Tate walks over to the trampoline and climbs up. Then he reaches a hand out to me. I haven’t been on this thing in a long time. I grab his hand anyway and let him pull me up. He falls back onto the bouncy material and eventually comes to a halt, staring up at the clouds.
“Sometimes, late at night, I wish I really did have a spaceship to take around Saturn,” he says, his eyes lost somewhere among the stars. “I just want to see firsthand, up close, that there are things much bigger than this, you know? Like bigger than this band and the fame and the fandom.”
I lie back next to him and watch as the milky strands whisper across the night, leaving their words across the black backdrop.
“Honestly? I kind of like the view from down here,” I say.
“Yeah, but I mean…” He pauses. “I don’t know. Sometimes it’s just too much. Don’t you feel like you can’t breathe sometimes? Like everyone has expectations and you can’t meet them all? Or is the fandom totally different on that level?”
The fandom is definitely different. We don’t have the pressure on us that we put on the guys of SAS. Sure, people expect daily videos from me – or at least every other day – but I do those for fun anyway. If I fell off the planet tomorrow, a few people would notice, and eventually there would be some other girl who made videos and everyone would follow her. That’s a depressing thought now that it’s in my brain.
“Fandoms are different. People come and go,” I tell him. “You guys are the sun. We just orbit around you.”
He sighs. “It’s tough being the sun.” Then he turns on his side and faces me. “If you could wish for one thing, on one star, which star would you pick and what would you wish for?”
“Right now?” I’m completely caught off guard. I can’t tell him that I wish he’d drop to one knee with a diamond and propose. “Umm…”
I look away from him and glance around the stars for a bright one. “That one,” I say, pointing to the twinkling speck in the sky, slightly to the right of my house’s rooftop.
“So you go for the bright ones?” Tate asks, craning his neck to see my star.
“Well, yeah,” I say. “That way I can always see it.”
I suddenly feel like this was the wrong answer or maybe not what he was looking for. It makes me feel snobby, like the way small accounts look at big accounts online. It’s like we’re the bright stars that everyone can see, and everyone else is a peasant star – a measly little light that tries so hard to shine amongst the rest of us and our giant glows. Oh gosh, I should’ve picked a dim star. Can I go back and pick a dim star? I’ll totally be a peasant.
“Hmm,” Tate says. He rests back on the trampoline. “I guess that makes sense. I’d pick this one over here. It’s kind of hard to see.”
He motions his index finger toward a dim star. I trace the stars around it and wonder if it’s part of a constellation. If this set of stars is meant to be something special, I hope I’m seeing it incorrectly because it looks like a seagull. Tate’s star is at the tip of its beak.
“Why that one?” I ask, hoping he doesn’t give me some beautifully poetic answer.
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