On the patch of darkness, perceive movement and noise; the rustling of paper and cloth, the tinkle of glass, a soft giggling. There are voices, too, breaking the silence of the night.
She says: “Oh, Dan, this was such a fantastic idea! A moonlight picnic, how sweet.”
He says: “I’m glad you like it. Champagne?”
She says: “Yes, please,” followed by more giggling and another tink. Then there is silence.
More movement results in feet sticking out of the dark patch on the ground, mannerly next to each other.
She says: “Aren’t the stars beautiful tonight? You can’t see them like that in the city.”
He says: “That’s why I love this spot. I learned the names of the different constellations here, from my dad.”
“Can you still remember some?”
“Sure. This one there is my personal favourite, and not because it’s so prominent. It’s Orion, the hunter. I like it because the bright star, there on the left, is Betelgeuse.”
She giggles. “Beetlejuice? Oh, I love Tim Burton!”
“Me too! But I knew the planet first from H2G2.”
“The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. You know, Ford Prefect was from a planet in the vicinity of Betelgeuse.”
“Ah, I see...”
Silence falls once more.
He says: “When I was a kid, I wanted to be an astronomer. Could there be a better life than watching stars every night and sleep throughout the days? The dreams of a little boy...”
She says: “A now you work at the Café.”
“Yeah, I figured I’d need the money, if I ever want to travel to a desert.”
“In a desert, I could watch the stars from the back of a camel; that would be a lot more interesting than staying in the same observatory forever. See, a camel can move from place to place as well, a bit like the castles on a chessboard.”
She giggles. “Oh Dan, sometimes you are really weird.”
More silence, broken only by the quiet rustling of cloth.
He says: “Lucy?”
“I think I love you.”
“I love you, too.”