Nils heard Katie enter the room as he finished typing the letter and sent it to the printer. He’d been using the back bedroom as an office ever since they had moved to Houston. He’d set up a communications center in the room so that Katie could keep in communication with him whenever he spent some time in space. At one time, he thought it would not have been necessary. It turned out it became unnecessary, but for a completely different reason than he imagined.
“What are you doing?” asked Katie with her heavy Texas drawl.
“I’m writing my resignation,” answered Nils.
“Because it looks like they have no intention of sending me to the Moon again.”
“And that’s bad because?”
“Without going to the Moon, there is no point in being an astronaut.”
“That’s silly,” she said. “There are other destinations.”
“Not for me.”
“Alrighty, I’ll call Mom. We can move back to Dallas after you resign.”
“What?” he asked, dumbfounded.
“Don’t expect me to live down here near the hurricanes if you aren’t planning to be an astronaut anymore.”
“There haven’t been only three per year since Yellowstone. None of them have had landfall within two hundred miles of here.”
“Good,” Katie said. “Now we won’t have to worry anymore. And I can see Mom more than once per month.”
“Fine. We’ll move to Dallas—for now.”
“Great. I’ll tell Mom.”
“I need to get over there and give them my resignation, back by six.”
“I thought you said you’d be home by six,” she said. “Dinner is a mess.”
“You didn’t get my text?” Nils asked.
“The one I sent you about five.”
“Oh, the one that said, ‘Milt and I are talking, be home later’”, she said. “Is that it?”
“When you said later, I didn’t think you’d mean past eight.”
“What’s going on?” said Nils. “I don’t understand,”
“I wanted to celebrate you not having to risk your life all the time in space. It was your passion, but it made me a wreck.”
“Now that you won’t be doing it anymore, I thought we’d have a normal life.”
“You’re not understanding my intentions, Katie. I’m leaving the Space Agency, but I’m planning to go to the Moon another way.”
Seeing the tears in her eyes, he realized he had destroyed her hopes by restoring his own. She would never join him in space, like he had imagined.
Generated by Torn MacAlester using Stablehoard on GIMP 2.10.24