Author: Ruby Zehnder

“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, mom. I can’t pass it up.” Rachel didn’t reply. She had heard these words before. When Naomi moved to India to live with her father, Rachel didn’t stop her. When she moved to Cambridge to attend MIT, she encouraged her. And the two years she spent on Mars almost killed her, yet she never complained. Rachel loved her daughter more than anything else in the world. But Naomi never understood how deeply it hurt her mother when they were apart. This time was different. Rachel needed her daughter.
“Think about it, mom. I’ll be crossing the great divide. I’ll exist in a different universe. I’m so lucky to have been chosen.” Rachel was happy for her daughter. She was proud that her adventurous, clever offspring would be one of the multiverse’s first explorers. The idea of Naomi living in a new timeline was incredible.
“How long will you be gone this time?” Rachel asked with caution. “I’m not sure if I can come back.” These words cut Rachel like a laser. Now that Rachel was approaching her great divide, she selfishly wanted to spend her final days with her only child. Rachel knew Naomi would obediently stay if she told her daughter about her condition. But she couldn’t bear this possibility. “I will miss you,” Rachel replied with tears.
“I gotta go. The crew is waiting for me. I love you, mom.” The two hugged tightly.
Then she was gone.
Rachel stood suspended in time. Once again, they were each heading in opposite directions. Her only hope was that in her daughter’s new life, she would never leave her mother.