- Vol. 03
- Chapter 01
Image by Coralie Bickford-Smith
FallingStella wasn’t the sort of girl a boy of my age would normally go for. Catch a falling star, my mate Vince used to jeer. Out of jealousy I thought.
For Stella was like no other girl. And I knew she was falling. Was aware from the outset that what goes up must come down. I could see that glow of hers might be a little too bright to last a lifetime. Looking into her eyes that first time I knew there would be cloudy nights as well as clear bright days, but no matter. I had been touched by that spark of life in her that seemed to come from the centre of the universe. As if Stella had been there at the beginning, and had travelled through time to find me, to light up that grey winter of 1958. Had come from nothing to be everything to me, all of life – and more.
Stella blazed brighter than any girl I’d known. Any girl I would come to know.
On dark days her eyes told you she knew more than you ever would of the pleasure and pain of life. She was both an old soul and an innocent child. One who, on a good day, shone brighter than Venus on a clear summer night.
There are times in life when you know that suffering must be part of the package; I am at such a time now. Stella was my guiding light on that first illuminating trip, that essential rite of passage to adult world.
From our first embrace (we used that delicate word back then: a warm, tender word I’ve always held dear) I knew instinctively that Stella would teach me all I needed to know of life; what it is to love, to suffer, to face death. I knew it the following day, when, rounding the corner from my home, I saw her hurrying towards me. Hello Sunshine! she called out, running to nuzzle by neck with her nose: the tip was as cold as ice. I can feel it to this day. It was snowing I seem to remember.