The Star, Pluto

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2012 Barrett Winner

4th Place Jordan Barr

He is at the coffee shop.
Waiting for her to arrive.
He sips on the drink.
It's a warm, creamy beige.
It tastes better than anything,
Especially on a cold afternoon.
She walks through the door.
Bringing a cold breeze in.
He shivers from the chill.
How could she possibly know?
Know that she makes his teeth chatter?
She sits in the chair. She didn't even order coffee.
"I really hate these places."
"But why?" he asks her.
"Everyone is just so snobby."
'Tm not snobby," he says.
She sighs, and looks around.
What is she thinking about?
"Oh, you like astronomy, right?"
He replies, "Sure, of course."
"Pluto isn't a planet anymore."
He can only smile warmly.
He wonders when she heard.
She says, "You don't care?"
He tells her he does . She says he never cares.
About anything that she says.
He can only laugh quietly.
"Did you just say something?"
He clears his throat loudly.
"It happened five years ago."
"What did?" she asks him.
"Pluto's demotion," he says, smiling.
"So what is Pluto now?"
"It's a dwarf planet, sweetheart."
She explains how he's wrong.
"It isn't. It's a star."
"Stars shine because of thermonuclear fusion."
She quickly shakes her head. "I saw it on TV."
"The TV isn't always right."
She squints angrily at him.
"So, how do they know?"
He looks out the window.
Then he grins so slightly.
"I don't know. I don't."