Author’s Note: He said he was happy when he was on Earth, but he wasn’t the only one.
Luna radiates. He was not sure what it was about her—not the white paint in her hair or the brighter colors that seemed to have become a part of her wardrobe—but she radiated some kind of… glow. He thought her smile was wider and more powerful every time she did it, that she somehow managed to illuminate everywhere she went.
With the medication gone—she’d said she flushed it with a rather wide grin—she was much lighter. Her smile came fast, flashing across her face and making just about everyone she was around join right in.
Her father disapproved, and he knew that. Despite her happiness, her father still thought she was crazy. He could not complain, not in front of the children and crowds that gathered for her now popular book readings, ones she staged right outside the shop. She had wanted to resume their readings, just him and her—and Alvin, since he did not leave them—but they had gathered a crowd on the first occasion that grew larger by the day.
As long as the crowd stayed away from him, he did not mind. He liked listening to her read, and she always picked interesting books, things that entertained and made her audience smile. They loved her hair and her “robotic” alien—Alivin—and she had more people around her than ever, all of them glad to be with her.
He thought that they could see just how special she was. Crowds and crowds of people learning to appreciate the value of this one person. She was something else.
A happy Luna was a better Luna, and he did not know how anyone could complain about her, though he supposed her father might try.
“You’re smiling. Well, the smile isn’t real, but you’re smiling, and I don’t think you’ve stopped staring at me all day. Did I get paint in more than just my hair? Something in my teeth?” Luna sat down next to him, getting closer to him than she should, like always. She was so difficult sometimes, but at the same time, her difficulties made her more unique and even more appealing.
“I am thinking that people now see what I see.”
“You remember when I told you about the man that told me beauty was in the eye of the beholder?”
“Yes. I remember I told you not to let someone else’s cliché stand in the way of making knowledge your own. Or something like that but less pretentious. What is now beautiful that wasn’t before? The shop? It looks better these days. I blame Alvin for that. He has so many arms that it’s easy for him to paint the whole thing.”
“I think they see what I saw in you.”
“A crazy lunatic guide to show you life on Earth?”
“So much more than that, Luna. Do you know what you do to all these people just by smiling at them? The kids who listen to your books or that play with Alvin…”
She shrugged. “I don’t know that I care about making an impact on all of them. I just think that I enjoy having you around all the time. I’m spoiled. It’s nice. I don’t feel like I could be wrong about what you are, not when you stay close, and I don’t have time to doubt what I know.”
He frowned. “If I had to leave, you would… go back to the medication and thinking you were crazy and not smiling like this?”
“Well, I wouldn’t smile so much—I’d miss you. I don’t like the medication, and I don’t think I’d want to go back on it, but… you’re not planning on leaving, are you? I thought you said you were staying. Staying… forever.”
He looked at her. “I like being here. I like hearing you read. I would like to do other things as well—I wanted to know what you think of that art he said was in the eye of the beholder, maybe more than that. I would ask your opinion of many things.”
She smiled. “You don’t usually have to ask. I tend to speak my mind.”
Her eyes went down to his hand, and she sighed, but she looked up at him with a forced smile. “Where would you like to go?”
“What about your father?”
“He is… He still thinks that I was talking crazy about you and Alvin, but if I don’t mention the weird stuff, I think he’s getting closer to forgiving you for getting me off my meds. I told him—I’m happy. That should be all that matters.”
“It does seem more complicated than that as far as I can tell.”
She patted the ground next to his hand, and he smiled, knowing that she would have touched him if she could have. “It is, but you don’t have to worry about it. We can take a short trip. Where do you want to go?”
He hesitated. “I’m not sure I need to go anywhere.”
She smiled, and he wished there was some way to hold onto that radiance behind it.