A glance to the left showed bits and pieces of what used to be a golden balloon twisting and turning about itself as it gracefully tumbled to the ground. The white string it was attached to sat in a sad heap on the floor, still tied to the blown-off rubber knot.
Well, there went Chance's one source of entertainment.
Technically not his only source, but after a while, one got tired of the endless expanse of space; one got tired of the lack of gravity. Sometimes. Okay, never. He'd never gotten tired of either of those things, but the balloon… it was new. It wasn't the same window that showed the same hopeless view of the same planet he'd never return to. The window wasn't even big enough to show him the planet he so desperately missed; if he pressed his cheek flat against the freezing piece of crap, he could just barely make out what he thought might be… South America?
He wasn't sure; he never was the best at geography.
Now, though… his new thing was gone. Destroyed. By what, he didn't know. But as he stared at the pile of torn-up, shining golden pieces of balloon and its white string, he sighed. He'd been so excited over that damn balloon. It had taken so much effort to even get it on board; so much convincing. He was just lucky that his inspector liked him and that it was a harmless balloon. He briefly imagined the reaction if he tried to sneak a bomb on board. He suspected it would've ended with his arrest.
…Would it have?
No, no, he couldn't go down that road. If he went down that road, he'd think about how he got here. And if he thought about how he got to be here, he'd think about Earth. So, as fun of a thought as that was, especially now, with his pathetic balloon piled in the corner- he couldn't linger on it.
But… his cheek was already pressed flat against the chilled, reinforced glass of the ship. His breath was already fogging up the window. He could even feel his teeth against the window through the skin and fat of his cheek. The cold that hit them was, quite frankly, disturbing.
To anyone out there, looking at this sad little window, looking at this sad little human stuck in space, he must've looked like an idiot.
But Chance; he was lucky. No one was out there to see.
The only people that are even remotely beyond the stupid window are those on Earth. No aliens have made contact with him yet, and all of his crewmates are happy and asleep, because they'd forgotten what day it is. They'd lost track.
He hadn't, though. And he never would. They may have lost all of their fuel, and they may have lost all of their hope, but he refused to lose his humanity.
Humanity starts with a New Year's resolution.
In reality, it doesn't; it probably started with something that, for starters, had morals. It probably started with something that actually had meaning. Everyone knew New Year's resolutions d have any true meaning to them. They're always broken within the first month of the new year. However, New Years had always been Chance's favorite. Staying up as late as physically possible without any real consequences, getting hammered to the point that he remembered nothing the next day, but knowing he had a groovy night because there's a cheap, crumpled, golden hat on his head, a pile of friends in his bed, a cat that he's never seen before sleeping on his chest, and a back that aches from spending the night in his bathtub… it was awesome. Every time.
So, it may not actually start with that, but he wanted to pretend it did. With so little to do in this spaceship, with such little hope, he needed to find happiness where he could. Originally, that's what the balloon was for, Chance supposed. But… well, that balloon lived a good, ten-minute life, serving some of its purpose.
Slowly, a chunk of asteroid floated by the window he was plastered to. His eyes tracked it like a cat watching a red laser dot. Maybe… Maybe this was his red dot. He couldn't truly catch it; it was always just out of reach. Honestly, he didn't even know if it was real. For all he knew, the asteroid was just a beam of light being projected by a nearby alien ship. One that he couldn't see, of course, because of this window…
"You are too small," he told it, cheek dragging across the glass as though it could understand him.
Then, for good measure, he repeats himself.
He just wanted to see Earth.
"Is that too much to ask for, window? To see a planet?" He removed his face from the subject in question; crossed his arms over his chest. His reflection in the glass was hard to make out with the darkness behind it. Distorted at best, and non-existent at worst.
It was a little dehumanizing, but he was grateful; he didn't want to know what his face looked like. He could already feel the uneven patches of stubble growing along his jaw; he didn't need genuine confirmation that it looked terrible on him. He wanted to remain in denial and keep believing it looked good. Dashing, even.
"Will you show me Earth if I ask nicely?" He leaned closer, closer, closer… until the tip of his nose was once again touching the glass. With a slow inhale, he batted his eyelashes. "Pretty please, can you show me Earth?"
He waited for a beat.
No response. No Earth.
Truth be told, he wasn't sure which was more disappointing. The fact that the window didn't respond, or the fact that he couldn't see Earth. It was probably the latter - if the window had responded, he'd be insane. Right now, he was content with knowing he wasn't completely insane.
Another sigh escaped his mouth, lips pursed in a tight, dissatisfied frown. He turned his head and pressed his cheek back against the window, straining his eyes to see the barely-there sliver of Earth the window provided him.
"New Year's resolution," He reminded himself, tapping his fingers against his leg. "New Year's resolution, New Year's resolution, New Year's resolution… what to do, what to do?"
From the back of his throat, he released a soft hum. Almost as in sync, there was a burst of color outside the window.
It fizzled out quickly enough, sure, but he knew what he saw. He pressed his face even harder against the window– like that would make it show him more– and watched as another pop of color appeared just in the corner of his view. It faded just as fast as the first, but it had been there.
Eyes widened, mouth agape, Chance watched as they continued in their irregular intervals. They went on, and on, and on, and on, and…
It took a few more bursts before he even started to consider what it might be. Several more for him to realize that they must have been... fireworks. Legitimate fireworks. In space. Weird; He hadn't thought they'd be visible in space. He supposed they'd be bright enough, though, and if they were launched from the right place.
Just as the realization clicked, the fireworks seemed to stop.
"Hey!" He shouted. His fist accompanied the shout, slamming against the glass hard enough to rattle his arm. "Hey! You bring those back! My New Year's isn't over! Bring it back!"
But, just like the window, they didn't respond.
"Two-faced weasels," He muttered, "You'd be lucky to have me at your parties!"
And it remained that way, silent, until Chance let out the loudest, longest groan he'd ever made. It lasted for quite some time and ended just as dramatically; with his forehead thumping against the window then dragging down it with a squeak. He slid until his body and face were uncomfortably pressed against the floor of the shuttle.
"My resolution is to throw the best party that the galaxy has ever seen," He said to himself. With his face against the floor, it sounded garbled; a string of unintelligible sounds. "I swear to God, I'll hold to this one. It's not like the gym resolution or the–" He added air quotes with his fingers, "–‘be nice to my brother'…"
Chance paused, swallowing thickly. The next words he uttered sounded like they didn't want to be spoken. "The one that Mom made me make. I'll keep this one!"
Almost desperate, his head whipped up. He stared at the window. He stared at his reflection. Stared at himself. Looked himself in the eyes.
"I'll keep it," Chance repeated, promised, staring himself down. The reflection didn't respond, its lips moving in silent tandem with his words. He thought he might've seen it flinch. "I will throw the best dang party this galaxy has ever seen."