A Forest Full Of Stars

Highlights Champs|July 2019

A Forest Full Of Stars

It’s a hot summer night. Crickets chirp and cicadas hum and hiss outside Ruhi’s open window.

Noah Weisz

“Ruhi,” Dadi whispers from the doorway. “Get up. I have something to show you.”

Ruhi rolls over. “What is it?”

“Just put on your shoes and come with me,” Dadi says.

Hand in hand, they walk down the stairs and cross the kitchen. As they leave the house, Ruhi shuts the door softly so she won’t wake her parents.

Today, Ruhi and her parents drove two hours from Maharashtra to drop off her big sister, Chaya, at sleepaway camp upstate. Then they drove another four hours to Dadi’s house, way up here in this quiet country town. No matter how much Ruhi had begged, they wouldn’t let her go to camp with Chaya.

Ruhi misses her sister so much already it’s like a small cave opening up in her chest.

Outside, the darkness is thick. Dadi switches on a flashlight and starts walking.

Her sneakers make a shh-shh sound in the grass.

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July 2019