"The Journey": A short story
I can’t believe my eyes.
After so many endless months of travel, after wishing we’d finally get there, at last it’s within sight.
It looks so beautiful from here. A brilliant blue globe, covered in wisps of something white. I don’t care what the others have told me about the problems that this planet has – to me, the Earth looks perfect. And soon it will be my home.
I turn away from the window to tell my sister to come and see, only to find her fast asleep, sprawled out on her bed, the book she’d been reading still clutched in her hands. I feel a pang. She’s grown so much lately.
Deciding not to wake her, I turn back to the view from the window, drinking in the sight of the planet. After seeing nothing from the windows but empty space for so long, I can’t take my eyes off the Earth.
I try to imagine what it will be like once we land. Will the inhabitants of the Earth accept us? Will we be able to live there in peace? It has to be better than what we left behind… but what if they don’t let us stay?
I drag my thoughts away from that direction, not wanting to think about it. Instead, I imagine myself being free at last, being able to run and jump and dance, feeling the wind in my hair, the sun on my face…
I feel a desire so strong, it’s almost painful. I want to be able to go outside again, to leave this cramped spaceship. Not long now, I tell myself. Not long.
We’ve been travelling for over two years. Two years of living in cramped, uncomfortable quarters with my mother and my sister and the rest of the crew. Two years of eating dehydrated food and drinking stale water. Two years since I last breathed fresh air or felt sunlight on my skin. Two years of alternating between hope and despair.
We had no choice but to leave our home planet. Our world was attacked by invaders from another planet, invaders who wanted to destroy our world and take over it. I was lucky – my parents worked at a space station, and we managed to get on board a spaceship and leave before we were killed. The last glimpse I got of my home was the sight of the city I’d grown up in being destroyed by missiles, my beautiful city swallowed up by fire.
I feel my throat burn. Not all of my family was lucky. Not my father. He got separated from the rest of us just before we boarded the spaceship, and we’d had no choice but to leave without him. I still get tears in my eyes whenever I think about it. I miss him. Not as much as I missed him at first, but it’s still a dull ache inside me.
Once we were in space, safe from the attackers, we had no idea what to do. I remember sitting on the floor with my arms around my sister, in a state of complete shock, unable to believe that I no longer had a home. My mother and the rest of the adults that had come with us were huddled together, trying to figure out our next move. They tried to contact back home, or other spaceships that might have escaped the planet, but they found nothing. As far as we knew, the rest of our kind had been completely annihilated. We were the last of our species.
We realised that the only thing we could do was find another planet to call home. We did some research and found the planet that was closest to us, and the most similar to our native world: Earth. So we set our course there, and then there was nothing we could do but wait the two years it would take us to arrive. And hope. And pray. And dream of a better tomorrow.
I shift position, stretching my legs. I glance around the tiny bedroom I’ve been sharing with my sister for so long. Perhaps I’ll only have to spend one more night here before we land.
Nerves flutter in my stomach as I think of landing on a foreign planet. I’m both scared and excited about what the future will bring. I have no way of guessing what will happen – I can only hope that this journey will be worth it and that we’ll have a bright future on Earth.
I can only hope that everything will turn out right.
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