If you’ve never read “Departure,” then this story might not make as much sense. Then again, it might not make much sense mostly because I wrote it…
NOTES: Not edited, so there will be mistakes/errors. I am around 85% finished with the story, which has sort of come on strong over the last few days out of nowhere. I AM planning on a sequel to “Departure” (and in effect, this story as well), which will be titled “Arrival.” This story together with “Departure” will give a more complete backstory to “Arrival.”
“We have to go, Drea,” Melly said, tugging my arm.
“I don’t want to,” I said. She heard the sulking, near-whining in my voice. “Well, I don’t. I want to stay here with you.”
“You can’t,” she said, her voice heavy with emotion. “You know you can’t. We’ve talked about this for years.”
“I don’t care,” I said.
“Bullshit. You DO care. You’ve seen what happens when you miss your departure.”
“I don’t care,” I said again, feeling every bit the petulant child that I sounded.
“Then you lied all these years,” she said with sudden anger as she let go and pushed me away. “Because if you cared, you wouldn’t do that to me. You wouldn’t make me watch it.”
“It’s not fair, goddammit!” I nearly screamed. I only kept my voice down because the Hackers were everywhere in this part of the Bower.
“I know, baby,” she said, her face immediately back to the crushing defeat she’d tried to hide from me for the last few months. Hell, the last year or more, but it really began on my 39th birthday. She stroked my cheek, trying to wipe away my single tear without allowing herself to shed any. The heartbreak in her face made me want to fall to the floor and just give up. I would just lie on the floor and cry until I missed my departure. The memory of what happened to the unlucky (or stupid) ones who missed their departures was ingrained in us from childhood. Even without the instructional holos we were forced to watch at various intervals in school, there would be one or two who drove the message home every month when they refused to depart.
“Come on,” Melly said. “We have a ways to go just to get topside.”
When I refused to budge, she cupped my cheeks and pulled me in close. I stared into her eyes for an eternity while she nearly brought me to orgasm with an intensely passionate yet soft, loving, slow kiss. My mind whirled as her tongue gently flitted against mine. Time became nothing. My departure became a worry for someone else. I was no one and nothing, my only thought on Mellisandra and how much I loved her. Continue reading