This was always her favorite spot to visit. My friends always thought she was a bit odd; most girls I knew liked to visit romantic little spots. “Only a geek would ever think of the VLA as sexy, Anthony,” Rhonda used to say.
I would smile enigmatically and reply, “Carolyn likes it well enough.”
And it was true. Carolyn loved driving along dusty New Mexico roads that led to the Very Large Array, usually in the oncoming dusk, when the fading sun would paint the sky in hues of purple and amber. We would lie in the bed of my truck, gazing up to the heavens, watching the stars begin to peek out from the receding light. She knew each of them by names that no man had ever conceived. She pretended to hear sounds that the SETI guys dreamed of hearing, and we would both laugh.
She went home two years ago, and I stopped coming here. Yet today I find myself, on the anniversary of her departure, parked near the VLA , looking up into the night sky.
One star in particular shines brighter than all the rest.