“If you’re lost, just look for me
You’ll find me in the region of the summer stars”
-“Walking in the Wind” by One Direction
Eli presses her hand into his; Kenna’s eyes are filled to the brim with tears.
“Don’t do this, I beg you. I don’t want this, I’m not worth it! Let me do it.”
Even contemplating her making the sacrifice instead of Eli himself tears him apart. She must see that in his eyes, Kenna knows him too well, but she is openly crying, and Eli knows she hates that more than almost anything else. It is tearing her apart too, the awfulness of their fates. What is worse is the inevitable nature of this ending. They were fated to love, but they were also fated to lose it all.
“I’ll be right there,” he says, and he has no idea how he’s holding it together, but his voice is only quivering a little. He points to the stars, unmerciful glittering lights in the midnight blue of the sky above. Kenna’s grip is desperate now, as if by holding him tightly, she will prevent the immolation to come.
“That’s not the same!” she cries, and stamps her foot. Eli can’t even muster up an ironic comment.
“Goodbye,” he says simply, for a broken heart cannot manage anything more, and his is the most broken heart of all. He jerks away, breaking her hold suddenly, and Kenna gasps, as if all the oxygen has been sucked from her body with him. Eli snaps his fingers; the familiar, friendly flames flicker on his fingertips, but they now are his death, not his life. They are Kenna’s life, though. It is the only way.
Kenna is still staring at him with glassy eyes. He had begged her not to watch, but she insisted. Now, this is harder. Tears slide down his face unceasingly, but Eli snaps for the last time.
Kenna screams; she cannot help herself. Her one true love has been engulfed in flame. The magic swirls around her, and for the first time, she hates it. Eli’s body turns to ash in an instant, but she sees the last ghost of a sad smile on his face in that instant, the longest of her life. The ashes pile neatly on the grass. Kenna buries her face in her hands and kneels, unable to support herself. The pile of Eli’s ashes, the last of his matter on the Earth, shifts, as if blown by a breeze, then streams into the sky in an almost orderly fashion. It is flung up until it seems to hit the ceiling of the world, where it hangs in the sky, glittering. Ashes have become stars, and they glow and form an eye. Kenna lowers her hands slowly, tears frozen on cheeks, choking on her sobs. The eye of stars, Eli’s eye, seems to wink once in twinkling lights, before becoming just another constellation.
“Thank you,” she breathes, and the wind rustles an answer through her hair.