Author: David Broz

The space navy still needed humans. Still needed me, I felt and I knew.

By the time I enlisted, the war was full-blown, having raged silently for several years. Those in my orbit asked why I enlisted. A calling to do my duty to the planet, I would say to nodding heads and unfocused eyes.

You were working at the supply depot when we met. Our whirlwind affair was late night walks and sparkling eyes, full of stars. Hands touching hands and all of the things that people wrote about in love stories. We were a love story. And within a single moon cycle, we were married.

We moved into private quarters together on the base. You commuted to the supply depot while I went to basic. You made quick friends with the other navy wives and even a few of the widows on base, your smile and charm and eyes sparkling like the stars.

I scored out as a pilot. My aptitude tests left no doubt. Too smart for command, too athletic for the labs, too valuable for a front line marine job.

You commuted to the supply depot while I went to flight school. The navy wives became widows, and some nights the twinkles in your eyes were tears, not stars.

The day grew near and we grew nearer. Your name and likeness were painted on my fighter, right below the cockpit. And soon all the stars twinkled like tears.

I deployed in the middle of the night. For the longest time, I knew which star was ours. But I’ve been gone for so long now, gone for so many parsecs, so many battles, so much time. I didn’t know where I was, and I didn’t know where you were.

Your photo taped here in the cockpit, fading, slowly succumbing to the radiation and flashes of war, silent detonations silently stealing you from me.

I needed to see you one last time. Slowly, I reached for the canopy latch. And the stars twinkled like tears.