“I enjoy seeing you,” Musa said. “But if you no longer wanted to see me, I wouldn’t hurt you.”
I licked my lips. Seeing. There are so many ways that word could be used.
“I like seeing you, too,” I said. It came out in a whisper. But I swear I saw him smiling in the dark.
He scooted closer, so our hips touched. The spot instantly warmed. I thought he might kiss me, but all he did was take my right hand into his and give it a squeeze. “This okay?”
“Yes.” It still came out scratchy, like I was losing my voice.
He picked up the telescope and put it back up to his eye. I watched him point it back up at the moon. “So, you ever going to explain what I’m seeing on this here moon?”
I licked my lips, startled. He’s holding my hand, but wants to talk about our planet’s nearest neighbour?
“Er, well, see all those dark spots?”
“Yeah, I see them,” he said.
“There is an interesting story about them.”
“So, way back,” I said, “When scientists couldn’t see much, they thought those large, dark patches could be oceans, so they named them ‘mare’.”
He lowered the scope. “What’s a horse got to do with the ocean?”
I shook my head. “Nothing. That’s Latin for ‘seas’.”
He clucked his tongue. “Never understood why scientists have to use complicated names. Just name it, and move on.”
I scratched my knee, not sure if I should answer his question. Might make me sound like a know-it-all, when the truth was, I’d only just starting learning this stuff, myself. So, I focused on scratching around yet another bite from those evil flies. That’s the problem with horses, they make poo that these mean flies adore. It’s like bees drawn to honey, only honey doesn’t stink.
I glanced at Musa.
“I think you know the answer, and you just aren’t sharing,” he said.
“Um, it’s because back then educated Europeans pretty much all studied Latin. It was the language they had in common, even though they didn’t speak it in their regular lives.”
He lowered the scope. “You mean, like why lots of the world speaks English?”
“Not exactly. I think it had to do with the Catholic Church. They wanted you to understand the service, no matter where you travelled.”
He laughed. “So I guess most people had no idea what they were hearing at church, since only the really rich ones could afford to learn these things.”
I started laughing too. So hard, I’m surprised all the horses didn’t wake up and raise a fuss. I laughed, and laughed, until my sides ached. By the time I started calming down, I realised Musa wasn’t holding my hand anymore. He had both of his palms on my shoulders, one of his fingers stroking the side of my neck.
My breath got trapped in my throat again.
“I see you,” he whispered.
“I see you,” I whispered back.
That’s when we kissed. I decided it tasted like stardust.
Tell us: What does having somebody ‘see’ you mean to you?