Friday, November 18, 2016

Station

This story is a sequel to Engine Trouble

I arrived at Station 43 with two problems. Problem one was the fact that my engine —without any help from my ex husband Gareth this time— had started to splutter just as the ship left the Venus Corridor.
The second was that Gareth's ship had passed me by as I exited the Corridor moving at a snail's pace, and —as his cargo had a higher priority— I had to wait for his ship to be unloaded to get my next assigned cargo and my oh so cherished solitude.
It was good to be on a space station though, as there was a lot of room to walk. My decrepit ship barely had space for a hammock for me to sleep in, let alone space to pace back and forth.
Gareth, who had been eyeing me ever since we'd landed, strolled up at me casually.
I did what any woman in her right mind would do, I left the cargo bay and entered the Station. I headed for the bar straight away, which wasn't very hard, as the bar was conveniently located near the exit of the cargo bay.
Just as the bartender —without looking up— placed a glass of whiskey in front of me, Gareth sat down on the stool to my left. "Hello, Ally, good to see you."
"Do I even need to ask if it is a coincidence that you are here?"
"Of course it isn't. I asked Cargo Inc. to send me on a similar run."
"They must like you more than me."
He smiled, and his white teeth blinged up the bar. "I am shareholder now, can pick my rides. I needed to try to make you see reason..."
I didn't look at his face. I didn't have to. He was sad, and I could never resist his sad face back in the day.
I emptied my glass in one go, coughed and stood up. I headed back to the cargo bay and sat in the entrance of my ship, waiting for the crew to focus their attention on my cargo and ship.
Gareth leaned against the ship's hull. "I am not giving up."
"I'm done, Gareth. You've cheated on me, remember?"
"I didn't! Not really..."
I gave him the ice cold stare he'd always hated, turned my head up and yelled into my ship, "Computer, do you have an estimate for repairs?"
"Half an hour, tops."
I rolled my eyes. That meant two hours, at least. I turned to Gareth and met his eyes.
He smiled.
I said, "You and I? Nope."
His smile disappeared. He put his hand on my arm and said, "I am not giving up."
"I wish you'd said that when we were still married." He stood up and walked away. He entered his ship and, moments later, the ship departed.
The ship's computer said, "My pleas to the station have been victorious! We are moved to the top of the maintenance schedule!"
I sighed and headed back to the bar with the sinking feeling in my stomach that I owed him one.

(((to be continued)))

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This work by Sylvia van Bruggen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

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