The room was painted black and scattered with glow-in-the-dark stars. The light bulb on the ceiling was covered by a full moon shade to give the room the appearance of a night sky illuminated by a full moon. A tea kettle was heating on a stove in the adjacent kitchen. A man, sitting in a recliner, entered a flashback.
The light of the full moon above, and the campfire on site, provided just enough illumination for the college kids to see each other. The group setup a nice little campsite in the middle of the woods just outside Pocono, Pennsylvania. They were students from the local university who were looking for a nice relaxing night without studying.
Three college students, a couple and an odd man out, were
sitting around the fire. The odd man out was in love with the woman that was sitting across from him. And he was friends with her boyfriend. He wasn't very popular, and didn't have a girlfriend so he came along, alone. But his love for the woman sitting across from him was uncontrollable. And everyone knew about his feelings, in fact he made them obvious.
“Do you want to hear a song I wrote,” the young man asked the couple. They immediately knew who the song was about, even before he started singing it. He had written many songs, poems, and love letters for her in the past.
“Let's hear it,” his friend replied.
The young man knew that his friend wanted to hear the song just so he could rub in the fact that he had the girl and not the song. But he decided to sing part of it anyway.
“ Let me be the one to hold you
Let me be the one to know you
The one that you come home to
When life didn’t treat you fair
Let me be the one to console you
The one that doesn’t judge you
and shows you that he cares
Why don’t you stop looking…
And let me be the one
Let me be the rain
That washes away your pain
Let me be your shining star
That chases away the dark
Let me be the man in the moon
Hoping you come to me soon
And let me be the sun
That watches over your fun
Why don’t you stop looking
And let me be the one”
His friend laughed at the song. “That was pathetic.”
“I thought it was very good,” the girl replied.
“The man in the moon,” the friend continued to laugh. “That's all you are to her. That's all you'll ever be. All you'll ever be is the man in the moon hoping she comes to you soon.”
“Stop it,” the girl reprimanded her boyfriend. “He did a nice job with the song.”
“Yeah,” the guy continued to laugh, “real nice job. I just have a suggestion, don't quit school to write music.”
“Don't listen to him,” the girl told the guy who wrote the song. Her boyfriend got up and pulled her toward the tent. She followed him into the tent and the young man watched as the tent was zipped up tight. He sat, staring at the tent, knowing what was going to happen inside. His heart raced; he could feel his blood pumping through his body.
“That's all you'll ever be,” an echo ran through his mind, “the man in the moon hoping she comes to you soon.” The young man looked up at the moon and saw the familiar face. He wasn't alone. He had the man in the moon with him; watching over him.
That's when the idea hit him. The idea that would change his life forever. The young man grabbed a large branch from the pile of firewood and put one end of it in the fire. He pulled the branch, now lit, out of the fire and grabbed the knife from the table. He walked slowly and quietly toward the tent, listening to the rustling from inside. He stood outside the tent, staring at it for a moment. He was thinking.
He used the branch to light the tent on fire and then dropped the branch. He gripped the knife tighter and prepared to use it when the couple ran from the tent. He watched as the couple struggled with the zipper from inside. They were screaming for help. He smiled and felt a sense of accomplishment.
The tent finally opened, the girl running out first. She was barely dressed. The young man pushed her to the ground and she fell hard. Her boyfriend ran out, also barely dressed. The young man stabbed the boyfriend in the chest and listened to the air rush out of his lungs. He then threw him backwards onto the burning tent, where the flames engulfed the man that had ridiculed him. He listened to the music of the screams until they stopped and the body laid motionless.
The girl climbed to her feet. “Please,” she begged, “don't hurt me.”
“I love you,” he said as he stared at her. He was rubbing his fingers over the blood covered knife. “But you don't love me. You left me alone out here with the man in the moon.” The girl ran but he quickly caught her by the hair. He pulled her head back, exposing her neck and sliced it. He let go of her and she fell to the ground.
The whistling of the tea pot brought the man back to reality. He sang as he walked to the kitchen and turned the stove off. “Let me be the rain that washes away your pain. Let me be your shining star that chases away the dark. Let me be the man in the moon hoping you come to me soon. And let me be the sun that watches over your fun. Why don’t you stop looking and let me be the one? Oh, let me be the man in the moon, the man in the moon, hoping you come to me soon.”
The man continued to sing that verse over and over as he poured the hot water from the tea kettle into a large container. He dipped a plant, with the roots intact, into the container of hot water. He let the plant sit in the water and went on to sit at the table, still singing.
He stared at a calendar on the table and focused on the dates he had circled in red. He jotted down a few notes and then pulled the astronomy book, that was sitting on the edge of the table, over to him. He looked through a few pages, jotted some notes down on a piece of paper, and then picked up a brochure that was sitting on the table.
“Pocono University,” the man said, “my alma mater.” He remembered the plant soaking in the hot water and quickly got up and made his way to the seeping tea. He pulled the plant out and laid it on the counter. He put the lid on the container, washed his hands, and then returned to the table to look at the brochure. He concentrated on the map of the campus and surrounding town.
He started to sing again. “Let me be the rain that washes away your pain. Let me be your shining star that chases away the dark. Let me be the man in the moon hoping you come to me soon. And let me be the sun that watches over your fun. Why don’t you stop looking and let me be the one? Oh, let me be the man in the moon, the man in the moon, that's coming to get you soon.”