Living in the moment was a gift most of the time. When you start looking back or forward that’s when the anxiety hits. However the passed always catches up and the future is never more than seconds away. Cassandra was usually good at keeping to the moment. The passed was nothing she needed to relive, but at times it caught up to her. The blonde could find herself in agony over her fiancés death, it sneaked up on her untriggered or she didn’t know what triggered it. It could be at night, at work, standing in the store.

The blonde had never gotten time to grieve his death. It didn’t feel like the right time during her captivation and after she’d been freed along with the other celestials. Grieving over 6 decades later seemed a little strange especially since she the only one who remembered him as his only family had been her and his sister who she read had died of cancer a few years back. It was a sad thought that her fiancé now was only a faint memory a character in her mind, like jack in titanic unknown to the rest of the world but historic in hers.

Today was one of those days when the grief of the lost of him bubbled up and pain hit her like waves hit the sand. Luckily she was at work and could hide her pain behind the people they encountered. It wasn’t a lasting solution sooner or later she would have to face her grief and move on but she afraid that that it was a very dark road to go down. It could very well end in her seeking justice with the aliwards for their actions and with the current situation between them she couldn’t afford a side step. Not if it risked the other celestials. Had it been just herself the choice had been easy.

The female, marked with grief, was studying her ringfinger where her engagement ring used to sit but now had been replaced with a tattoo in its honor. So she would remember always remember him and his sacrifice for as long as she may live.

As always when the star felt her thoughts wander Cass went out for a run. Letting her muscles work had always been a therapy for her. From the beginning it had just been a necessary task to check off the list but over the years she found herself at the gym more often pressing her body to lift heavier and run faster. It was necessary to keep in good shape with her profession life depended on it. Nowadays with modern day technology one could run listening to music or podcast which could also help turn out the resilient thoughts. After running up a hill the blonde stopped a few seconds to catch her breath. It was early morning and the track was alost empty actually the only one she could see was a lonely male that sprinted through the dark.

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Caleb had lived in Evermore for a while now. It sounded like he’d arrived only a short while before Cassandra. It had seemed like quite a normal city at first glance, but as he became friends with the Ailwards he’d noticed small irregularities. He’d gotten curious. He’d asked questions.  The answers had been vague at first, but as he’d gained trust and made connections, it became apparent that humans were not the only people living in the city. That had come as a bit of a shock, but not a terrible one. 

Caleb had always had quite an active imagination. It leant him the ability to believe in what a lot of others would consider far fetched. It made things like fallen stars and magic seem perfectly possible.

He couldn’t help the proud smile from beaming onto his face as she complimented the art work around the gallery. It had been a difficult few years, but also the best ones he’d ever had. He’d experienced an extraordinary amount of growth and healing. Despite the fact that he was only twenty-six, he felt closer to who he was meant to be than he ever had before. For the first time, he was settled. He had a home.

He set the water bottle on a nearby table, shoving his hands in his pockets, as he often did when nervous. Despite being happy, he was still quite introverted. It took him a long time to open up to people. Or know what to say. It sometimes made small talk awkward. “Can I get you something to drink?”

“I don’t actually drink. So, there’s no wine or anything on the premises, but I have sparkling water, lemonade, tea, or coffee.” He offered.

Caleb pursed his lips. He wished he had even the slightest ability to interact with others in a charismatic manner. It simply wasn’t one of the skills in his repritoire.

At first glance Evermore seemed like the regular small town. It was a part of why the celestials had chosen to go there to find shelter. Anyhow it was far from the truth. The town inhabited all kinds of species and secret societies allowing them to live in peace under the radar. Cassandra wondered how anyone could buy that with all unexplainable things happening in the city. The inexplicable crimes and murders. Some humans just blocked out the supernatural finding natural cause as it was easier than adjusting their way of viewing the world. Cass had always known there was something unusual about her and when she found out she was a fallen star it all made sense. 

The blonde could see that Caleb was proud over his shop, and with all right it was very cosy and made you feel safe and at home. Making one want to spill all secrets. The star was in awe of people who could express them selves through art. Getting out all feelings in a sculpture, book or painting must be such a relief rather than to carry them around like she did. She had tired a few times but only ended up staring at a blank paper.

Before coupling up with her ex Cassandra had been the life of the party, the girl who small talked and laughed with everyone, but Simon had put an end to that. He liked that she got along with most people but didn’t want her to be too friendly to other men as it would make him look bad. A fight they had had many times ending with her apologising and becoming more and more introvert. Until she barely said hi if it wasn’t expected of her.

”I am not much for alcohol either so Sparkling water would be lovely” The star said accepting his offer. She had never been a heavy drinker. A glass here and there at girls night but that too had Simon put an end too arguing that it would but her off in training. 

Caleb had made a lot of friends over the past three years and they tended to cross a lot of the boundaries that the different groups had aligned themselves into. As a human who had come into a knowledge of magic, he had a certain innocence that left him with a blank slate to everyone's grievances. It gave him the ability to grant everyone a chance, no matter their history. He'd made friends with people from every side of multiple disagreements. Tenuous ones. Ones that still held bearing today. It had cemeneted him firmly inside the community as what he was naturally: a quiet piece of neutrality amid a world of harsh opinions and outrage. Caleb had spent many hours listening to people tell their stories and even more trying to arrange the true timeline of Evermore inside his own mind.  Access to the Ailward's library had helped with this, while he first adjusted to the understanding that the world had never been exactly what it seemed.

Many of his hours of conversation and contemplation had been in the great outdoors while he explored the wide range of communities that the city had to offer. Some of them were quite friendly; but, there were a few that he still felt nervous to enter without Octavia, or Erythreus by his side. It seemed that once you'd lived longer than a typical human, the burdens of the past never faded. Caleb did not want to imagine what a century old grudge could look like. That kind of misery certainly came from a deep well of pain, but he had found relief in letting go. Sometimes, there was no right solution to a problem, but neither could their be true atonement for unfair hardship. Very often, what people expressed in their anger was a form of grief. It was a cry to be heard, rather than a belief that anything could repair the damage which had been done. 

He had been there before, which was part of why it was so easy to listen while others described their own tribulations. His first six months in Evermore had been spent in a dissociated haze of isolation and mental agony. There was nothing but time to heal most wounds. He'd had his time now. It was going on four years since he'd first wandered into the city, which meant it was almost five since his former lover had passed so tragically.

Caleb reached for a bottle of sparkling grape juice from a mini-fridge, which was hidden inside the counter. He typically poured it after someone had purchased something from his gallery, but he sensed that the young woman in front of him needed a bit of grace today. He handed her a glass, with an easy smile on his face. She did not seem to be much of a talker, that was for sure; but he didn't mind. His tendency for words had been extremely sparse until a year ago. In that time, he'd learned how to fill the gap for the people who couldn't. "It's a beautiful place. Sometimes, I've found that the most inspiring things lie right outside our doors, don't they?" He pointed to a subtly concealed bird's nest in the tree outside. "As long as you watch...and listen. Every new day has a way of soothing yesterday's sorrows."

He should know. Things were different now. He'd found fresh starts and ways to compensate for every day that he'd ever lost.

Through her work Cass got to meet a lot of people and their destinies. Many of them shared their stories which often weren’t sunny fairytales with happy endings. Usually the victims of a fire or another tragedy making the fire department involved where forced into another life. Losing a home or family member or just getting to the insight that it’s not the things that matters but the people you make memories with. The blonde had over the years learned that they didn’t expect salvations to every problem or an opinion. In almost every case they only needed some one to lay their burden on a little while. In the beginning the caring star had tried giving advice and coming up with solutions, using her free time to help house hunting or medling, but she quickly realised it did more harm than good.

Cass was good at listening, humming at the right places, remembering the important stuff when meeting again, a trait her late fiancé had appreciated. She was not quite as good at sharing. Not anymore at least. Before Simon she had been better at sharing then listening but he had forced her to change focus. Luckily no one expected her to share anymore, too busy with their own troubles to dig deeper. The other stars had all had traumatic experiences some more than others and not all where willing to share and experience their ghosts once again. It was both shame and grief that kept Cassandra from reliving her past.

”Thank you” She said returning his smile before taking a sip from the sparkling beverage, its cold sending a chill down her spine. Her eyes darted around the room at all the art work. She had never been very artsy and didn’t quite understand the abstract beauty the poetic artistic people liked. She didn’t like hidden truths herself being very blunt and planed.

”Is this for sale” The star asked pointing at a middle sized painting of a night sky that spoke to her. She could vision it in her otherwise plain room.  

It was difficult to move on or heal from anything. It had taken a while before Caleb could wake up each day and not immediately be flooded with memories that were hard to escape. He was learning, however, and conversations with similarly minded people helped. It was good to know that no one undertook things like grief, or anger completely alone. Despite how isolating those emotions could be. Letting people in, even in small, if not arbitrary ways, was a part of the process.

He smiled as Cassandra gestured to the painting. It was one of many that he'd done amidst his many nights on the lake in deep conversation with Octavia. This one had been early one. The sky was darker and there were only a few stars that shone through the black and tempestuous clouds. That was how he'd felt then -- that hope was a distant and far off thing. Perhaps, even, unreachable. 

He nodded, carefully removing the canvas from the hooks on the wall and placing it in her hands. "Yeah. I think the best part of art is community. Certain things just draw people together, repeatedly." 

Cassandra had a habit of rushing past things. Her life was going in fast forward always looking for a new adventure or rush. After her fiancés death it was the way she wanted it. If she didn’t stop to smell the roses maybe her past wouldn’t catch up to her. The blonde had worked hard to leave the girl she had become under Simons influence and didn’t wish to be reminded afraid it would force her back into the woman she had become in his presence. The person he force her to become. However how ever much she tried to run from it her past was beginning to catch up forcing her to relive and deal with the feelings she thought she had escaped.

The blonde had tried many different things to get rid of her passed. Well maybe she hadn’t given them an honest chance but when she stood infront of the canvas or tried writing it down in a diary everything went black. She couldn’t get it from her mind onto paper. It just felt silly. Also did she want it on print for anyone to see?

”Thank you” The star said gratefully as he handed her the painting. Givning him her credit card to pay for the art work. Hopefully it wasn’t a million worth piece. Not that that would’ve been a problem she’d been able to save up a fair amount of money the last years and didn’t have many living expenses. Unlike her ex she wasn’t obsessed with money and the status having a lot gave you. Sure it was nice not having to think about it but she didn’t need to have a fortune. After being captive she knew money didn’t matter much being with people you cared about was far more important and bright you more joy than any amount of money could give you.

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