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Dating : Astronaut

h2>Dating : Astronaut

D. V. B.

“What’s going on, now?” Norman said. He had knocked down the door for the last fifteen minutes until a faint baby cry alerted him that Jack was in the woods near the backyard of his house.

“I’m finishing building a rocket. A rocket to travel… across space!”

“Just what I expected, of course, my hoarse.”

The interstellar spaceship was a big, round stone with a hole in the middle. Jack had painted the hole with all kinds of buttons, levers, command instructions, screens, small doors, and windows. Jack was trying to put a plastic bubble on top to breathe in space.

“I’m glad you came,” Jack said with a smile. “You will be the only one who will see me take off.”

“In a rock,” Norman said.

“I don’t know what I’ll do first,” he said while taping the bubble with scotch tape. “Maybe I’ll go to the moon and touch the rocks. Then, I’ll go to Venus and touch the rocks over there, then to Mars and touch the rocks, then to Jupiter and touch the rocks, and maybe to Pluto, though I don’t know what I’ll do there. And then I’ll come back. I’ll give you a souvenir.”

“Rock?”

“Speaking of rocks. I think I’m gonna miss music up there. I forgot to install a radio.”

“Install?” Norman said as he touched the spaceship with his hand. It was cold. “You are serious.”

“Of course, I am. Remember when we were kids and I told you I wanted to be an astronaut? It’s the same.”

“You mean twenty-year-old kids? When we met? Every time we meet up in the bar, you tell me that you want to be an astronaut.”

“Well, I’m owning up to it,” Jack said as he took a step back to admire his beautiful creation. “I want to see at least one of my dreams come true. I want to travel and see the stars and see some black holes and spit in space and see what’s going to happen.”

“Ah, but you can’t spit on space or it will just come back and hit you and there won’t be anything in space to clean yourself with. No towels in space, so I heard.”

“Yep, you’re right. Too bad. Anyway, I’ll see you later, ok? First thing I’ll do when I come back is go to the bar and see if I find you there. I’ll tell you all about my adventures,” he said while entering the hole and putting the plastic bubble over his head. Norman sighed.

“I’ll see you there. I’ll go there every day, waiting for you,” Norman said his mind submerged in doubt.

“Thank you, man. You are my best friend.”

Jack breathed heavily, pressed a button, and the spaceship’s painted engines rattled and made the rock, Jack, and everything close, shake uncontrollably. The backside of the stone turned red from the heat, Jack pressed the buttons and pulled the levers, shouted orders and codes, and waved one last time to Norman, who watched everything with his salivated mouth open.

The spaceship took off with a blast and the force pushed Norman three meters back. He fell to the ground and watched as the little piece of rock disappeared into the dawn skyline becoming one and the same.

“Goodbye, friend,” he said, too shocked to say anything else. Three tears fell down his face.

Norman kept his promise. Every day he would go to the bar and sit down, alone and feeling all strange inside, missing his friend, and wondering, when did rocks start flying and why no one had said anything to him before? He drank a lot every night and annoyed people because all he wanted to talk about was rocks.

Three weeks after the takeoff, Jack walked into the bar and sat down next to Norman whose initial shock had now combined with the unexpected shock of being drunk.

“You’re done?” he said. Jack shrugged.

“Nah, I forgot to bring more fuel. I had to come back. I landed in the mountain and… I don’t know where the hell my spaceship is now,” he said and laughed. Norman laughed, awkwardly at first, and as he did it more and more, he laughed more honestly. It was good to have his astronaut back. They hugged and spent the rest of the night together.

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