424 words (1 minute read)


“Why, I just want to know why. To understand.” Her look was resigned, she knew it was hopeless. “I just don’t understand...” she trailed off, looking away.

Peter looked at her but he couldn’t find the words that would help her understand. He thought about the 19 other people who were having this same conversation. With mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers. No husbands or wives, if you were married you were disqualified, but there were certainly some who’s relationships might as well have been marriage.

“I don’t fit in here.” He tried, but it sounded weak even to him. Of course she knew. She had seen it all their lives. Holly always fit in. She always had friends. She had tried to make Peter, her twin, part of that world. And he tried to go along. To go on the weekend camping trips. The parties out on the farm. But she would always find him alone. In the middle of a crowd and yet somehow, alone. Was it possible that when he was with the other… “experimental subjects” that he wasn’t alone anymore? Or were they all just similarly alone?

“Will I ever see you again?” she asked. “Once you do this, you can never come back to Earth. I’ve read the articles. I know you will be forced to stay on the moon for the rest of your life.”

“You can come and visit me.” He started. There was hope in his voice. That she would come to visit him. For all those times he had gone with her, she could come to him. But the hope in his eyes died. She didn’t have to answer. He should never have asked. She had a family. Her husband Mark had a very important job at the power company. And she had started her own company which was very successful. They would probably have children soon. He would never come visit them. He would never leave the moon. He tried to feel sad, but all he felt was relief.

“I love you. You know that.”

“Yes, I know. And you know I love you too.” She turned to him and her eyes shined with unshed tears. “Dad would be so proud of you.”

There was nothing else to say, so he left.