Anmia looked out into the void. Her eyes seemed glassy. Until today, we had just been casual acquaintances, and I assumed that after today we would still be casual acquaintances. Still, I noticed for the first time that she wasn't as bubbly as she appeared from a distance. She wore a stern façade within the hospital halls, and up close I could see that her huge eyes never crinkled when she smiled, and her long, slender neck sat in a permanent, but subtle slouch.
"Are you feeling okay?" I asked, and she snapped out of her daze.
"Oh, yeah, I was just a bit distracted," she shook her head, drowsily. "Did you hear the news about the star last week?"
"Star?" I asked. "What star?"
"I guess that's a "no". News travels slowly to the Baliu household," Anmia rolled her eyes. "Sector 88 detected a star, over towards the 27th zone. You can't see it: There's a black hole covering it by now, but it's there. Right now we're heading up to light speed, and we'll be in the sun 440 years from now."
"That's a lot of years," I replied. "If that's anything to go by, I might be able to enjoy it from the comfort of a respirator. Perhaps there's a few planets orbiting it."
"That's what we're counting on. In other news, the astroplanners are intercepting an asteroid on the way, and swapping the vessels over in 20 years, because the current one's going to lose it's resources in 19 years, so you dodged a bullet; I hear the changeovers are a nightmare for the miners."
"I know, I've had one before... but still, that's still a long time," I said.
"It'll be there before you know it," she began to smile, "and you're a teacher now. You have no reason to worry. Come with me; I'll show you your new place."