• Vol. 06
  • Chapter 05
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Along for the Ride

They explain that the suit is meant to protect you. They don’t tell you it can rip. It’s only a thin scratch, and only through the top two layers. The suit will hold. For a while.

You got a call. They told you, now is your chance. You put a down payment on this a decade ago, before you knew it was more than a mortgage. You’ve been told your whole life, this is a chance you won’t get again. Don’t pass it up. Don’t hesitate. You don’t.

Your mother threw you a party with an ice cream cake. MilkyWay chocolate crumbles stuck in the buttercream. She laughed too hard at that. Your father didn’t laugh. He sulked in the corner. He was the one that taught you to yearn for an escape. Run away, he told you. As far away as possible. Even if it means leaving the atmosphere. He always wanted this more than you did, but he lost his chance with his first stroke. You had to say yes. You couldn’t say no. He didn’t get the chance to say no.

Space carries you away. You’re surrounded by the debris of your capsule. The first private passenger flight. Who decided to try a new plastic for the windows? The tear will only grow. The vacuum will push in. Determined. Steady. Did you ever have a choice? You unlatch your helmet. You’re lucky, really. To get away with only a scratch.