Author: Condallas Snokoanovich
I lie awake in the darkness, staring at an exceptionally clear star-filled sky. Two moons in crescent phase are peering from the horizon like the eyes of a black cat watching from the distance.
The quietness around me would have been comforting in my past life, but now it only serves as a sad reminder that I am alone.
My mind wanders back to another evening in my recent past when I gazed upon a similar starlit night from the deck of my small yacht as it rested upon calm waters. On that night, I was viewing a sky that is now light years away. The constellations of Earth were so familiar at that time. The night skies were comforting for me as they provided a sense of direction, guidance, and orientation on my home planet. Now, I look upon a very strange landscape. I find myself observing from an unfamiliar perspective at a distant constellation that looks like the Milky Way galaxy; and, somewhere in that vast cluster of just under 4,000 solar systems lies my home.
My voyage that night was meant only to serve as a temporary means of escape. My short trek was meant only as a brief diversion from an unsatisfying job and a perceived loveless personal life. The water usually had a calming effect on my otherwise troubled and chaotic existence. Unfortunately, I had no idea how my desire for temporary solitude would lead to a more permanent set of circumstances.
“Why don’t you ever talk to me?” She pleaded. “You spend more time with that damn boat than with your own family!”
“Get off my back!” I yelled. “I am so tired of your constant bitching!”
I walked out and slammed the door. Little did I realize that it would be the last time I would have words with her. Or anyone. The boat motor came to life and guided my trusty vessel toward a quiet spot. The water was like glass and, arriving at a familiar cove, I dropped anchor. Laying on the deck gazing at the stars for several minutes, my eyelids grew heavy, and my weary body went below deck to get rest.
Violent shaking of the boat and a rush of water entering the cabin interrupted my peaceful sleep. The watercraft started to rip apart before my eyes, and my hands clutched anything that could float. The night was extremely bright as I held on to the floating remnants of my vessel, and I now peered at two full moons lighting the water. I could see the outline of shoreline near as I swam alone in the dark. Was it a wormhole? A temporal disturbance? A parallel universe?
Tonight, all I have is the quiet. I long for another voice. Any voice. There are days that I would give my final breath for just one more conversation with wife my family. A heated conflict with her would be a welcome occurrence, like an interlude with an old lost love. Melancholy consumes me as I find myself forgetting the common hallmarks of a civilized world. I struggle to remember my daughter’s voice, the view from our backyard, or the even the smell of exhaust in heavy traffic.
Given the placement of the stars, I view my home from a planet somewhere in Andromeda. Looking at the sky, I dream that one day I can eventually reunite with my home and family. Somewhere above me in the Milky Way galaxy lies a planet called Earth, and I hope for a miracle that someday allows me to return.