by Jalecia Reid

I was a child of the night but longed for the warmth of the sun before I even knew what it was. But I was far too much like Icarus and I burned. 

Just like they said I would. 

This is the story of how I burned. 

When I was born the stars danced and they said “A child has been given to us, what shall we do?” See, I was meant to shine brighter than the sun itself. 

The gods built me with love and sealed me off with a kiss of bravery. We were children. The Gods called us prostars; stars but not quite yet. I was told that my job was only to shine and oh how nice did it sound. I was special; unique. I wanted to grow big and strong, just like the Sun.

Oh, all the beautiful names I had picked out! Andromeda, Anastasia, Alexandra, Berenice. I felt special.

I was special.

Humans.  I was supposed to love the mortals but I despised them and they continued to worship me blindly. All they did was take and take even more. There was so much animosity between them. Why did the gods create me just to shine over them

Soon enough I was Andromeda, ruler of man. Mankind shouted “Andromeda! She’s come to bless us!” “Blessed be the one Andromeda shines upon!” 

I hated it.

I was just an object to them. Nothing more.The mortals had what I wanted. Freedom. I searched and searched but I found nothing to end my suffering. Until one day I did. Horkos the god of oaths and promises said he could help me as long as I kept my end of the deal; give up my heart and never fall in love. It sounded so sweet, just like honey but I would soon learn that it was as poisonous as a viper’s bite.

Becoming human was my first and last mistake. 

When I came down to Earth I was a beauty. The humans stopped and stared, some whispered. I didn’t mind because I finally had what I so desperately craved and something that I never knew I needed. Freedom and company. I quickly found out that humans were very strange. Although they worshiped the stars they ruled over themselves. It sounded liberating. They never had just one job, they were constantly changing. It was absolutely fascinating. My home in the sky was no longer part of me. I was human. 

As time passed I did something I never thought I would do. I fell in love. Although I was once a star he felt like the Sun, burning everything in his path.  Dolion was his name. Mortals tell their offspring to not get too close to the fire. In this case Dolion was the fire and I was a disobedient child. I fell weak to his charms and missed the important signs. That mistake cost me dearly. 

Dolion made so many promises and I believed every single one of them. He failed to keep all of his promises but he was able to do one thing; live up to his name. Dolion, a deceitful and treacherous man. When I was a star all I did was give more and more. It seemed like that trait never left me even when I became human. Dolion liked to take and take. We made quite the pair. He sucked every bit of life and joy I had and soon enough I was nothing but a shallow cast of the s̶t̶a̶r̶  human I once was.

I had forgotten about the promise I made to Horkos. He was furious that I couldn’t keep my end of the deal. To punish me he turned me back into the star and had the rest of the gods decide what my future would be.

I was banished from Heaven and Earth and trapped in Tartarus. Maybe in another life the mortals would call me Andromeda The Galaxy. As I took my last breaths and my lights flickered I realized that I was just greedy. I had become blinded by envy and forgot to look around at the joys I had as a star. What a cruel thing it is to be a star.