Planet after planet, all more appealing yet less inviting than the previous. The turquoise and lime cut off communication. Later on, a yellow and purple planet, much unlike any I’ve ever landed on before yet welcoming all the same, invited another space craft before mine had time to land.
An internal emergency provoked a hiatus, during which finding a forever home was the last thing on my mind. Almost a year later, a crash landing on an inviting planet healing from natural disasters shed light on a perfect fit, but the landing dock disengaged my ship. Communications from the planet went silent for several months for self-preservation from a widespread virus.
When communications reopened, an invite to land was just moments away. The locals were inviting, curious, open. But the invite always felt moments away, then the moments turned into days, weeks, months. Perhaps an invite was never coming. And it left me thinking about the last home I had.
Luscious, haunted forests; clear, bottomless waters; majestic, unsettling mountains; bright, deceiving days; dark, mysterious nights. Despite starving me, it will always be one I’ll want to revisit. Not even a perfect fit can distract me from that.
June 16, 2012
You were mid-war against the dark when
I met you. Despite all the light I saw in you, I only brought out the worst. You
possessed the strength and will to find the safe ground between the dark and
light. I did to you what I do to everyone who gets too close.
I aimed to be good, but the light bored me. The dark was exciting and I could control it. While others were consumed by the power that came with the dark, I ignored that lust. I could because instead of walling the light inside off from myself, I only hid it from others.
Bending the dark as I wished carried its price. I didn’t let the power fuel a rage to keep me going. I had to find my own way to not slip into the black hole. I’d pull someone close and introduce them to the dark. Things only decay in the dark, and I thrived on that pain.
You were different. You already knew
the dark and loved it. We had fun with that but you lost the war.
I regret all of it: you, me, what we did. You meant the world to me. I should have protected you from me. This is all my fault and now I pay the price.
History seems to repeat itself. I found myself again orbiting the green and blue planet hidden by the red atmosphere. I explained to the still hidden yet communicative inhabitants that I wasn’t to blame for the quake, and we seemed to be on the same page. While exploring the planet, searching for the docking station I was told was nearby, I noticed I was taking subtle amounts of damage. Once I discovered the cause was the inhabitants, I immediately fled, expending extra fuel to fight the planet’s strong gravity.
The only way I was able escape the orbit of the green and blue planet was by entering the orbit of a planet in the far east, with turquoise waters and lime-colored forests. These planets accept a wide variety of spacecraft models, including mine. I’ve already decided I want to land before receiving the first transmission from the planet.
I almost looked past a planet with crimson lands and lavender oceans until it sent me a transmission. I entered its orbit to simply communicate, as these red and lavender planets have no docking stations for my ship model. When I got close, its gravity pulled me into its atmosphere, and I discovered the planet was a green and blue planet just hidden by a red sky.
The seemingly social inhabitants hid from view while beckoning me
to land. Before I could find a docking station, the solid ground began to
crack. The inhabitants were hostile and ready to attack as if I caused the
quake. Without a second thought, I broke through the red atmosphere and returned
to my original path through space. As I watched the planet through my rear
window until it was no longer visible, I wondered if the inhabitants knew I
didn’t cause the quake.
The breathtaking eastern planet was easier to land on than expected. The quiet environment felt like a salvation after having landed on the sun. I quickly learned the planet was haunted. I attempted to help whatever lingered find peace, but the planet lacked nutrients and I starved. I lashed out at the demons as if they deceived me. The lifeless planet somehow became less inhabitable, and I began to freeze. Defeated, I crawled back to my craft, and sent an SOS to a fellow traveler. I was rescued before I could become another ghost to haunt the planet.
The two of us travelled in my already-small ship after we pooled our resources. We passed another traveler, and my new companion jumped ship. I fully restocked my reserves and set out yet again in search of a new planet to call home.
From afar, the sun is impressive as it burns bright millions of miles away. I tried to land on it, but ultimately it was a giant ball of gas that burned the spacecraft. I don’t know what else I was expecting. I rebuilt my ship and set out again with limited resources, granting flight to one of two planets. I could fly to the west and land on a planet that welcomes travelers. It’s rough terrain and maybe not that interesting, but likely the safer choice. Or I could set sail for the east, in the direction of a planet that is leagues above that which lies in the west. Its atmosphere isn’t the greatest for inhabiting, but the nature is breathtaking. The docking station accepted travelers once before, but it’s unknown if currently it remains open. My navigation has set itself toward the east; I’m not sure if I should conduct a manual override or take my chances.
Mommy is baking cookies for a fundraiser. I watch her, the best that I can, as I peek over the counter. She decorates each cookie by hand, and each one looks more delicious than the last. She gives me a couple cookies to snack on while I watch. When she’s not looking, I take a couple more.
I go over to the table where the finished cookies are, and that’s when I see it: the biggest, prettiest cookie ever made. I ask Mommy if I can have it. She says no, that it’s for a raffle. I try to take it when she’s not looking, but it’s too far for my arms.
I want that cookie. I beg her for it. She says I’ve had too many already. I tell her I want just one more. She says I can have any of the others. I tell her it’s not the same. I want that one. I beg, cry, scream.
Mommy gets mad. She slams her hands onto the counter, then puts the cookie in front of me. It almost breaks.
I cross my arms. She doesn’t really want me to have it, so I won’t take it. But when I take another peek at the cookie, with all its yumminess, I know I really do want it. When she’s not looking, I take the cookie and run.
When I take a bite of it, it doesn’t taste like I expected. I don’t know if it’s better or worse.
One by one, Alex and I carry each of the boxes containing all the things that once made this four-walled structure our home.
Some years or months ago, we left this house, separately. We decided against selling it. Neither was sure if we would return, or if even together. No promises were made as we set off, each on our own road. Separately, we both decided we missed the house.
The building is almost exactly as I remember it, though completely empty now. I can’t decide if someone’s been here since I left, but I don’t know if it matters.
We decide to unpack the kitchen first, since preparing food is a necessity. The first box I pick up contains the pots and pans. As I hold one in my hand, I glance at where they used to be kept before. “Should we put them back in the same cupboard?” I ask Alex.
“They worked there, right? We could reach them easily from the stove.”
I wonder if this is true. “But maybe they’d be better placed in this cupboard,” I suggest.
Alex shrugs. “What’s the point of moving things around? Wouldn’t it just be easier to keep them where they were?”
It’s my turn to shrug. “To keep things interesting?”
At the end of the day, an uneasy feeling washes over me as I walk up the steps and open the door. But then you’re beside me, and as we hang our coats and take off our shoes, everything feels right again. We attempt dinner as a team, since neither of us really knows how to cook. We turn on the television, but we spend the night talking instead. Or, mostly I talk and you listen. You need not open your mouth, because I know what you’ll say. Sometimes, I save you the trouble and say it for you.
My phone goes off, and that uneasy feeling settles again as I read and reply to the message. During my time with you, I try to avoid contact with the world as much as possible. I set my phone back down, but I stare at the wall for what feels like hours before I finally look at you again. I tell myself once more that I need to stop this.
When sleep finally threatens my eyelids, we head to my room, change our clothes, then fall onto the bed. You wrap your arms around me and snuggle closer, and I can almost catch your scent. If I focus hard enough, I can feel your breaths on my neck, and it sends chills up my spine. I am asleep in minutes, dreaming of everything but you. Those dreams only occur when my eyes are open.