We were left behind during the Earth’s evacuation fourteen years ago. There just wasn’t enough room on the ship. We received radio communication from the Genesis that they would come back for us as it exited the atmosphere. That was the last I’d seen of them. A trail of smoke going up into the sky. The human race on its way to find a new home.
We gave ourselves jobs. Some would clean the bunker, others would cook the food. The older children watched the young ones. Everyone had a task, and everyone did it. It helped to keep the mind occupied. My job was to watch the skies in hopes of seeing our people come back for us. They said they would, we believed them… at least I did.
Every day I would wake up at 5 AM and go to my post. I’d watch the sun rise in the horizon, across the tainted atmosphere. I’d search the clouds for any sign of them, I’d look into the cosmos hoping that that day would be the last and that I would see our people coming down in the enormous ship. No one ever noticed but I’d cry almost everyday as my shift ended on my way back to my bed knowing that thay hadn’t come, that the wait was not over and that we all had to wake up again and do our almost meaningless jobs. Maybe they’d never come back, maybe something went wrong and they were all dead, their bodies floating frozen in space amongst the stars. Maybe they stopped caring and forgot about us.
Yesterday I woke up ready to follow my routine. It was a cold morning and I saw the sun rise through my observation post creating spectacular colors in the sky from the toxic gases that made up our atmosphere. I was looking through the scope while sipping at my hot tea, that’s what we called it anyway… it was just hot water. And that is when I saw it. A blinding light shining in the sky. My initial reaction was that a meteor was about to end us for good, to end our long wait for hope.
But I was wrong.
The light slowed down after planet entry and I was able to see it for what it was.
Our people. Coming back for us after fourteen years. They had kept their word. I screamed the news into the microphone. I spilled the hot water on my legs. I fell on my way to the command center. I cried. I laughed. We hugged. We kissed.
The rest of the day was a blur. People came in through the gates, they welcomed us aboard the Genesis. Some of us were treated for various types of poisoning. Some for diseases. We all got to eat real food. We all got to take nice hot showers and we were all taken to individual rooms with soft beds, soft lights and soft carpets. I smiled like an idiot during the whole process, it had been too long since comfort had been anything more than a concept.
It’s 6 am. I should be sleeping because they gave me the day off, but I’ve been conditioned to wake up early for my job, to search for hope. But today is different, hope has found us. Today is going to be a beautiful day.