Author : Duncan Shields, Staff Writer

She left me for a space trucker. I wasn’t even mad. Hell, I understood.

The thing about space truckers is that they drive space trucks. They go from place to place. They come in to port, drop some stuff off and then, and this is the important part, they leave.

I liked it here. She didn’t. I thought that marrying her might change that. She was eighteen when we married. I was thirty-one. She was my second wife.

Susan grew up here. Ever since her fourteenth birthday, she couldn’t face a single day without illicit drugs to make her feel like it wasn’t so bad. Her doses were increasing. Her late-night searches for anything to distract her from her existence were becoming more frequent.

This rock isn’t a very big place. There are only six bars.

I’d heard stories about her late-night carousing with other men. I put it down to being young. Given time, she’d adjust. I forgave her. It’s not like her behavior was unusual. Anyone in their teens here tended to go a little insane for a while.

Anyone can watch the screens and see that there’s a whole connected universe out there with excitement and input. For teenagers, it’s the biggest tease there is.

For us folks over thirty, it’s a little reassuring to know that we’re safe from all that noise down here in the rock, away from the noisy universe.

Here, we have the rock, each other, and a perpetual night sky. If I were to wear an outsuit and walk around the entire asteroid, I’d be back home in a month. It’s not a big place.

Mining runs in my family. I honestly don’t know what else I would do.

Susan was the soft body that took the edge off of my constant world of grease, dust, and machinery.

Turns out she was doing more than just carousing in the bars with other men. She was, like a lot of the girls and boys here, looking to trade sex for transportation and get the hell away from here. The prettiest ones succeeded.

It’s a shame. It seems like our second highest export besides the ore is beautiful teenagers.

I’ll always remember Susan.

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