“And if we’re on a burning starshipThe escape pods filled with your friendsYour childhood film photosThere’s no room for me to go”
This is inspired by my disastrous move to St Louis to be with my ex-boyfriend, instead of my original plans to move to Chicago, to live with my ex-partner. This is to you, not the reader, but the specific you. I want you to see very clearly the things that happened, just from a different lens. You who accuse me of never seeing your side, here’s a story written from your perspective. Well, the first half is at least. The second half is my side, the story makes more sense that way. There’s no reason for you to read this, your mind will never change. I want anyone who wants to know to be able to read what happened and decide for themself who was in the wrong. I feel more free now. You who I met when I was 16, and you were what? 18? 19 maybe? You always told me if I was older you would be into me. Well I hit 17 and you decided that was old enough. I gave everything I had to you and would have kept doing so if I didn’t grow up and see how little you cared for me. I would’ve kept doing so if I didn’t get medicated and see that I was just your fuck of the week. I’m not calling you a predator. I’m not calling you abusive. However, you would try to hurt me. I never did anything out of malicious intent. Well, almost never did anything. That’s all I have to say on that. To the Ava of this story, I mean no disrespect. The things I wrote that are harsh are not from my point of view. I still miss you, I miss crashing on your couch, I hope you’re having a lovely time on your voyage. The most fictional part of this story was me saying goodbye to you, I'm sorry I didn't have the guts to actually do that. To Jason, I’m sorry our time in the stars was so short-lived, but that’s a tale for another time. And lastly to Emily, fuck you. You transphobic piece of shit. Yeah I think that’s everything I had to say. To you, the general you, my friend who is reading this, I hope you understand a bit more of what I was dealing with in the recent past, I never really told anyone about it during, besides the real Jason, so I hope this is informative. Also I tried to make this entertaining, its a story about queer dynamics, open/polyamorous relationships, and hard choices. I hope you enjoy.
Part One: To Fly Or To Walk From what I’ve noticed, people have a tendency to remember the worst moments. I have the opposite issue, I relive the best times over and over in my head all the time. The day it was announced that mankind would be going to explore the furthest reaches of our galaxy is forever ingrained in my head. Now, at the time it didn’t really have anything to do with me, but the simple thought that someone, somewhere would be embarking on this journey was enough for me. Not to be crass, but it was like the opposite of a terrorist attack. In a way I have never seen before countries came together in unison for a singular purpose. It was beautiful. I was content to view this humongous step for mankind simply as a voyeur, that is until I got the call from you. Forgive me if I don’t get this right, I’m trying my best, but as I recall, your stepbrother’s biological father’s uncle’s half brother was a man named Victor Blaze, and he headed up the Orion company. The Orion company was the main American force behind the Legacy program, which was of course the project getting ready to send humans through the Milky Way galaxy. Now, this seems like a far off connection, but you used to babysit for him and I suppose he had a fondness for you that never left. This fondness was so deep that he offered you and four of your friends to be some of the first civilians in space. I was elated for you, the thought that someone so close to me would be going off on this adventure was almost too much for me to handle. When you got back I could get you to tell me all about every single planet you visited, every new sun you saw, and every small moon that orbited. It didn’t hit me till you practically spelled it out, that you were telling me because you were inviting me. The noise I made couldn’t be transcribed. It was somewhere between a high pitched scream and a frogs croak. I myself don’t fully understand how I made it. Anyway, it was going to be me, you, Ava, Emily, and Jason. A semi-acquainted group of queers who just so happened to all have a common thread: you. And thanks to you, we would all be embarking on one of the greatest journeys in the history of man. Ava was the child of two hispanic immigrants who came to America soon after she was born. They made a way for themselves and quickly grew to be as wealthy as the average blonde white all American family. Ava had the privilege of seeing the world through the eyes of someone other than a white person, and the ability to do some real good with the money her parents gave her. Instead she spent it on Whole Foods trips and Fleetwood Mac tickets. She held onto her ethnicity as if it was a pass to be a shitty rich person. I don’t know why you invited Ava, she could get quite mean to anyone she deemed beneath her. Jason was the biracial son of a former pimp and a coke addict. His parents met when his dad worked as a line cook for the restaurant his mom was a hostess at. Its a classic story honestly. Anyway his mom got knocked up so they decided fuck it lets get married, and have been together off and on ever since. Jason struggled from an early age with his identity, being assigned female at birth but knowing he was a man. He had to fight tooth and nail to get his family to accept him, which they really didn’t do till after he turned 18. He channeled his frustration and anger into his paintings, which he occasionally took to galleries. You and him used to have some sort of romantic relationship, and seemed to still have a connection that threatened what we had. I couldn’t really say anything given the circumstances, so I just kept my reservations to myself. Emily was just white. She hated when that was pointed out though. Whenever someone did she made haste to point out, “But I’m a lesbian!!” Okay Emily, the purple hair and nose ring already gave that away. Emily was clearly into me, but I was mostly focused on you. I think this pissed her off as she hardly ever talked to you, and when she did it was only because she had to. I think you invited her as a form of olive branch, but I can’t say for certain. As far as you and me, well, you know who we are. Anyway, we all packed up the few things we were allowed to bring and were ready for our launch date, August 1st 2022. There were surprisingly few prerequisites for us to launch into space. We wouldn’t be part of the main crew, so we would basically just be living on our own, in space. We all were creatives and there would be areas fully supplied with art supplies for us to use whenever we wanted. In addition to that the kitchen was stocked with more than enough food to take us through the year long expedition, as well as enough liquor to last twice that. For us it would probably last a month. The craft was fitted with gyms, movie rooms, music rooms, and so on. All the maintenance of the It all sounded almost too good to be true. It all was too good to be true. We walked hand in hand towards the shuttle. We had always talked of having a life together, but this was something else entirely. We were to become living embodiments of progress, proof that the future is now. As we got closer I felt myself stop, petrified by the thought of what was about to happen. You looked at me with the kindest eyes and softly said to me, “Yo, what the fuck?” A simple, “Huh?” was all I could muster up in response.With a slight smile on your face you said, “You’re holding everyone up babe, come on let’s go.”“Oh shit yeah, sorry about that…” I trailed off as if I had more to say.You leaned closer and whispered with genuine worry, “Where’s your head at?”I didn’t know how to respond except with a stupid, “Above my neck last time I checked.”“Haha, D. you’re hilarious. But seriously, are you okay? You know if you’re not comfortable we don’t have to do this.” I paused for a second. This is something I only thought would be possible in my dreams yet here I was standing in front of the shuttle that would take me to the craft that would take me to the stars, and yet…And yet, I wasn’t sure I wanted to board. Here it was, right within my grasp and I couldn’t take this final step. Fuck, I don’t think I want this. I mean its one thing in theory or to daydream about but in practice, like what the fuck are we doing this is insane. We have no clue what could happen out there I mean its fucking space! Why not just stay on Earth where its safe? I sighed, knowing what I had to say. “Ready if you are!” Fuck, that wasn’t right. We strapped in after putting on our suits. I tried my best to hide the deep regret that was already forming in my chest. The alarm blared, as if soundtracking my frenzied mind. I always thought the whole countdown thing was just in the movies till that classic, “3…2…1…” went off.
Part Two: To Make Love Or To Fuck We breached the Earth’s atmosphere quicker than I expected. As soon as we hit outer space we all unbuckled and headed straight for the windows. There were fourteen previous shuttles who had already attached to the spacecraft Chicago, named after the founder of the Legacy programs hometown. We would be the final craft to join them. The Chicago was almost as large as the city itself, floating hundreds of miles above the Earth’s surface. Once coupled to it, we entered and were shown to our designated rooms by one of the ships on board service robots. When everyone was settled, we met with the rest of the ship’s crew in the North-6-C Hall. Roll call was taken and if my counting was correct there were 150 people in total. Needless to say this took forever and I spent most of the time whispering in your ear about how the American guy taking roll was butchering all the foreign names. Now that I think about it how, 150 is a small number for a ship of this size. I suppose most the tasks were covered by AI or automated robots, but still there was a lot of empty space. After the American man, Charles Randal, checked everyone off we were free to explore our designated sections of the craft. We had a month up here before the Chicago took off so there was plenty of time to get familiar with the place. Ava set out for the Nature room, Emily took off in the direction of the library, and Jason headed to one of the art studios. You and I lingered in the hallways, wandering aimlessly. You looked at me after a little bit and told me you had to grab something from your room. I could see the invitation in your eyes so I nodded with understanding. We went back to your room and did what all good lovers do best. When I awoke you had already left the room. I was a bit disturbed by your absence but in this new environment I supposed you just wanted to explore. I got dressed and got ready to leave. On the way out, I noticed a pad of paper with a pen so I decided to leave a note. “Thanks for the sex, see you soon.” I think you would appreciate that note so I was satisfied and got ready to leave when I heard someone coming down the hall. I thought you might appreciate some humor so I got ready to pull the age old “hiding in the closet” routine. I was excited when your door opened but confused by what I heard. “Yeah, she’s gone, come on in.” You said with what sounded like a hint of relief in your voice.A voice I was familiar with but couldn’t pin down responded, “Thank God. I don’t know how many times I have to tell you she isn’t good for you. I really don’t know why you brought her.”“And I don’t know how many times I have to tell you, I love her. I know she pisses me off sometimes but I love her with all my heart Jason.”Jason. Fucking Jason. I knew I didn’t like him but now I had a real reason. I’ve been nothing but polite to him but here he was trying to poison what we had. I have had my reservations about him from the start now its…oh God. They’re moaning. How can you fuck him right after he shit talks me? Thats fucked up on so many levels I can’t even begin to understand this shit. I’m not gonna stick around for any more of this. I storm out as you start to undress him on the same bed we just made love in. You start to say something but are too stunned to think of anything. All I can muster is a laugh as I exit the room and slam the door behind me. I go back to my room and wonder if its too late to leave. I think they said the shuttles would still be attached till we took off, maybe I could catch a ride back. It made me fucking sick to think about being stuck with you for so long. There are polaroids of us all across the room and I grab them and rip them up. The first vinyl you ever gave me is on my shelf and I snap it in half. I can’t believe I let you hurt me like this. Friends with your fucking ex, yeah right. Okay look, I know technically we agreed on this whole open thing but like fuck you should know your ex is not on the table. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what to do. I…actually I know what to do. I knock on Emily’s door and she opened it almost instantly. I don’t need any words I go up to her and we start kissing. She tastes like sweat, based on what she’s wearing I’m guessing she was working out before I came by. I don’t mind the taste at all. I move my hands out and caress her hip, slowly moving my hands up till they’re on her breasts. She moans slightly and whispers out, “I’ve been waiting for this.” I don’t know what to say to her, how do I tell her I’m only here to get back at you? I don’t want to lie but before I can stop myself I say “Me too.” She moans again and starts touching me with more passion, reaching her hands down in between my legs. I moan loudly, hoping by some miracle the acoustics of the hallways brings my voice down to your room. Within a few minutes the door is shut and we’re on Emily’s bed. After we finish, Emily wants to stay and cuddle. I obliged until I heard her start snoring, then I made my escape. As soon as I stepped out the door you were there. A thousand things ran through my head. Fuckin serves you right. I hope you think she fucks better than you. Yeah, that’s what I’ll say, she fucks better than you. I mean obviously its not true but God knows you’re insecure enough to believe it. I hope you heard us moaning through the door. I get ready to start my tirade when you speak up. “You and Emily? That’s sick I’m happy for you, she’s had a crush on you for awhile ya know.” What the fuck. I did not just fuck her only for you to immediately know and say, “that’s sick.” Are you just dense or is there something I’m missing. “What do you mean she’s had a crush on me?” I don’t know how to play my cards anymore so I decide to try to gain more information. “Yeah her and I talked about it awhile back, I would’ve said something but she asked me not to. She’s been into you since even before we got together so I kinda felt bad that she never got her shot. I told her if possible I’d act as a wingman whenever I could. That’s kind of why I invited her.” I want to puke. You wanted us to get together. You invited her so we could get closer. What the fuck is wrong with you. “Are you a fucking cuck or something?” The question throws you off, but I see in your eyes you decide to take it as a joke. “You know I kinda felt that way when I was walking around earlier. I don’t mean to embarrass you but I’m pretty sure the whole North hall could hear you guys.” I blush hard, and for a second I feel guilty. No, fuck that. You were just hooking up with that fucking dick, who basically hates me, and now you want me to feel guilty for you. Manipulative fucking bitch. I see your game and I can play it better. “Yeah it was great, best sex I’ve had in ages.” I want to get a few things straight before I go any further. You were the best fuck I’ve ever had. Like hands down its kind of crazy. If you knew how well you fucked, you’d be that much better. There’s kind of a cute innocence to it whenever you ask me afterwards if you did okay. No matter how much I reassure you, you never believe it. So, I finally decided to use it against you. If you get mad at me that’s on you, you have no right to be mad at my reaction to your shitty actions. I storm off to my room as you follow like a lost puppy constantly asking if you did anything wrong. I say nothing. When my door slides open we’re both met with the wreckage of my actions. I look at your face and want to smile, but the look on your face freezes my muscles. “Again?” The question drips with remorse and pain. I watch your eyes bounce from the torn photographs, to the broken record, to things I had forgotten I had broken. There was a small deer statue that was practically dust now. On the dresser there were a few rings, two necklaces, and a pair of earrings that I smashed with a heavy book. I couldn’t stay composed, so without any really control from me I began uncontrollably sobbing. You immediately came up and started comforting me, but I pushed you away. “You can’t do this to me. You can’t do this to me.” It was all I could manage. “What am I doing to you D?” This question enraged me. How dare you have the gall to ask that. “You’re fucking Jason! He’s your ex and you’re fucking him while dating me! How can you do that and expect everything to be fine?” Your face twists and contorts and you say, “I don’t understand.” You must be fucking stupid. That’s the only option you must be fucking stupid. “Are you fucking stupid? What part of what I just said do you not get? He’s your ex and you’re fucking him behind my back and then acting like things are fine.” “I’m not fucking him behind your back D. We specifically talked about him when we were opening the relationship up, you said it was okay. And then yeah I know you said you were uncomfortable with it so I stopped doing that shit with him, but then you came back and said you had gotten over it and it was fine. D, I have been in love with you since I was 16 and you were 19, I wouldn’t do anything I thought was going to jeopardize us. If you want me to stop again I’ll stop and we can just leave it at that. I will say though, I don’t think that’s fair to him or I as people. You can’t go back and forth on something this serious, it affects more people’s emotions than just yours. But, with that being said, if you want me to cut things off for good, I will. Cause you’re my partner, and I love you.” At this point I was in hysterics, I could hardly control my own breathing. “He hates me. He hates me and you love him.” Finally, I get a reaction that I wanted. Your face drops in shame because you know what I’m saying is true. Even still, you venture out a meek, “He doesn’t hate you. He just doesn’t know you too well. I was hoping you guys could get closer on this trip.” I scoff. As if I would want to be close to someone who hates me. “I’ve tried to be his friend, but he always gives me this look. A look that says that I will never replace what you and him had. Do you have any idea how it feels to know you’re still in love with him, you should be in love with me.” I want to tell you what I heard in the closet, but I don’t want you to know I was listening in. “D I told you, I’m polyamorous. You said it was okay to try this out. I thought you were enjoying it, I mean you went out and fucked your coworker before we even decided officially we would be open. You’ve fucked Emily, you’ve fucked Mario, you were making out with Guy, and so on. I’ve only wanted to do stuff with two people, you and Jason. I’ve made my intentions clear the whole time but I don’t think you’ve been upfront with me. I can’t go based off what I think you want, I can only go off of what you tell me you want. Please just tell me what you want and we can go from there.” I don’t have words. I don’t want you to have to compromise what you want, but I think if we keep going down this route there’s no coming back. I take a deep breath, brace myself for what I’m about to do, then say, “I just want you to be happy.” Part Three: Lithium After everything, all the breakdowns, all the fights, you tell me you just want me to be happy. I’m dumbstruck really, there’s no words I could say that could properly express how I feel. If you just wanted me to be happy then why lie to me? Why say you were okay with something that you knew would ruin us? D, I loved you but you were not fit for a relationship. This wasn’t little kid shit anymore, I wanted to spend my life with you but you weren’t mature enough to be a good partner. That’s why I had to do it. I’m getting ahead of myself though, let me back up. We hugged things out, and I think silently we both knew that things would never be the same. I helped you clean the mess you made, and it hurt my heart to see all these tokens of our love destroyed. After we finished I tried to awkwardly make a joke about how the vinyl was more unique in two pieces. You don’t really laugh. I approach slowly, trying not to set you off, and give you a kiss on the forehead. As I leave you grab my hand and for a brief second it looks like you’re going to apologize. “Are you going back to Jason?” Huh, that wasn’t the apology I was looking for. “I don’t know…No, I think I need some time for myself.” You nod and let me leave the room, seemingly satisfied with neither of us being happy. I wander the halls for awhile. There’s so much to do, so many places to go, so many sights to see, but none of it feels worthwhile. I haven’t had a moment to eat today, I normally eat my meals when I’m with you. I briefly consider going to one of the restaurants on board, but decide a simple coffee will suffice. There’s a Starbucks on board, which is kind of fucking disgusting but one of the ways that this trip was funded was by letting brands buy spots onto the ship. “America runs on Dunkin, the galaxy runs on Starbucks.” Shit like that you know. Anyway, I figured I’d just stop by there and grab something that would make true coffee lovers sick. I walked in with my head held low, ordered my drink just quiet enough that they had to ask me to repeat it twice, then sat down and waited for it. I looked up and was greeted with a warm smile. Jason was at the table right across from me and the look on his face told me he knows I’m not okay. He makes a small gesture, indicating that I’m welcome to join him. I think back to what I told D, and how it would look if I was having coffee with him right after saying I wasn’t going to see him. I don’t think its fair, but I shake my head, declining his invitation. They call my name so I grab my coffee, then take my leave. I walk around for a little bit longer before my phone buzzes. Shit I almost forgot, I was supposed to meet with the ships doctor today. I speedwell down to the medbay and make it a mere five minutes late for my appointment. When the doctor comes in he takes my vitals, runs a physical, then asks if I want to see a therapist. Without even thinking about it I answer in the affirmative. Dr. Hirt walked in quietly, almost scaring me when she introduced herself. Something about her exuded peace and tranquility. I didn’t know whether or not I wanted to be honest with her or not, I figured I would decide based on how she conducted herself. I had never actually seen a therapist before, I never had the chance just because of financial reasons. It was nerve-racking to be honest, but with all this shit I just needed some kind of relief. “How are you doing today Ms. Scott?”“You know, I’ve been going back and forth with myself trying to figure out if I was going to be honest with you or not, I didn’t expect to have to figure it out on the first question. I guess if I’m being honest I’m not doing too great. This whole trip is supposed to be the time of my life but really I’m struggling to enjoy it.”“Why would you come here and not be honest? You voluntarily chose to see me correct?”“Well, not exactly, the doctor just asked if I wanted to see you and I figured why not.”“So, you don’t want to see me?”“No, sorry, I didn’t mean it like that. I guess I just meant I didn’t come with any plans to talk about anything or anything like that, I just thought it could be helpful.”“What do you hope this will help?”“I don’t know man, there’s just a lot of shit going on. I’ve been struggling all my life. I’ve had to try to find things to fill up a hole inside of me, and for the most part none of it works. I’ve tried alcohol, drugs, adrenaline, fuckin black magic, and nothing has done it. I was this weird socially awkward kid for awhile so it never occurred to me to try people. When I got to college I started meeting all these people and it was like holy shit how have I fallen in love with so many people. I automatically feel shame for my feelings most of the time, and this was no different. But I met someone I was into who eventually seemed to like me as much as I liked them. We talked about polyamory and she seemed to be into it! I promise I wouldn’t have advocated for it if I didn’t think she was into it. I was so happy though and there was this artist I loved that I thought maybe could be a part of the relationship too. I just wanted to surround myself with as much love as possible.”“Why is this causing issues?”“I’m not sure really. My partner keeps going back and forth on whether they want to be poly or not and I accommodate their needs with every change of the wind but its just too much. If they gave me a final answer one way or the other I would be happy but its like they expect me to know what they actually want. When we first got together it was during a mushroom trip where we were convinced we could speak telepathically to each other. I think this whole time she’s carried that assumption, thinking I could still hear her thoughts like I supposedly could that first night. I can’t read minds Dr. Hirt.”“I don’t think you should be expected to Ms. Scott. Can I ask if you’ve tried to have an open dialogue about the issue with your partner?”“I have, many times. Or at least I’ve done my best to. I bring it up whenever I bring up the other person and tell her if she wants to stop we can stop but she never seems to say what she really feels. I think she thinks I’ll be mad if she says she wants a monogamous relationship, but like, she’s the love of my life I want her to be okay.”“Does she have communication issues in other areas?”“Yeah a couple times we’ve ran into some issues. There were big problems when we were just friends but I try to be understanding of her side. It never seems like she wants to give me the same respect. I’ve put up with her dating so many people while I was in love with her but she can’t let me love one other person. I’m sorry that’s not fair. I just don’t get this whole situation.”“If she isn’t providing you what you need then why are you still with her?”“I love her Dr. Hirt. Really with all my heart I love her and I’ve dreamed of being with her since we met. I love her unconditionally and have let so much shit slide that I was really hurt by that she did, but I just feel like she wants this one thing to be the end of us.”“And what would you do if you guys did end? Would you continue on with the other person?”I pause for a second. I never thought about what would happen if we broke up.“I guess yeah, I probably would stay with him. That feels awful to say but he’s been good to me in ways she never has been. She would hate me forever probably. I don’t like being hated.”“Are you still with her because you’re scared of her hating you?”“That’s a good question. I think in some ways yeah. I know who she is, I’ve seen how she treats people who she doesn’t have a use for anymore. When my time runs out I’ll be trash, discarded on the side of her street.”“Does it occur to you that someone who would treat you this way might not be the right person to be chasing after?”“I don’t want to think about that.”“Why not?”“Cause it’s true. She doesn’t treat me well, she was an awful friend to me and a mediocre partner. At her worst she’s immature, irrational, and borderline abusive. At her best…I don’t know really. We have fun together. The sex is cool, I’ve never had sex with someone I’m in love with so it’s really nice. Sometimes we can have interesting conversations but it never really goes beyond surface level. And to be honest, her art isn’t that great. She paints mushrooms with eyes and thinks its deep. She smokes way too much weed. Like stoners never think they have a problem, but when you can’t eat without smoking you have a fucking problem. Sometimes I feel like I have to baby her through things. I buy her so many meals despite the food at home cause she doesn’t want to eat what we have. I don’t know. I have my own issues too but I feel like that’s not the point. I do my best to treat her well despite my shit. I don’t act maliciously but I think sometimes she wants to hurt me. She even tells me I could do better than her. Everyone tells me I could do better than her when I tell them how she actually treats me. What am I supposed to do with that?”“What do you want to do with that?”“I want to just let it be. I love her Dr. Hirt. Today I helped clean up the broken pieces of gifts I had got for her, she broke them when she was mad at me. I felt like a parent dealing with a child, not a partner dealing with another partner. I want to let it be but this is not a relationship anymore.”“Ms. Scott, it sounds like there’s only one thing left to do.”“Yeah…I know.” Part Four: SS St Louis From what I’ve noticed, people have a tendency to remember the worst moments. I have the opposite issue, I relive the best times over and over in my head all the time. In the moment this problem can cause me to stick around in situations that don’t help me. This often manifests in relationships. I also have a tendency to burn all my bridges. D, I’m sorry. After my therapy session I knew what I had to do. I had no clue how I was going to do this, I mean we were gonna be on this trip for the foreseeable future how the hell was I going to break up with her. She would hate me forever. Even worse, no matter what I did with Jason, things would get worse. If I stayed with him, she would hate me even more. If I ended things with him too, I would lose him and her. There was no right answer. I didn’t even want to do this, I wanted to be with her for this whole trip but I knew there was no way I could do that and be happy. I walked back to my room and took inventory of my belongings. Half of them was memorabilia I had collected while with her. The amount of photographs we had together was obscene. Would I have to get rid of all of this stuff? Would she want me to get rid of all of it? I truly didn’t have any of the answers. It felt like I was destroying everything I had been building up. How do you end things with the person you thought you dreamed of for years? Just like that, the answer came to me: I lie. It took a bit of setup, but after a few days I had concocted the perfect plan. It ensured I could make a clean break with you while preserving my relationship with Jason. I won’t take the time to describe all my methods here, if I did you might think me a madman; I’ll simply give my perspective as it all played out. I saw you in the hallways a few days after concocting my plan, you looked very concerned. You greeted me with a hug and a kiss and I kissed you back, knowing that this would be one of the last times I would be able to. I told you I missed you, but I needed some personal time to work through a few things, which is why I’ve been gone. You bought this explanation without question, only worried about the me in the moment. It was this brief moment of care that almost derailed the whole thing. I hugged you tighter and for a moment I wanted to believe that we could be okay. Then Jason walked by. If your demeanor could have changed the temperature, the room would have dropped by 30 degrees. Jason didn’t seem to notice and instead asks me how I was doing. It then occurred to me that I hadn’t seen him in a few days either. I let go of you to hug him and let him know I was okay and asked how he was. As it turns out, he had been in the medbay the whole time I was gone. He was actually pretty mad at me for not visiting before he found out I wasn’t talking to anyone. Needless to say we both had to catch up on somethings and so I asked you if I could talk to him alone for a minute. The scoff you let out echoed all down the hallway, presumably hitting a myriad of people with a wave of disdain and disgust. “Yeah sure, do whatever you want.” Why’d you have to act like that? I know you wanted my time too but I already gave him a fraction of what I gave you. We basically lived together back on Earth and he was states away. He was in the fucking hospital D like can I please just have some time with him? Regardless of the answers, your responses steadied my nerves. I knew I was doing the right thing. Okay maybe I wasn’t doing the right thing. To be totally honest, everything I was doing was pretty shitty. But hey does it make up for the years of you treating me awfully? No it does not, a wrong doesn’t right a wrong. I can’t excuse it. I also can’t apologize either. You know those stories where someone is abused and they take revenge on their abuser by murdering them? This was the diet version of that. After Jason and I finished catching up, I got a few things ready, then I sought you out. I knew our time was short and I wanted to try to enjoy it while I could. Is that fucked up? Maybe, I don’t know, I wasn’t exactly thinking clearly. Besides that, I had to start to execute my plan. I found you in the gym, working out like you had a vendetta against the machines. You were always so concerned with not being fat, despite the fact that you were never fat. I go up to you and tap on your shoulder, feeling like some creep approaching a hot girl at a gym. “Oh, are you sure you don’t have to go running back to Jason?” I wanted to spit in your face. No I didn’t, that’s mean. But I did. But I didn’t. “No, I’m all yours actually.” I gave a grin that could only be described as dog-like, trying my best to seem inoffensive and harmless. You looked a bit confused, I’m guessing you were expecting some sort of confrontation to come from your words. Isn’t that fucked up? You wanted us to fight. “Well, that doesn’t make up for the fact that you forgot my-“ I cut you off with a laugh. “Oh what, I forgot your birthday? You seriously think I’m that dumb? Get changed and meet me at my room.” I can tell you don’t know what to think and I keep laughing. I decide to leave on a high note and exit the gym, satisfied with how that went. Even if you went straight to your room to shower and then came to mine, that still gave me about fifteen to twenty minutes to get set up. I had already set up the room so I went to the control room to ask for my first favor. I expected more resistance but they were surprisingly cool about the whole thing. After that I checked that all the escape pods were in working order, thankfully all systems seemed to be up and running. The last step was to make sure a singular shuttle was ready for me and Jason. The time was now. I made it back to my room just a few minutes before you showed up. I was nervous, my hands shaking violently. I just had to try and move around enough for you to not notice. When you knocked on the door I took a moment to steady my breath, then opened it. Immediately your jaw fell. I have to admit I kinda outdid myself here. I used the holographic projector installed in every room to transform the room into the beach where we first decided we should start dating. It was equipped with audio and olfactory responders as well, so we heard the waves crash and could smell the salt water. Laid out on the floor was a picnic blanket, upon which sat a basket containing freshly made pasta, cheesecake, and a bottle of champagne. I took your hand and lead you to the spread. “Is this for me?” I almost laugh at the question, for some reason though it helps steady my nerves. “Of course, I love you D. I’m sorry I haven’t been around in the way that you want me to be. Things have been hard for me lately, but if you give me a chance I think I can turn them around.” The lie rolls off my tongue so easily I wonder if I’m pathological. You look like you might cry. Oh wait no you are crying. “This is all I wanted Josh.” Oh God I’m a bad person. We ate, we drank, we even smoked some of the weed you snuck in out of the pipe I bought you awhile back. Afterwards we took a salt bath and I felt closer to you than I ever had before. If you zoomed in on just us, we would’ve seen like the perfect couple. Everything felt so perfect. Then the alarm started blaring. This was much more than a standard fire alarm, this felt like it was coming from inside my own skull. We hopped out of the tub and still drenched in water threw on our clothes. You looked to me to figure out what we were gonna do, I tried not to look too panicked. Before the mission started we were briefed on what we were supposed to do in case of emergencies. The first step was to grab the people we were responsible for, so I took your hand and ran to grab Jason, Ava, and Emily. After we were all together we sprinted straight for the escape pods. I was the only one who seemed to know where to go so I lead the way. The pods held two people per and you expected me to get on with you, instead I push you and Emily inside. “I have to launch the pods from the outside, don’t worry I’ll get everyone loaded up and then see you on Earth.” I try to smile but it doesn’t really work. “You promise?” It breaks my heart to lie to you, but its too late and time is running out. “I promise.” We kiss, then I close the door and hit the button to send you two on your way back down to our home planet. Just a few seconds after, like magic, the alarms cut out. Ava, who up to this point seemed panicked, looked to me with confusion. I walk up to her and hug her tightly. “I’m sorry I won’t be going with you. I love you a lot Ava, take care of yourself.” Before Ava can reply I grab Jason’s hand and run off to the shuttle I prepped earlier. Its now been a week since Jason and I departed. We dubbed the craft the SS St. Louis, after his hometown. We can’t exactly take it to explore the stars, but we can orbit the Earth for years, we have enough food and gas for almost a decade. I don’t regret what I did, although I do feel sorry for it. I don’t know what you think of me now, maybe you realize what I did and you hate me. I hope you remain in blissful ignorance. Whatever the case may be, if these words ever reach you, I hope this explains a bit of the why. I loved you D, I really did. But, if we stayed together we would have brought everything down in flames. I can blame you, you can blame me, it doesn’t matter really. I took action to prevent the worst from happening, even if what I did was the worst. I don’t think you even wanted to be out in space with me, so I hope you’re happy back on Earth. When I had the chance to reach out and touch the stars, I took it, no matter who I had to leave behind in the process.