Author : Lillian Cohen-Moore

My marriage was a good idea while it lasted.

I know my more romantic neighbors, the idealistic journalists who wanted interviews–they all said The Dillinger Act was what ended it. Legally, it’s not untrue to say that. Mikaela and I ceased to be united in legal terms when the Act passed; Mikaela was deported the same day as all the other non-citizen spouses. December 25th, 2085.

I’ve been called a lot of nasty names, by the pro-homeworld faction. I’ve betrayed homeworld by marrying an off-worlder, an off-worlder whose planet broke from ours, broke from our government. We offered them protection and advancement, scientific marvels and astounding mathematical insights.

But Earth didn’t want to be under our thumb, and made noises. Earth broke the Galay Accord, and we came down on them every way we could.

And we came down on everyone who supported Earth: starting with the forced annulment of every marriage between someone from homeworld and a citizen of Earth.

A week before they passed the Dillinger Act, Mikaela told me she’d been sleeping with one of my students. She said the ‘fire’ had gone out of our marriage and she was bored. I started drinking too much, after that. She acted like a truant child, difficult and prickly at home, when she was home at all. It was an entire academic cycle, spent in that holding pattern, before the deportation day arrived. She came back long enough to pack and tell me she’d never really enjoyed the sex, before they took her away to the docks.

I watched the live feed of the deportations. I know her. It wasn’t because she loved me anymore. She knocked that official in the face on the way off planet out of spite.

Mikaela had always fought like that—if she couldn’t win the argument, she’d at least try and look as if she didn’t deserve it. I’ve sat up late, drinking and watching her on the news, on the evening shows. She always wanted to be famous–though, as much as I love her, I have to say that she looked pretty wretched on the last newscast. I never realized how brassy her last hair colour was till I saw her on the news.

It was in principal, that I was wronged by my government, when they punished me for taking an alien wife. But privately, I acknowledge the truth: that my alien wife wronged me just as much, in a far more personal fashion.

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