He sat on his bed in the dark, staring at the street and the rooftops outside his window. It was quiet and nostalgic. He had been there many times before, crossed legged on his bed in the dead of night. When he was very young he would leave his bedroom to crawl into bed with his parents. Those were the sacred days, the golden age of things that would never again come to be. Where he would huddle in close between the two, his mother lifting him up under the covers beside her. Those nights he watched the ceiling and imagined the water stains were little animals who all lived together on the same planet. When the city sounds drifted in from the outside world and in through the window, his father held his hand at the first tremble of fear.
Beau was younger then. Still baby faced. Softer than he was now, in both cheek and heart. Sometimes Gabriel would sit by the sink and watch him shave in the morning. He let him play with the shaving cream as long as he didn’t make much of a mess. Kalare would come in with her Rapunzel worthy bedhead and green nightgown to kiss them both on the cheek. She’d get shaving cream on her nose and she’d laugh like wind chimes and harp chords. Beau would make a face, but then he’d smile when she wasn’t looking. Gabriel would gaze into his parent’s bathroom mirror, the one that took up the entire wall behind the sink. He was so fascinated by his own reflection and the two contradictions that brought it into being.
He was always at his mother’s hip, tugging on her skirt until she scooped him up to carry him around the house. He’d knot his arms around her neck and refuse to touch the ground. Beau would be the one to pry him from her arms and drag him off to preschool. There were unhappy moments like this, but the sweet nostalgia clouded his ability to remember them as anything but beautiful. He yearned for them now, for youth, warmth, and a time where his father did not so fiercely guard his heart.
He laid back on his pillow to stare at the ceiling.
Beau took him to a planetarium once. He was seven or eight, and he remembered the rare sparkle reflected in his father’s eyes. He wasn’t sure if it was due to the sugary stars projected around them, or rather something deeper glimmering inside of him.
Afterwards they went to the giftshop and Beau bought him a pack of glow in the dark stars to stick on his ceiling. They still sat above him, but the paint wore off long ago and no longer shone.