A dark purple sky hangs overhead, stars glazed and twinkling in the moonlight. The town is illuminated by distinct signs of life: cars driving through neighborhoods, lights pouring out of kitchen windows, sounds of a small plane ascending overhead. The faint sound of my friend’s guitar fills the silence as we sit on a bench on the edge of a hill. We sit side-by-side, legs crossed and eyes up at the sky. It feels like we’re on the edge of the sublime, untouchable observers in our own corner of the world.
“Do you think there are people that go through college without ever stressing? Besides tests and grades — do you really think people are happy?” they ask, breaking the silence.
“Probably,” I say, peeling my eyes away from the stars. I glance at the ground, the question pulling me back to the present.
There’s a pause.
“Are you happy?”