The Star

The Star

He stared at the screen, trying to make sense of the figures on it, same thing he had been trying to do for the past three hours. For some reason his mind was not cooperating, something strange was going on in his heart. It felt hollow, empty and ached ferociously.

He stood up for the umpteenth time and walked round the spacious office, his feet disappearing into the thick rug underneath.

Standing by the window, he stared out into the deepening sky and looked down at the city with its lights just coming out to battle the approaching darkness.

He loved this city. The life, the energy, the promises, the challenges! He had always loved it and just looking at it was usually enough to fill him with a burst of enthusiasm, but not today. Today, nothing seemed to work.

Deep in his heart, he knew this depression was not new, it had been lurking deep inside for some time now, but for some reason, it was worse this evening and he didn’t know why.

He turned and stared round his office: the penthouse of the fifteen story building that housed his company. The company he had built from scratch. The symbol of his hard work and much earned success. He had given his all to this company and now that it was firmly established, he should be happy, he deserved to be happy. But he wasn’t.

With a sigh, he turned back to the window and realized with a start that the sky was dark and the stars were out. Time had flown by as he pondered his inner dissatisfaction. He reached behind him to ring for his secretary, then remembered she had left for the day, so had everyone else and he remembered why – today was Christmas eve and they had all closed early. He was the only one left in the building, even his driver was gone.

He stared up at the sky, seeking – what? He didn’t know.

Then he saw one of the stars, shinning more vividly than the others. It stood apart, majestic, glowing big and bright.

Looking at it, he suddenly remembered a legend from his childhood, that if one followed the biggest star, it would lead one to what the heart needed above all else. As a man of facts and figures, he didn’t believe in such myths, or any myth for that matter, and he had no doubt that this particular one had its roots in the story of the birth of Jesus and the wise men, but today his lonely heart would not be reasonable.

Still staring at the star, he was suddenly overcome with an irrational urge to follow the star. At least, let him test the legend and prove it wrong, he tried to rationalize his illogical urge.
Irrational or not, he had always been a man of action, so he picked up his jacket and strode out of the office into the lift.

Emerging out of the building, he looked up, suddenly afraid the star would no more be there, but it was still there, looking even bigger, calling him with its unearthly glow.

He got into his car and feeling foolish, but strangely compelled, drove out of the compound, not even hearing the guard’s “Merry Christmas, sir”, and started following the star.

He drove down the road, exiting to the highway and it seemed as if the star moved ahead of him, leading him. He drove automatically, not really conscious of the road, just keeping the star in his sights, determined not to lose it.

For about thirty minutes, he followed the star as it led him into a residential area, winding round palatial mansions till it came to a stop over a huge house, more palatial than the others.

He stopped the car in front of the massive house, frowning in confusion. He hesitated for a moment then put the car in reverse and drove away from the house. He looked up for the star as he drove away, but the star was no more ahead of him. It stayed behind, hanging resolutely over the house.

He stopped again and turned around in his seat to look back at the star. It shone fiercer than before, calling him.

Against himself, he got out of the car, and like one mesmerized started walking back on foot, not even aware that he left the engine running and the door opened.

He walked back up to the house; it was bathed in the light of the moon and the two seemed fused together, becoming one in an eerie, yet, welcoming way; both calling silently to him.

He stood in front of the door, hesitated again then took a deep breathe and opened the door. He followed the sound of voices into the house and came to a large living room.

In front of a Christmas tree and carved animals artlessly arranged, stood Joseph smiling down at a little Mary with baby Jesus asleep in a baby stroller before them, his head lolling to one side.

Joseph and Mary turned at his entrance and he saw shock on their faces. He also saw Joseph glance up at the grandfather clock beside the door to check the time and turn back to look at him, a concerned frown creeping up on the face.

Staring at the scene before him, something in his heart trembled and gave way. On shaky legs, he walked over to them, reached out a trembling hand to Joseph’s face and touched it reverently.

“Honey . . . ”, his voice broke and he cleared it roughly, “Honey, can I be Joseph this year? And you be Mary?”

Before his shocked wife could answer, a tiny voice piped up indignantly, “Then what will I be?”

He looked down at his little daughter and reached out a hand to draw her close to him, “An angel, my darling. You will be my angel, the angel you have always been”

That was all he could manage before his voice broke and he started sobbing loudly. In huge heaves, the loneliness seeped out of him, the depression curled up and withered, the heaviness grew light and drifted away. And yet, he continued sobbing.

His sleeping son woke up and started crying; he knew he was scaring his daughter and wife, but he could not stop.

“Sweetheart, what is it? What is it?” his wife asked worriedly.

All he could say was “I followed the star, honey. I followed the star”

Outside the house, the star glowed brightly one more time over the house then moved away, up, up to hang back in the sky. Waiting to lead another lonely heart back home.


39 thoughts on “The Star” by Lade (@Lade-A)

  1. Lovely, lovely story Lade.loved it all the way.Glad for the Mc that the star finally led him to his family.

    One sneaky typo: ‘He stood in front of the door, hesitated again then took a deep breath(e) and opened the door.

    And a very merry xmas to you too.

    Well done!!!

    1. Thanks, Lawal. And thanks for that correction too.

  2. Hmmm… Lade, so this was what came out of the inspiration you got from scopeman story/play, hm? I flowed with you dear storyteller, then I got stuck on the gentle entrance of the imagery of Joseph and Mary with the baby Jesus in a large living room. From there on, I got confused. You have great power of narration, Lade, real great power, even though a little bit more improvement on your writing skills is very much needed. I understand your thick obsession for the dark and confused in creative writing, but please, take me along with ya. Don’t leave me behind, please dear, hm? ;) *kiss*

    1. Didn’t mean to leave you behind, Emmanuella. The Joseph, Mary & Jesus scenario was the MC’s family acting out the Christmas nativity play. I thought that was clear.
      And yes, i agree with you my writing skill needs improvement. May i never stop improving.
      Thanks, dear. And the Season’s blessings to you!

  3. Very good story Lade, indeed i saw the Xmas star bring my family together this year too.

    1. Thank you, Tee. I’m sure the star brought quite a lot of families together. Thank God for Christmas!

    1. Thanks, Ooluss. Hope you had a great xmas.

  4. You show good imagination with this story, Lade, and it’s interesting that you evoke Christmas with it. But depression is a serious disease and sometimes it takes more than symbols or family reunions to get a handle on it. Good effort.

  5. My MC wasn’t suffering from clinical depression, howyoudey. He was suffering from putting what mattered most in the backburner. The star led him to his family to help him get his priorities straight.
    Thanks for reading and commenting.

  6. I got a little confused at the joseph scene too, but generally it was a good read. It was captivating.

    1. Sorry about the confusion, Adeyinka, my bad.

  7. Lade dear, this is platinum gold. Your story is instructive and full of admonition. It made me think about family and people who may be silently missing me. Thanks for being the star. I’ll call them all shortly. Thanks to GSM.

    1. That’s great, Jeff. I’m glad.
      A very merry belated xmas to you and your family.

  8. Lade, perhaps there would be less confusion if you added some exposition that the family was acting out a play.Just a thought anyway.

    1. Thanks, Opeyemi.

  9. I love when a season inspires a story… Nice one Lade..

  10. That’s the beauty of this season. Thanks, dear.

  11. This is lovely. Although i got confused just after he entered the house. But its nice all the same. Mewwy Cwistmas!

    1. Again, i apologise for the confusion. Thank you, AnnaBella, and a Merry Xmas to you too.

  12. Lovely and touching, Lade! It’s hard for me to feel any empathy in fiction, but I felt some for the main character! I re-read it and understood it better, esp when he asked his wife if he could be “Joseph” this year, so she could be Mary and his daughter could be, well, the angel :D. He seems to want his place in the family once again. Perfect little Christmas tale, Lade,prize-worthy stuff!

    1. Thank you so much, Marya. For reading, for understanding, for getting it and for feeling it. I am grateful and relieved, lol.
      A blessed season to you and yours.

      1. I wish you the same, babes!

  13. Lovely story Lade…Must confess though that I had to read the nativity scene twice to realise that his wife played ‘Joseph’ every year to her daughter’s ‘Mary’ in the absence of her husband and that the star took him back home to take his rightful place…Compliments of the season to you babe!

    1. Same to you, Mercy. Thanks for aiding in my ‘relief’ lol.

  14. beautiful. i think you packaged it well. no need to add anything. lovin dis.

    1. Thank you, Matthew.

  15. the twist and reveal is seamless. (read it again.)

    1. Thank you. Again. Lol.

  16. why didn’t I see this earlier?! Even though the season is past, this still makes for good reading, I enjoyed it.

    1. Thanks, scopeman. Better late than never, right?

      1. yes, but never late is better.

  17. nice read, very nice read

    1. Thanks, xikay!

  18. This is cool…I can imagine the void left by the misplacement of his priorities…

    1. Exactly, Raymond. Thank you.

  19. Bubbllinna (@sibbylwhyte)

    I love this story..I am glad Your MC got 2 play Joseph finally…Nd I hope this star doesn’t just go with d season..It should stay back to lead lost people home..Well done @lade

  20. @scopeman60, no be only you kari late for dis one o!
    I followed a star too to arrive at this tale…followed the comment of the person before me…thanks for the direction…
    This is one tale that I sure would remember.
    I love Christmas tales, a lot. When @jefsaraurmax mentioned you as favourite story writer, I didn’t really understand, though
    I noted it, respecting her unsentimental opinion on lots of stuff.
    Lade, this is a really lovely tale. You have all the thoughts and I wouldn’t add more. It might not be Christmas still but your
    tale brings back Christmas like Dicken’s Carol. May your tales take you very far and to heights you never dream of…
    Well done.

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