilt in that particular moment.

Unwavering anger.

I was pissed.

Pissed that you had broken my trust a month prior.

Pissed that I felt on edge with every girl you shook hands with.

Pissed that I was so pissed.

I wanted to love you unconditionally and hold you close and help you steady your breathing and tell you over and over and over again how wonderful and talented you are.

How incredibly special you are to me

But I didn’t.

Instead,

I fell asleep.

And that hideous memory is seared into the back of my mind.

I have never been more ashamed of myself or my actions than in that moment.

For someone who preaches constantly about love, understanding, patience and forgiveness,

I was being cruel.

The visual of us lying there while I cold heartedly held my pride instead of you rarely leaves my conscience.

I am so sorry.

I will always be sorry.

 

~ One week before “The Break”~

 

We drove in your car and got hopelessly lost on the backroads around your new house.

We were laughing and singing “Tear in My Heart” to each other after discovering an adorable French restaurant near your new home.

I was still broken.

We were still broken.

But drop by drop I was feeling the blind rage leave my body,

Slowly but surely

I began to think to myself,

Maybe if I just say something new, something really emotional and future-oriented, he’ll feel special and loved by me once again.

Maybe that will be what fixes us.

Looking back on that impulsive thought, I should’ve put much more intentionality into what I said next,

“I think you may be the love of my life.” I blurted out.

Because I now know that I said it out of fear of losing you rather than actually meaning it.

“I could really see forever with you.” I pushed further.

Silence.

Wide-eyed

Panicked

Agonizing

Silence.

Oh. Shit.

Wow um… babe… that’s… really sweet of you to.. err… say.”

We were still endlessly lost and looking for your house.

And in that moment, I realized we were on a dead end road.

 

~The Break~

 

We sat parked in my driveway for 6 minutes before you answered my question.

“Can you please tell me what’s wrong?” I begged.

“I have a horrible pit in my stomach and I know something’s wrong.” I kept pushing.

I was always pushing.

“Whenever I feel the pit… something is always wrong…” My words trailed off as I gave you time to respond.

6 minutes of silence.

“I just don’t think this is really working.” you half-whispered.

Ouch.

“Okay… why do you feel that way?” I said, already knowing the answer.

“Because it’s just not.” you snapped.

You took a deep breath, squeezed the steering wheel, and let your eyes drop to the floor.

“Maybe we need a… break?” you said, admitting defeat.

Tears streamed down my face.

I never believed that you would actually give up on me.

I never thought I’d live to see that mortifying moment.

“If that’s how you feel. How long would this.. um…”

I choked

“… break be?”

You paused for a second and cocked your head to the side while looking out the windshield.

“Well… how does two weeks sound?”

I wiped my cheeks and quickly opened your car door.

“Okay, sounds great. Talk to you then.” I panicked.

I shut your car door and started running towards my house

Because falling a part on my driveway didn’t seem so… nonchalant.

And my pride begged me to come off nonchalant.

“Wait, babe.”

You had gotten out of your car and you looked so helpless with those arms falling so heavy against your sides.

“What does this mean?”

Your voice cracked.

I stood there frozen.

And we just stared at each other.

I wasn’t sure if you wanted me to run back into your arms and beg for you to forgive my daily angry outbursts.

Or if you wanted me to just cut the chord right then and there so we wouldn’t have to have this conversation a second time.

I closed my eyes and took a deep breath.

“I don’t know.”

And I turned around and walked into my house.

That definitely wasn’t the right response.

I slid onto the floor and felt the weight of a two ton truck sitting on my chest squeezing every last bit of oxygen out of my lungs.

After a few minutes past,

Your car door shut .

And then you were gone.

 

~The Breakup~

 

Sitting on my front porch, I contemplated what I was about to say to you;

How I was going to beg for your forgiveness,

How I was going to give you the 14 letters I had written to you everyday while we hadn’t spoken,

How I was going to ask for my favorite pair of shoes back.

I went over every possible conversation we could have

And how I was going to finally swallow my pride for the first time in my life

And just desperately ask you to stay and work on this with me.

I could do it.

Probably.

I looked down at my phone to check the time.

4:50pm

You’d be here in 10 minutes.

My eyes looked at the sky and I finally just started praying.

I prayed for wisdom and for overwhelming peace with whatever decision we would make together.

I prayed for you to feel respected, loved and understood during this conversation we were about to have.

I prayed for God to just take control of everything and to just give me the words I needed to say in order to successfully make it through this talk.

Then I thanked Him for bringing us together.

Because despite what was about to happen,

I was completely in love with you.

And you were the best boyfriend I ever had.

And that was definitely something to be thankful for.


Your jeep pulled into the driveway.

The car door opened and I saw your face for the first time in two weeks.

You shaved.

Our eyes met briefly before they fell to the ground and you began walking on my lawn towards my front steps.

My heart tumbled into my stomach and I crossed my arms so you wouldn’t see how badly my hands were shaking.

“Hi there.” I said nervously, as you walked up.

Crap, I hope that sounded confident.

You stopped a few feet away from me and stared at me curled up on the steps.

Hands buried deep in your pockets.

“Hey.”


 

 

Thank you for reading,

Becca Tremmel

 

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