The Great Escape

Douglas Community School

Dear planet Earth,

At 06:00 the technicians helped strap me into my flight seat. The buckles dug into my orange jumpsuit, as they walked away I tried to tilt my head, to get one final glimpse at humanity but I was hindered by my large helmet and breathing apparatus. My head was fixed upright, staring through the cockpit window into the darkened sky which grew bluer every moment as the sun rose behind me. My body was shimmering with a nervous heat, I forced each breath, my left hand trembled uncontrollably. With it, I reached forward towards the control panel and did the final checks before radioing in the all clear. “Launch will go ahead as planned, in t-minus 5 minutes” replied the bodiless voice. I made an honest attempt to relax back into my seat. They say most suicide survivors have a sudden yearning to live as soon as they attempt to take their lives and I’m beginning to feel as though this trip is much in the same except I’ll only live long enough to regret my decision, not to rectify my choice. I cast my eyes upon my orange chest to see the various patches I had acquired throughout my three years of training. Graduated top of my cadet class, fastest reaction speed, highest IQ, set records in anything they could record but what would it matter now, in 6 months my cadaver will be floating somewhere on Mars, forgotten by everyone, like Sergei Korolev. Who? Exactly. They really know how to rope broken men into jobs nobody else would dream of. Next month will be Sandra’s 4th anniversary and I’ll be remembering her on a different planet. Even in death, your soul mate will drive you to do crazy things, like move planet to escape the pain of not waking up next to them. The countdown began, maybe I’ll go out in a colossal engine explosion and it will spare me the drama of sitting on some rock, all alone, deep in thought of another time. A tear rolled down my cheek, habit made me try to wipe it but my hand clumsily hit the visor of my helmet. I began to hum Amazing Grace to calm myself, the same way my mother would but I was cut short by the low growl of interplanetary engines revving. I closed my eyes. I felt gravities relentless force trying to suppress me as the rocket slowly propelled me into the atmosphere. My eyes remained stiffly closed for at least 5 minutes until I heard the loud clunk of the fuel reservoir closing. I opened my eyes and I saw nothingness. But this was not the emptiness that drove me to sign up for this trip this was a peaceful valley, a vast abyss between two planets. I stared in awe and remembered just why I had signed up for this trip. I reached forward again, my hand no longer trembling and input various commands into the console.

Goodbye World.