The Man in the Moon

By Austin Lopez

Little Anna smiled toothily at her parents and they smiled back. Her dad lifted her into
her cradle and tucked her in. He sung sweetly to Anna and even though she couldn’t understand
him she still slowly drifted off into peaceful sleep. That night little Anna dreamed about flying,
zooming through giant puffy clouds. She just kept on floating until something startled her awake.
Anna opened her eyes and noticed a soft light seeping through the windows. Anna peered
up at the tiny ball of silver light with wonder. Then without warning it transformed into a face. It
grinned back at Anna and she giggled. Anna watched with fascination as it gave a little wink and
disappeared.

Ten years later Anna cried into her hands. Anna felt a strange feeling like someone was
watching her. She looked up and noticed the moon out. Anna almost screamed when the face
appeared. A voice spoke in her ear deep and slow, “No, no child. I won’t hurt you. What’s
wrong?”
Anna blinked the tears out of her eyes, “My mommy and daddy, they… they yell at each
other all day. I think they don’t love me anymore.”
“Anna, they love you more than you could ever know, but sometimes people get tired of
each other and they have to leave.”
“Is that what’s happening with my mommy and daddy?”
The voice hesitated and then said, “Yes.”
Anna started bawling again, “It’s my fault. Isn’t it?”
“No, Anna it’s not, and there’s no need to cry. You’ll still get to see both of them. You’ll
just get to see one of them a little more. Think of it like that, okay?”
Anna nodded weakly, “Who are you?”
“You can call me The Man in the Moon.”
“That’s a weird name.” Anna pointed out.

The Man in the Moon laughed, “It is.”
Anna liked the way he laughed. It was like a rockslide, so rough and loud.
“Smile for me, Anna.”
“Why?”
“Come on Anna. What’s the harm?”
Anna laughed, smiling at The Man in the Moon and he smiled back. “Now that’s the
spirit, Anna.”

Five years later Anna slammed down her phone on her windowsill, cracking it in half,
sending the phone spiraling down to the ground. Anna started sobbing uncontrollably. Anna felt
a gaping hole in her heart like someone had ripped a hole in her chest. Anna felt a soft glow fall
on her. She looked up and saw The Man in the Moon looking at her. His voice came to her,
“Anna. Talk to me, Anna.”
Anna stared at the face in the moon despondently, “Go away.”
“What’s wrong?”
Anna closed her eyes, “You’re not real. You’re just my imagination.”
“No, Anna, I’m not. That’s just what you want to believe.”
“Oh really? There’s a man in the moon watching us and he can talk too.”
Anna looked down and found her phone completely intact in her hand. “There’s nothing
to be afraid of, Anna. I just want to help.”
Anna considered the moon and sighed, “Why not? You’re not really there after all. I
guess I just feel empty, like everything I’ve been working towards in life is all of a sudden gone.
All my friends hate me, my mom is dating this new guy named Dylan like Dad never existed,
and I’m failing half my classes.”
“Well, Anna, you said you feel empty, so let’s imagine you’re a glass of water.
Sometimes people spill your water and your glass is empty, but it doesn’t have to stay that way.
You’ll never be able to stop people from spilling your water, but you can always keep on filling
your glass up if you want to. It’s never too late to do that.”
“But how?” Anna asked exasperated.
“There’s never just one way to fill yourself up again and not everyway would work for
everyone. You have to find what works for you.”
Anna let out a sigh of frustration, “A lot of good that does me.”

The Man in the Moon rumbled with laughter. “Oh, Anna, you can’t expect me to do
everything for you, can you?”
Anna rolled her eyes, “Aren’t you magical? Can’t you just fix everything if I tap my
heels together three times and say Kansas?”
“If I could do that for everyone I would, but sadly, that’s not the way the world works.”
Anna wiped her snot on a pillow, but as soon as she’d wiped her nose, the pillow had
cleaned itself. Anna laid down on her bed and closed her eyes. Anna opened them again to look
out the window and to her amazement the lights had turned off. The Man in the Moon smiled
warmly and hummed an old song Anna had never heard before. It was soft and slow like one of
those old jazz songs. It was sweet and sad, yet peaceful. The last thing Anna remembered was
wishing The Man in the Moon was real.

Ten years later Anna stood in front of a huge crowd of her friends and family sitting in
white little fold up chairs. Anna stood facing the love of her life in a huge white flowing dress.
The pastor droned on and on, but Anna didn’t care, in fact she could barely even hear him. All
she could do was stare into the eyes of the person opposite her. They where hazel gray with just a
hint of blue. Anna glanced upward. She’d insisted on having this at night and for good reason
too. The Man in the Moon watched contentedly and if he didn’t glow already, he did so even
more now. The pastor closed the folder he’d been reading from, “You may kiss the bride.”
And Anna did. The Man in the Moon smiled down on them as they danced the night
away. And when the newlyweds arrived at their apartment Anna excused herself to get some air.
The Man in the Moon spoke to her, “You’ve grown into a very beautiful woman, Anna, both on
the outside and on the inside.”
Anna’s eyes shone with tears, “I couldn’t have without you.”
“Yes, you could have, and you will.” He replied.
“What do you mean?” Anna asked quivering with emotion.
“I won’t be able to talk to you anymore.”
“Why? After all this time?”
The Man in the Moon replied sadly, “There are many other little boys and girls out there
who need me, Anna. I won’t be leaving, just taking a step back. Remember, I’ll always be
watching.”
“Wait, don’t go, please!”
But the moon offered no reply because that was the only way. Anna started sobbing
uncontrollably and eventually her love came out to comfort her. “It’s going to be alright.”

The Man in the Moon cried silently that night, like he did every time. He wanted so badly
to comfort her, but he knew he couldn’t.
He contented himself to whispering into the night, “It will.”

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