Sun looked up and her eyes locked unto a brilliant, bright orb in the sky that twinkled softly in the darkening sky. She gasped in amazement! It was even more beautiful then she had imagined.
She turned to Jason, beaming from ear to ear. He smiled back at her. “It’s amazing!”
“Keep watching,” Jason said gesturing back to the dark sky. “There are a lot more stars where that one came from.”
Sun turned her gaze upward and was greeted by a multitude of stars. They winked at her out of the void-black beyond that was the sky. In places, they were silver or a white, so pure that no darkness could touch them. But other stars glittered with tinges of color at their edges, almost like an ever changing rainbow. The longer she watched, the more stars appeared until Sun could no longer even imagine counting them all. To her, the stars were beacons of hope, and her soul was filled with an incredible joy at the sight of them. Her dream was finally complete.
“Are they everything that you had hoped that they would be?” Jason asked softly from beside her after a few minutes.
“Everything and more,” Sun breathed.
Jason laid a warm hand over Sun’s, causing a shiver of excitement to flood through Sun’s body. After another minute or so, Jason spoke. “You know, Sun. I’ve been thinking.” He paused to clear his throat. “I know that you have nowhere to stay and I have an extra room… Well, I just thought that maybe – if you would like – you could stay at my place until you found a place of your own.”
Sun pulled her hand away, guilt flowing through her like a sharp knife. Warm tears sprung to her eyes and began to flow down her cheeks.
Jason sat up quickly. “I’m sorry,” he apologized, confusion written all over his face. “Did I say something?”
“No, no,” Sun replied sitting up and pulling her knees to her chest. “It’s not you, it’s me. I’ve… I’ve done something awful. And I’m so sorry.” More tears poured from her eyes, down her cheeks, and unto her knees. “I’ve lied to you!” she blurted out.
“What?” Jason reeled back in surprise.
“I’m not a real person,” Sun confessed. “I’m a… I’m a clone. You see, I escaped from the lab that I was created in yesterday because my time was running out and I didn’t want to die unless I got to see the stars.”
“But clones aren’t supposed to be… human,” Jason said in confusion. “We were told that the clones were created brain dead, an empty slate. Why then are you so… real?”
“The scientists lied to you too, then,” Sun muttered. “All clones are created with their own unique personality. We only become brain dead when the scientists try to shove another person’s memory and personality and basically who they are into us. Then we become brain dead and are terminated, considered just another failed experiment.”
“Then how are you not brain dead?”
“I was a new experiment of clone,” Sun explained. “The scientists were trying to get the clones to live past thirty-one days so that if they were able to successfully transfer another person’s conscience into us, the person would be able to live a full life.”
Jason was silent for a full minute before he asked his next question, his voice quiet and hesitant. “How old are you, Sun?”
Sun gulped before she whispered quietly, “I’m on my thirty-first day.” There, the confession was out. Even if she had wanted to, there was no going back.
Jason sat there stunned into silence. It was her thirty-first day. She was… she was dying. This happy girl whom he had almost hit with his car yesterday was dying. His stomach clenched and his heart broke.
“I’m so sorry,” he said, his voice a mere whisper. Then he did something that surprised himself. He leaned forward and wrapped Sun in a hug. It didn’t matter that she was a clone. She was the nicest person that he had ever met and she had already begun brightening his life in the short time that he had known her. She was more human than anyone he knew. “Sun,” he began. “You are a real person.” He had to let her know that. She had to know that.
Sun sniffed and leaned into Jason’s embrace. He didn’t hate her. He had forgiven her for lying to him. He didn’t consider her a clone, but a real person. Her heart lifted. Everything was going to be okay. “Thank you, Jason,” she said softly. “For everything.”
They spent the next three hours talking and enjoying each other’s company. The stars overhead continued to shine brightly while Sun slowly began to fade away. She could feel it, the weakness, the cold pressing in. Her pulse was becoming weaker, her vision darkening.
Jason noticed Sun’s change and moved closer to her, holding her hand in his own. She couldn’t be dying, he told himself. But she was. Her hand was cold to the touch. Her pulse was weak.
“It’s going to be okay,” he told her, but his words felt empty. He wanted to do more, wanted to save her. But all that he could do was be there for her.
Sun looked at Jason and smiled a smile as radiant as the sun. Then her eyes drifted upward and she saw a bright star shooting through the sky. Her smile widened even as she faded away and then there was nothing.
Jason knew it the moment that she was gone. Her eyes were blank, her pulse gone. His heart heaved and he felt hot tears flood his eyes. She was gone. Sun was gone.
Jason knelt and placed a fresh sunflower on top of a headstone. It was a cloudy day and there was a slight chill in the air. Fall was coming.
It had been two months since Sun’s passing and the pain of losing her was still fresh in his heart. How could someone with so much joy, so much life, and so much love just die? But she had.
But she had left an impression on him, and he was determined to live out a life that would honor her legacy. He had taken up art again and he had started enjoying life and living it to the fullest. Every morning since her death, he had been watching the sun rise. It was now a routine and a pleasure that he never wanted to miss. And it reminded him of her. A tear slid down his face when he remembered her screaming when she first saw the sun. He smiled warmly as he remembered the pure joy that had shone on her face.
He placed a hand on the butterfly carved into her headstone. “I got a job at an art studio today,” he told her. “I can just imagine how excited that you would have been. I also got a dog. His name is JoJo. You would have loved him too. The sun was especially beautiful this morning. I really wish that you had seen it.” He paused. “Sun, I hope that wherever you are right now there are lots of flowers, especially sunflowers. I hope that you are happy.” He patted the stone. “That’s all that I will ever want for you.” He took a deep breath. “I’ll be back to visit soon.”
Rain was beginning to fall when he turned away from Sun’s grave, but he paid no mind, enjoying the water that ran down his arms. He walked slowly toward the car. The rain was coming down harder and harder until it was pouring.
Jason stopped and looked up, letting the fresh water soak his face, his arms, and his hands. He smiled. The rain felt so good.
“Hey, man,” an older gentleman said from a few feet away. “Ever heard of an umbrella?”
The man was wearing a leather jacket and was hunched under a black umbrella. A scowl was on his face.
Jason looked right at the man then smiled. “What’s an umbrella?”
This is my final update of The One Wish. Thanks to anyone who has stuck with the story from the beginning. Let me know what you think in the comments.