- Merrion -
“You remember that you told me I am not just a fleeting moment in your life?” her words roared in my head, a disembodied voice anguishly screaming to my shattered soul as I sat here atop a hill on my day-off. Day-offs were a luxury nowadays; building New Hope, the soon to be capital, and first city, of the New Connellian Federation, was on double time. Moments of peace – and in my case, empty, dull longing, a painful bathe in saudade – were hard to come by. It was to say nothing of a great loss for the colonists looking for a new home: the destruction of the four other “seedships”, ships constructed with the mission to continue Connellian civilization in other worlds after its sole system was destroyed when its sun expanded into a supergiant and swallowed all the planets orbiting it, leaving only the Ark Delta alive.
7000 years adrift in space. 2000 colonists in a 7000 year long slumber, awaiting to be awakened when a suitable planet was found. For me, it meant 7000 years of being adrift and away from my love, my fianceé, my Elizabeth. She lived to see the Old Federation’s demise as the Old Sun swallowed the entire system with literally stellar gluttony as it expanded into a red supergiant. Now I have to live everyday with the grim, saddening, bitter, and heartwrenching reality that she is no more – at least in terms of existence as a person, as the stardust that used to compose her glorious, divine form may still be wandering aimlessly around the universe – I myself may have touched them…perhaps.
I watched as the sun set on the rising capital, being toiled upon day and night on a round-the-clock basis. It was good to be bathing in the light of the sunset – my eyes were wide open in awe as it bathed in the comforting rays of blue, indigo, purple, yellow, red, orange, and everything in between them. What wasn’t good, however, was the longing of a love long gone. The sweetened black coffee I was drinking and the soft touches of the soft grass just made it worse – it made me miss Elizabeth more; I missed just sitting on the Sunken Garden’s grass with her, talking about many things from how our days went to what in goodness is an extinction-level event, and I missed the way she prepared me some black coffee when I woke up too late to prepare it myself (I was rather used to doing it myself). While I do remember her recipe, the barista just can’t hit the bullseye; while I could, every sip brought my insides to tears as they longed for the coffee prepared solely by Elizabeth. I can’t help but let a few salty tears fall into my cup of coffee as I languished, with shaken stoicism, in these thoughts.
1000 women, 750 of them cisgenders, and I am still looking for Elizabeth. It’s like looking for her, or at least someone like her, in a sea of women that’s never her – not even close.
I should’ve just stayed. I should’ve just lived the last of my days – and the last of the Old Federation’s days – with her. It shall be the biggest regret I will ever have in my life. I still love you, Elizabeth. But what can I do? I signed up for screening at a time when we were on the verge of breaking up. When I learned that I was eligible for further screening, owing to my physical and academic credentials, I had the resolve to solve this relationship problem before we parted ways – for good. We didn’t break up. That was all I could remember. Ark Delta, however, received a stray communications broadcast, apparently addressed to me for me to read when I awake from cryostasis; in it, you said that you decided to be a single mom to our twin son and daughter, having made for yourself a vow of chastity so you can focus more in raising our children…and, the most heartbreaking of them all, to honor the legacy of my love. Why you would remain chaste to honor my love’s legacy is beyond me, and aimlessly delving deeper into that, for answers I might just not find after eons of aimless searching, would perhaps be painfully pointless.