Author: Nickola Anne Walker

We sat waiting for him in the kitchen for several hours. Father called everyone, looking for his son. Many of my brother’s friends came and left. He remained seated, his face tired, while he listened. Listening. There was so much to say. Why had they fought over such a trivial thing? Why had he left? Had he taken his girlfriend? Where did they go? Now, father just listened – for maybe the first time ever – his legs quivering in both anger and fear. Guilt was written all over his face. His son was gone. Nobody knew where.

Only after everyone had left did mother turn to father. “You know what he did, don’t you?”

“No. He was angry. He didn’t tell me where he was going to. I have my suspicions. But they are only that. Suspicions.”

“You finally drove him away. He is gone.” Her face was resolute.

“Then his is probably gone.”

“How could you be so terrible?” she stormed off, crying.

“You have made a horrible mistake Father.” I blurted out. “He will leave, and we will never see him again.”

“Everyone comes of age. Everyone must find their own way in this universe.” Trying to sound callous, he just looked small and sad. His son. Gone. Never to return. I had never known my father to show regret but it was written all over his face.

With a tiny bit of pride, he was certain his son would survive where many failed. Together, they’d built heat shields to protect against solar and ultraviolet radiation. Without these, any chances of survival would be burned down and destroyed. But he had helped Brother with his school project. Interplanetary travel. Geological starships. Make a spore that can tolerate the low temperatures and dangerous conditions. Then plunge into space, hoping you eventually hit something. Something that allowed for life. They worked together on it. He knew his son would survive.

The neighbors came. They were crying. Their daughter was nowhere to be found. Clearly, they had run off together. Young lovers. They both yelled at Father; they would never forgive him for splitting up their family. They threatened some sort of judicial something or other. Father just nodded.

“He’s gone.” Father looked tired. He went to comfort Mother.


“After many studies of the Ryugu asteroid, Japanese scientists now believe the origin of life here on Earth might have been brought by an asteroid.”