Air and Space

She agrees to meet me at the museum.

I know the second I see her. It’s on her face. Doom. I smile anyway.

“You remember this place?” I say, as though nothing is wrong. As though last night had never happened. “Our first date?”

“It wasn’t a date,” she says. “We need to talk.”

“We are talking,” I say.

“Let me put this another way,” she says. “You need to listen.”

“If it’s about last night, I can’t tell you how sorry I am–”

“It’s not about last night. Not only about last night. It’s all of it.”

“Please, honey. You don’t–”

“You need to listen. We’re done. The end. That’s it.”

“I don’t want us to be done.”

Her face reddens. I can see this was the wrong thing to say. “What I mean is–”

She shakes her head,  walks away like she’s late for something. I start after her, but realize it’s a waste of time.

A group of children file in. One of them presses the button and the recording starts. The Apollo I fire. Grissom, White, and Chaffee. Never made it into space.  Burned to death on the launchpad in a few seconds.  Somber music plays in the background.

She just needs space.


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