"I have a secret," said Soni, a girl from my class, when we were sitting together in the schoolyard one day, "but you have to promise not to tell anyone." "I promise," I said. I was curious.
Soni looked left and right and then she whispered in my ear, "Every night when I go to sleep I turn into a star in the sky, and in the morning, when I wake up, I go back to being an ordinary girl." "That's impossible," I said, "You must be dreaming. I don't believe a word of it."
"I knew you wouldn't believe me," Soni smiled, "but I wanted to tell you anyway, so you'd know. One day, if you want me to, I'll prove it to you." And then she went off to play.
Over the next few days I thought about what Soni had said. She couldn't possibly be telling the truth, but she sounded so sure of herself, and she said she could show me… I couldn't stop thinking about it so at last I told her that I really wanted to know.
"Okay," said Soni, "We'll ask our parents' permission for you to stay over at my house for the holiday. Then you'll be able to see for yourself."
And that's what happened. When the holiday came I went to sleep over at Soni's house.
In the evening we sat on the bed in her room. "Look," Soni opened the window and pointed to the sky. "Up there, in between the two big stars. When I fall asleep you look there."
"Okay," I agreed.
Soni lay down and closed her eyes and I looked out her window, at the exact space that she had pointed to, right between the two big stars. For quite a while nothing happened and I started to think I was wasting my time
But then, all of a sudden, a magical silence filled the room, Soni's breathing grew softer, and I knew she had fallen asleep.
At that moment, as if at the wave of a magic wand, I saw a new star shining in the sky. A tiny star, golden and glowing, right between the two big ones. I was so excited and amazed that I couldn't fall asleep, so I sat on the bed all night long, watching the sky and the happy star.
I didn't feel the least bit tired and the night was over before I knew it. At first light, the star said goodbye and slowly faded away. Soni breathed a deep breath, opened her eyes and said, "Good morning!" I looked at her, full of wonder, and she said, "You believe me now, right?" "I believe you," I said. "And it’s so special, because at night I dream dreams and you turn into a real star.''
In the afternoon of the same day we went for a walk in the fields. "Soni," I said, "at night, when I was watching you in the sky, I thought of three questions." "What are they?" she asked.
"What does it feel like to be a star? Are you lonely?" "Not at all," Soni replied, "when I'm a girl I sometimes feel lonely, but when I'm up there I'm part of the whole universe."
"And… are stars sad sometimes? Are they ever worried or afraid?"
"Not at all," she told me, "when I'm a star I see the world from a great distance and it looks so nice and small. And the sorrow, the worries and the fears also seem so small and far away!"
"Wow!" I said.
"What's the third question?" Soni asked. "I'll ask you later," I replied.
From then on, every night before I went to sleep I looked out my window at the sky and said goodnight to Soni the star, and when I woke up I wished her good morning. One night I asked the third question. "All people die in the end. Do stars live forever?"
"Stars live for a very long time," Soni told me, "but just like people, in the end they go home, back to the universe that has no end."