“I stepped once, on earth and stone, and I gazed upon immense oceans. Water reflected the light of our star, the sun, in myriad waves. I can vaguely now remember. I can barely form an image in my inner eye. It was blue. It was blue…”
“The sky. We didn’t have perfect lives. Some of us, I suppose, didn’t even have good lives. The sky was there for everyone. Turning your head to it and watching the seemingly infinite – it inspired artists around the world, and brought peace to the minds of many. It brought peace to my mind.”
“And the clouds?”
“Imposing, massive, threatening at times, and wispy and bright at others. And the rains. They sang to us with a sound so fierce… I was sitting on a balcony one time when a bolt of lightning struck the roof of a house nearby. I was young, like you. I cried, and my mother explained them to me and the thunder. I was never scared after that. I sat by myself watching and listening to the rain and thunder for hours sometimes. They brought me closer to something… something natural.”
The young girl looked outside her grandma’s window into the deep black of space and the many little dots around which they traveled.
“How long ago was it?”
“That you came here.”
“Oh, baby. I don’t know. It must be a hundred years now… it must be a hundred…”
“Are you excited about tomorrow?”
“I am excited… I am excited for you. You will have a good life. It may be hard, at first, but it will be good, you’ll see.”
“Will there be cities?”
“Maybe when you’re older. Don’t worry about cities for now. You will have a world to run in.”
“So you’re not excited?”
“I’m very old, honey. I don’t think I can be excited. My mind lives from the memories of my old past. I’ve gotten used to this simple existence too, with these comforts and… these routines. But don’t worry about me. Don’t worry about me…”
“Okay, Grandma. Good night.”
“Good night, honey.”
The young girl left her grandmother’s side and walked out of the metallic room. Spaceship Destiny slowly banked, repositioning itself for arrival to the new world. The planet rose through the window – a blue marble in the void, half lit by its star. She had seen images of it, and though her sight was no longer very good, she gazed at it for a moment, and smiled. She knew what it was. She knew what it meant. Tomorrow would be a new beginning. She closed her eyes and slept, and in her sleep she dreamed.
Beneath her shoes, a light red earth was picked up by a gust of wind, and the sun dipped to the horizon. It lit the African sky with fiery hues, and the majestic silhouette of Mount Kilimanjaro stood guard over her and the colossal spaceships that would take her away. A crowd of millions had gathered to witness the exodus. The air buzzed with the energy of a world on the brink. Waves of people screamed in anticipation and quieted, and others yet celebrated, singing, dancing, eating – an ode to their olden days, to the days without worry and hardships and war. A last gleeful smile before the countdown and the silent acceptance that their world would never recover.
She had been chosen for this journey, and she walked, slowly, in a very long line, towards the incredible starships. Their metallic hulls glistened, reflecting the kaleidoscope of colors in the sky. The two leviathans of steel and technology promised a new opportunity, and around her, tears, laughter, and whispered prayers filled the atmosphere, a cacophony dissipating around her in the singing and the music and the gaze of thousands of onlookers.
She stepped into the open lobby of the massive ship. Never had she seen such a thing, but she was not preoccupied by it. Instead, she stole a last look of the millions singing outside, and the sky, and the mountain she had known for all her years. Her heart swelled and a tight knot formed in her throat. The image from long ago seemed, now, eternal. A moment stopped and burned in her sight.
“Goodbye.” She said, “Bye, bye.”