There once was a girl named Terra who wanted to know the secret of being happy.
“How do I find true happiness?” she would ask as she sat under an apple tree.
One day, Gravity came to her and offered some wisdom. “Do you want to know the secret of happiness?”
“Yes, I do,” Terra replied, standing to her feet.
“Then follow me.”
He led her away from the tree and across the field just as the Sun was coming up over the horizon. And right as the sunlight was about to blind Terra’s eyes, a figure suddenly dropped from the sky and landed in front of her. The light was shimmering and Terra looked away, afraid her face was about to be fried off. But a second later, it dimmed and when she turned, she saw a young man standing there, grinning down at her. There was a halo of golden hair around his head, his eyes were a brilliant blue, and his teeth were glowing white as his smile lit up the field.
Terra felt her heart skip a beat. He was so beautiful. She swallowed nervously and took a step back, but couldn’t move. Was she that nervous that her feet had stopped working? She wished Gravity had told her he was about to introduce her to a Greek god. She would’ve made herself more presentable.
“You coulda warned a sista,” she muttered out of the corner of her mouth.
“What’s the fun in that?” Gravity snickered.
Terra pulled a stray strand of hair away from her face and flashed the young man a smile. But she saw something in his eyes she didn’t expect. He was looking straight at her, but his face was saying something different.
“You’re really cool,” he blurted.
“So are you,” Terra found herself saying.
“You’re gonna go places. I know it. What do you wanna do with your life?”
And that’s when Terra realized what was in his eyes. He didn’t see her as another girl. He saw her as a friend.
“I’m Helio,” he said, holding out his hand.
“And I’m available.” Terra reached out to shake it, but her hand hit an invisible wall between them. Their hands stopped inches from each other and they stared in confusion.
“What happened?” Terra said, turning to Gravity.
Gravity smirked, but Terra didn’t see how this was supposed to be funny. “Helio is the friend you’ll be tempted to fall in love with. But he doesn’t see you the same way.”
Terra shrugged. “Nice meeting you, Heely! Bye!” She turned and walked away, heading back to the apple tree. But she only made it a couple steps before realizing the tree was gone. And when she turned back around, Helio was there, still the same distance away from her—like neither of them had ever moved.
“Why are you still so close to me?” she asked.
Helio shrugged. “I don’t know. You moved and my body moved too.”
Terra felt something billow in her chest like warm butterflies. But they weren’t the nervous, head-over-heels kind. There was something in his voice—like his words were sunlight feeding the flowers in her soul. Whatever that meant.
Terra’s eyes rolled over to Gravity. “Start talking.”
“You can’t move any closer to Helio or the rejection will burn you. But you can’t move any further either or the distance will freeze you. Because Helio’s friendship gives you life.”
Terra face palmed herself. “Gimme a break.”
“Helio will be that friend who will be there for you when you need him—he’ll laugh with you, cry with you, and dream with you. But he will never be with you.”
“And this will make me happy how?” Terra asked.
Gravity looked at Helio then at the Sun hanging high above them then snapped his fingers and everything went black.