"Welcome aboard Galaxy Rail Star. The finest new technology today. From the simple invention of the steam engine a thousand years ago, to a bullet train in space that can go one million miles a minute. We are now leaving Venus, the time is 13:00. Arrival time to Earth, 13: 26. Arrival time to Mars, 14:00. Enjoy your ride."
I felt the train start moving right after the woman over the intercom stopped. The speed of the train made the stars looked like white streaks, like they were flying along with me. I take out the brochure I got at the entrance car about my new destination.
"On Mars our new improved living environment will insure a comfortable new life on the newest planet in the solar system to admit non-government related citizens to our growing population."
I smirk to myself, "Well, I'm not the comfortable life kinda guy mow, am I?"
I recline my chair and a holographic menu appears in front of my face, "Welcome aboard Galaxy Rail Star! May we take your order?"
I reach out to touch the screen to pick a meal. Then, through the hologram I see a woman taking the seat in front of me. She looked blurry through the screen, but I recognized her face. I swipe the menu to make it disappear. She sees my face and her ice blue eyes widen in shock.
I stare directly into those eyes, "Is it really her?" I lean forward to see her face more closely, "Perdita?"
"Trent?!" She gasps.
She stares back at me for a few minutes, with those glassy eyes. Then she looks away and I'm pulled out of her trance. The train seems to slow down a bit.
"Look back at me please," I ask her. I want to see that face and those eyes I haven't seen in what feels like an eternity.
She keeps staring out the window. I look to and see the white streaks of stars getting dim. I turn back to her.
"Um," she fidgets with her hands, "What have you been doing?"
To be honest I'm a little shocked at her question. Why would a person who up and left me with no warning, leaving only a note that said one word, "Goodbye." care about what I've been doing since then.
"Well, for a few months I waited for you to come back. Then I got tired of waiting, and decided to chase that dream of exploring the solar system," I smiled at the thought of my journey and looked back out the window at the universe, "I worked three jobs to afford a ticket to Venus, and stayed there for a year. Now I'm off to Mars to find whatever awaits me there," I look back at her, "Looks like I already found one."
Perdita smiles, "So you're exploring now?" I see her eyes melt a tear, "You're finally going on the journey of your dreams."
I lean back and sigh, "Perdita, I don't want you to think I'm mad at you," I tighten my grip on the armrest, "I just wanna know why."
She finally looks at me again, "Because I wasn't your dream."
My eyes widen at her response. My dream of a journey out there interfered with our relationship? Those maps of planets I hung all over the house, talking about a ship landing on Jupiter's moon Io, and being so excited when this train was finally operating. I made her feel insignificant. She thought how could she compete with the universe. The train moves faster.
"So, um, what have you been up too?" I ask, hoping to stop her from crying.
She sighed and patted the armrest of her chair, "Same think I'm doing now. I've been on this train for months now, trying to find where I belong. Nothings stuck so far." she looks back at me and smiles, "And look at you. You're on the journey of your life," her smile fades as she looks out to the stars again, "I don't know where I want to be."
I drink in her words and feel a tinge of irony.
"Ya know, I envy you. Part of a journey is not knowing where you want to be or where exactly it is you're going. So, really you're the one on the journey. I'm just following my gut."
I see her grin a little, "I guess that makes since."
I think about how I've seen that grin when I always got home from work, and her face was all I needed to see at the end of the day before I went to sleep. I think about how I don't want to lose that again.
I lean forward and take her hand in mine, "Come to Mars with me," Holy crap what am I doing I think to myself but I ignore it, "We'll start a life there, get a house and not a crappy apartment, and that will be our home."
She stays silent for a few seconds after my proposal, then grins again.
"Ya know, in the back of my head I think the reason I stayed on this train so long was because I was waiting for you."