I’m staring out the window, thinking about how I loved you so much, I became an astronaut. My eyes survey the blue planet whose atmosphere I just left, and I wonder which tiny speck is you. I wonder if you’re wondering where I’ve gone. I’m wondering where you went.
I gently press my foot against the pedal and tumble through a cluster of satellites, off to the moon. I turn on the radio, but all I can hear is static and your voice echoing around in my head, telling me that you and me weren’t meant to be, saying over and over again that this will never work.
The guy in the hardware store said the same thing about the Starcatcher kit I found lying on a forgotten shelf. He was wrong. The spacecraft works marvelously. Except for the radio, which keeps spewing static. I flick the switch to turn it off, but your voice still echoes around in my head, telling me this will never work. Your chain of reasoning: I spend my days staring at cells through a microscope and you spend your nights peering through a telescope. You’re always looking at the big things and I’m too busy looking at the small ones for us to ever see each other. I wonder if you can see me now. All I can see is the home that you left. I’m wondering where you went.
The Starcatcher makes a shaky landing on the surface of the moon. My teeth chatter uncomfortably with the impact. I secure my helmet and exit through the hatch, looking around at the scenery, a rolling expanse of gray. I start thinking about all the colours back home, like the flowers growing on our balcony. How at first, you just notice the bright pink and purple and orange petals, but if you look closer at the petals, you’ll see the stamen growing between them, and if you look closer at the stamen, you’ll see hundreds of tiny yellow particles of pollen perched on top. You could stare at something forever if you just keep getting closer. But the moon isn’t like that. Here, no matter how close you are to something, you’ll just see more gray.
But because you love the moon, I unload the contents of the Starcatcher’s spacious trunk. I didn’t find the kit for the house in the hardware store. I had to order it online. I rip the cardboard box open and get to work, peering at the instruction manual in between swings of the hammer. I don’t want to mess up.
I don’t stop until I am staring up at a quaint, ten by thirty feet, cabin-style house. It’s small, but tiny homes are all the rage right now. I rest for a moment on the porch, trying to unclench my fingers from around the hammer; the longer you hang on to something the harder it is to let go. I look back towards the Earth, thinking about how I loved you so much, I moved to the moon. I wonder if you can see me through your telescope now. I’m wondering if you will ever come home.
—Haley Brett is a university student studying creative writing in Montreal, Canada. When she’s not writing, she enjoys playing the ukulele and woodworking. Her other work has appeared in Gingerbread House Literary Magazine and Every Day Fiction.