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Do you believe in magic?

Updated: Jan 14, 2023

Sascha used to say there was a star in the sky reserved for every soul that ever lived. I didn’t believe her. I didn’t believe in those kinds of things.

It was a warm summer night – one of those nights when wearing a sweater was as comfortable as wearing nothing at all. Or as Sascha would say, the weather was body temperature out.

The world was painted black aside from our town’s dusty streetlamps and the occasional passing car. And the stars... Yellow dots of light filled the sky, wobbling in and out of focus like lost spaceships. With each vanishing car taillight the stars seemed to twinkle, their way of waving hello; as if the hushed darkness was an invitation for them to safely approach.

Adam, do you believe in magic? Sascha said, turning to me.

We were lying on our backs in the middle of my parents' driveway, hands clasped behind our necks. The smooth concrete road was barely wide enough for the two of us, our bodies enveloped in darkness. It was as if, for the brief periods of time between cars whizzing by, when the only light that reached our tiny street were the stars overhead and the dull tint from decades old streetlamps, that we disappeared into the night.

This was our spot. The only place in the world where we could feel invisible on purpose. It was important to have a spot, especially for friends like us. Sascha and I would come here often, usually in the middle of the night, and talk about all the things we thought about during the day but couldn't say. Or rather, we would come here and talk about the big things, the things that mattered.

I don’t know, I said, turning on my side to look at her.

How do you not know what you think? Sascha replied, returning her gaze to the stars.

I don’t know. I guess I just never thought about it before.

She smiled; her eyes still glued to the skies above. Never thought about what? Magic?

Yeah, I mean I don’t know. I just haven’t. I guess, what’s really the point of thinking about that stuff?

Sascha took a deep breath and closed her eyes. Adam, what would be the point without magic?

Three months later, on the way to school, Sascha passed away in a car accident. It’s been eleven years since that night in our parents' driveway, and not one day goes by that I don’t think about that conversation. Every night, on my drive home from work, I stop my car and lay down on the side of the road. I scan the dark sky for signs, and some nights, if no cars drive by and I stay especially still, I swear I can see a star flicker in the distance.

And it’s magic.

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