Author : Chris McCormick
The finest moment of my whole life was when I stepped off that ship. When we finally found each other in the arrivals lounge, her utterly uncomplicated joy was mirrored by my own. Two friends since forever, separated by years of space travel. There was no shyness whatsoever in our extra long hug. All the years of missing, yearning, and desire for each other’s company poured out as we clutched eachother tightly. Our sweet embrace loosened and we paused just a moment, smiling wildly, looking into each other’s sparkly eyes. This led without any awkwardness to a kiss, which lasted longer than a kiss between friends should have. We pulled apart and laughed, still holding each other at arms length; the laugh the first sign that we knew we had crossed a line.
In that moment, free of any emotional baggage we managed to express what we hadn’t been able to for so many years at the same pod, imbibing information together, sharing ideas, and having adventures. I had always had other girlfriends, and she had always been busy with her applied nanotech studies. Eventually she’d got her degree and then all of a sudden she was leaving to the colonies in a matter of days, without any kind of warning. Of course we had both known that the day was coming when she’d eventually have to leave. That was the only smart career move.
When that day came we both felt a confusing hole that hadn’t been filled. Something between us was left undone. Those last few days were bitter sweet moments; we wanted to spend the time together having fun, but of course neither of us felt the least bit like having fun. “This is it,” we thought together with teenage melodrama, “this is the end of our friendship.” I cried so damn hard when she left.
I don’t want to talk about the days that followed my arrival at the colonies because it hurts too much. Suffice it to say that neither of us knew or understood the status of our relationship now. It lurched awkwardly between friendship and relationship and the dark hounds of paranoia and insecurity were lurking in the shadows ready to tear it to shreds. We tried to fix it with sex, but the afterglow from all those years of pent up sexual tension only lasted two days. That was probably the stupidest thing we could have done, but also inevitable.
So we sat on the wall watching the pretty lights dance in the distance eerily. All of space hung above us, it’s lonely, alien magnitude so poignant for us now. “It’s amazing,” she said in a numb voice, staring into the distance, “I can change the fabric of matter with a small piece of technology and the power of my mind. I can create any object I want. But I can’t fix us.” The frustrated way she emphasised the word “us” told me we were both stuck in the same head place. All the technology in the modern worlds couldn’t help two breaking hearts.
“Well,” I said, taking a risk, “we could always try to fix it by fucking again.”
Luckily we both giggled, and there it was; the spark of our friendship was still alive right there in that giggle. We looked at eachother, smiling softly, the eerie lights dancing on our faces. She reached across, and we held hands.