For the team behind Falcon Heavy
Thank you for giving humanity a great step forward
This is hell. If this is not hell, I don’t know what is.
We should have arrived at Aislinn’s cousin’s rehearsal dinner on time if I hadn’t begged Aislinn to accompany me watch the sun set at the hill nearby before heading there. The rehearsal is going to be held by the beach at 8 pm and now is 7 pm and we are nowhere near the beach at all.
Luck is not around us, I know that. We ran out of gas, right now, in the middle of the road surrounded by never ending rice fields. There is no one driving on this long road other than us. There is no street light at all. Phone signal? Oh you wish! We’re literally in the middle of nowhere! We have nobody to run to! We are surrounded by complete darkness with a faint hint of the moonlight!
“I’m so so so soooo sorry, Aislinn. Had I listened to you, we wouldn’t be stuck here. Had I listened to you, we could’ve had proper dinner for tonight,” I kneel in front of her who sits on the car hood. I bury my face on her lap, too ashamed to look at her face. “I know you love Sara so much and I’m sorry to make you miss her wedding rehearsal. I should be less selfish, I know that now.”
Aislinn doesn’t answer me right away. Instead, she runs her fingers through my hair and hugs me on my head. “I’m a little pissed, but I’m alright. Thank you for apologizing, I respect that,” she says as she caresses me, “Come here.”
She moves like an inch to make space for me. I come up and sit next to her. She reclines and I follow. She’s not hitting me at all, so I think it is safe to say that she’s not mad at me right now.
From below, I can see above us lie a thousand stars, tiny dim dots on the night sky. The moon stands alone, but being that way doesn’t stop it from being the biggest and the brightest among all. Yet Aislinn and I are still surrounded by darkness; the moon and its troops don’t help.
“Do you know that I am actually glad we can’t make it to the rehearsal dinner?” she says abruptly.
“Huh? I don’t know that you’re glad. Instead, I thought you’ll be mad if we don’t make it on time.”
“Mmm not really. I just want to be there for her, but I’m currently not in the mood to meet my whole relatives,” she sighs. “Don’t get me wrong, I love them, but I’m just not ready.”
“Not ready for what?”
“Not ready for their interrogative questions. As soon as we arrive there, distant relative will ask us where’s our child, why haven’t we had one, what are we up to right now, what have we achieved all these years, and else,” she rants, “I’m just so done with those kind of questions. They compare their happiness level to our lives and see at what stage are we in right now. If we’re below what they call as ‘the happy stage’, they’ll tell us what to do even if we’re not eager to reach it!”
“So, you’re fed up with what people think as life standards or basic life goals?”
“Yes, thank you very much for the conclusion!” she shouts. Nobody is around anyway, so that’s okay. “I hate it when they ask questions like that.. I hate it even more if what they ask is what I want and what I haven’t been able to achieve.”
I lie still next to her. She’s right. This world is full of people who compare one and another continuously, endlessly. They judge people’s life not based on what the person have achieved, they judge people by what they haven’t achieved.
“I haven’t done it to you, have I?” I asked. “I don’t wanna be hated by you. You’re the last person I want to hate me.”
She turns at me, her hazel eyes gleamed at me, “No, you haven’t. So far, you’re the person who encouraged me the most.”
“Peter, I think now I know why people are eager to start a new life outside Earth. Remember Aurora from the film Passengers? I think now I feel what she feels. Life on Earth is exhausting, and sometimes we just want to leave it all behind to live on the great unknown.”
“So, say you have a ticket to board on Aurora’s spaceship Avalon, will you still board and leave me here all alone?” I asks.
“No, NO, of course not! I’ll bring you with me, and if I can’t, I won’t go!” she pouted.
…so she chooses me above all possibility, above all chance for her own happiness? Does that mean I’m the one who give her the utmost joy? If she thinks so… I must offer her what she trusts me with.
“Say, Aislinn, after we attend Sara’s wedding tomorrow, after we land back home, will you go on an adventure with me? We can take a break from our jobs for six months and go travel to some places. I can’t promise you five-star hotels on our journey and I can’t promise you that we’ll travel the world right away, but I can promise you that we’ll be happy. We can taste the life we never have ’till now, and if we enjoy it, after some considerations in the future, maybe we’ll shift our life,” I say. “We can redefine happy. How? Do you want to give it a shot with me?”
She looks down, “Do I give you another problem to think of? I feel so selfish just by wanting that to happen.”
“No, you don’t! I think what you say is right! What’s the point of living in the city, chasing a decent life, and by decent is what I mean as what people think decent is, if we get stressed eventually? We need to spice our life up. What do you say?”
“If that doesn’t give us problem, then I think it’s a yes from me,” she says. “Thank you for bearing with me.”
“I have promised to live by you for the rest of my life, haven’t I?”
Above the car hood she then snugs to me. “You know what? Being here, stuck in the middle of nowhere with you is fun. I like this.”
“Tonight is not too hellish then?” I asks.
“Yeah. I think I need an escape from everyday routines every once in a while. And to think about it again, I think all the escape I need is you.”
“So, we’re each others’ spaceship?”