Today’s story is…probably not very good. I started writing, and before I knew it a small love story popped into my head—which is something I normally avoid writing like the plague. Once I realized I was shying away from writing the story because writing it made me feel uncomfortable and I’m not very good at it, I forced myself to sit down and get words on the page. It’s also in space which is a new one for me. Anyway, the only way to get better is to practice and push outside of your comfort zone (which is easier said than done), so here’s Day 2:
Prompt: “He twisted his fate between his fingers…”
He twisted his fate between his fingers. Easily spinning the cold steel pen around his thumb Tye stared down at the form. He’d been pondering over the choice for the last few days and now, just a few minutes away from the deadline, he felt stuck. His name, age, and one little checkbox. Those three things on the one-page form would literally dictate everything in his life from this point on.
Leaning back in his chair frustrated, Tye peaked out of the station window to clear his head and rid himself of some latent claustrophobia. One thing he knew for sure, the only thing really, was that he didn’t want to stay up here. Unlike most of his friends being this far from Earth made him feel lonely. Even when he was in classes and surrounded by other people he’d been plagued with constant bouts of homesickness.
Still looking out into the distance, he started to feel small and insignificant. He didn’t like the feeling. “This is ridiculous,” Tye complained. It was absurd that a piece of paper would decide everything from where he’d live to who he’d live with.
Hunching over the form, Tye crossed off any and all jobs that would keep him in space, which left him with about ten choices—a longer list than most had started with. He had an “extraordinarily aptitude for many things”—or so the proctor had told him with a huge smile as he handed back the test results.
“Ugh,” Type tapped the pen against his temple as he stared at the paper again. Boring through it with his eyes and wishing he had fewer choices.
“Boo!” Tye jumped as Ava slammed both of her small palms against his back.
“Wha—Ava? What are you doing here?” He tried to collect himself and failed miserably.
Ava smirked bringing one of her dimples out of hiding, “I could ask you the same thing.” She brushed a lock of piano black hair behind her ear absently.
“Ugh,” Tye groaned as a response, clicking his pen open and closed against the wooden table.
“*Still* working on your form?” Ava glided into the chair next to him as she spoke. She smelled nice. “It’s three questions. Aren’t you supposed to be a genius or something?”
Ava had an indescribable quality that drew others naturally to her, and Tye had been no exception. About a foot shorter than he was, and a lot more outgoing, Ava was one of the few people Tye had found himself actually close to after his three years on the station. He wasn’t sure which one of them that said more about.
Pushing his chair back from the table, Tye paused in a dramatic stretch, both hands on the table’s edge, before refolding the form along the same, now worn, creases he’d made days ago and sliding it into his front jacket pocket along with his pen.
“Hey! I just got here! Where are you going?”
“For a walk,” Tye sighed, “I need to clear my head.” He resisted the urge to say anything else and turned on a heel towards the door. He could hear Ava’s boots on the metal floors behind him as she followed him out of the mess hall and into the hallway.
“You’re avoiding me.” Ava grabbed Tye’s elbow as she caught up to him in the weightlessness of the hall. She’d always been better at moving through the Zero-G sections.
“I’m not avoiding you,” Tye lied as he pulled his arm free and rested his palms on the railing. He stared out of the giant hall-wide windows down at Earth.
“You’re really planning to go back?” Wisps of black hair brushed against the side of Tye’s face as Ava settled in beside him.
Tye was silent. He’d been hoping to avoid this conversation since they’d handed out the forms a few days ago. He knew Ava would be staying on the station. She liked being on the frontier of things, and the adventure within the idea suited her perfectly.
“Hellooo!” Ava bounced her shoulder into Tye’s sending his weightless body a few inches down the hall.
“I…think so…” he avoided looking at her.
“Think so?” Ava raised her eyebrows, “well you better make up your mind soon. You’ve got what, about ten minutes before you have to turn it in?”
“I know, I know,” Tye tried to wave her off.
“I mean since you’ve decided there isn’t anything worth staying up here for the rest should be easy.” Tye heard the hard edge in Ava’s voice that most would miss.
“I never said that!” Tye turned to face her for the first time on their conversation.
“You might as well have! You crossed off every option that could possibly keep you up here!”
They floated in an awkward silence facing each other.
“You’re such a wuss,” Ava muttered, shattering the stillness, before turning to head back to the mess hall.
Reaching for her before he could stop himself, Tye grabbed Ava by one of her arms and pulled her face towards his. The kiss was electric, running through both of them in waves of nervous and excited energy.
“Don’t say anything,” Ava put a finger to Tye’s lips, “your eloquence is bound to ruin the moment.” She rested her head against his chest and turned to look out of the giant window beside them.
Tye turned his head to follow suit, resting his cheek on the crown of Ava’s head. For the first time, seeing the stars with such clarity calmed him. He wasn’t daunted by conflicted feelings of smallness and claustrophobia. Wrapping his hands tighter around her waist, Tye pulled Ava in close a second time.
“Maybe space isn’t so bad after all.”