A tear dripped onto my lap. This wasn’t the first time I cried after reading one of Len’s letters. I never could help it with the way he said things.I need to hear your voice… It’s where you are and it’s where I belong.I was never good at resisting Len, especially when he said my nickname, Jules.
I peered out of the window of my room. The dark gray sky couldn’t have looked more ominous if it tried. Big clusters were rolling in, ready for the next storm coming. There were plenty of storms here on Earth. Len told me before that they get dust storms on Mars and they’ve had to miss school for them. Lucky.
I stared back down at the email that I’ve printed out, as always, and burrow my eyes into it, wishing I could somehow transport myself to Mars. To Len. I ran my fingers over the words, hoping to feel his presence. I wanted to know that he’s somewhere here with me.
Len and I had been best friends since we were in diapers. No one else compared to him. He was my rock. I went to him for everything. Every time that I needed a shoulder to cry on or someone to tell me that it was all going to be okay, he was there. We hung out together almost every day, watching the same bad movies and eating the same cheap junk food. The routine was fine with me. It was our “thing” and at least then I actually saw his face and heard his laugh and my heart still jumped out of my chest when he brushed my hand accidentally.
But then the terrible happened. TheUnited Statesgovernment insisted that it was only a matter of time before we destroy the earth and in truth, they were kinda right. There were hardly any trees anymore, we didn’t have fossil fuels like they used to have and pollution was everywhere. Disease was prevalent and worse than your average swine flu. People were dying left and right.
So, I suppose it wasn’t such a terrible idea to begin colonization of Mars.
Research and experimenting for the colonization started a really long time ago. About a hundred years ago actually. But all the test shuttles failed and never made it. Astronauts ended up giving their lives after the un-manned mission succeeded and they went up themselves. Ten years ago, in the year 3000, the manned shuttle was a success. People have been leaving ever since.
Len’s father had wanted to leave for a long time, but Len’s mother didn’t allow it. A year ago, Len’s dad got a job offer because they needed more doctors and off they went. Just like that. Len’s mom only agreed because she thought it would be better for the family. She was starting to get worried about conditions here.
She wasn’t the only one though. My mom was starting to get worried as well, not letting me go out and purifying all our food. She bustled about the kitchen even more so than before, trying to keep herself busy. My dad wasn’t the same either. He was stone cold, trying to be emotionless at the table when he ate his breakfast, peering nonchalantly outside over his glasses at the obvious disasters in our world.
I got up to shut the window when the rain started to pour. I watched it for a second, trying to, for at least a minute, get my mind off of Len. This, admittedly, was very hard to do. He was everywhere. Even after eleven or so months, he plagued my mind. His face was hard to forget, yet it seemed to be fading with every passing day. I looked at the pictures of us, but the person there wasn’t really him, just a mockery of him, trying to get me to believe that he was there. It was almost like I didn’t even know him anymore, like he was nothing more than words on a page or a voice in a receiver. In reality, he was much more than that. So much more. So much more in fact that he had absolutely no idea how much he actually meant to me. I’ve wanted to tell him so many times, but it just never happened before he left. I wanted to tell him in person, but every time I tried I felt like I was choking on my tongue and my heart was so loud that I couldn’t even hear myself think. I wanted to look him in his big blue eyes and say the most difficult words in the English language. The words people have trouble saying all the time because they are vulnerable and scary. They hold too much meaning and too much power.
I wanted him to say it back more than anything, but I never knew if he felt the same. He was always being himself, so how was I supposed to know if he was dropping hints? Just like he wasn’t good at keeping track of things, I was never good at understanding hints made by boys.
But man, did I want to tell him. I thought about what I’d say every night. And what he’d say back. I thought about him taking my hand, interlocking our fingers, running his hands through my hair and pulling me close. I thought about him caressing the back of my head as he leaned to kiss me, his lips just brushing my neck as we kiss. I wanted his heart to soar with every kiss.
I wanted him to feel that when I looked into his eyes, he was right where he belongs. With me.