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Drama Romance Teens & Young Adult

Clara left for work thirty minutes early just because she wanted to be there. Because she was excited to do her job, and that was everyone’s dream wasn’t it? 

With steaming coffee in her hand, she walked down the halls of the spaceship called Ajax. It wasn’t the largest one there was, but it was the one that had saved her family all those years ago when Earth had to be abandoned. She was so young when that happened that she didn’t remember the event. 

The windows on the ship halls looked out into the beauty that was the outer space. There wasn’t anything but blackness close by, and stars far away. Clara always loved looking at the stars. 

She had been assigned a completely different job than looking at the stars when she turned sixteen and took the test. Her title was a Researcher of the Past. She took everything they’d collected of the remains of Earth, and examined them. 

There were newspapers and clothes, broken smartphones that didn’t work, and so much more. She’d recently gotten a promotion: she was allowed access to the internet now. She could examine the social media posts and news articles that hadn’t been saved on paper. It was going to be amazing. 

Clara showed the guards outside the office doors her ID card to allow her access. They were used to her arriving early, and didn’t ask questions. 

Clara wanted to learn everything about the Earth. She wanted to go there, even if it was in ruins. 

She’d heard rumors that some people on the ship had cracked time travel, and were going to go to observe humans before the disasters. If this was true, Clara intended to find out. 

She’d come in early, and stay late. Nothing would stop her. 

Cedric couldn’t wait to get home. While home simply meant his apartment quarters on the Ajax, but it was home nonetheless.

Tonight was special; it was Cedric and his girlfriend’s three year anniversary. Her name was Clara, and she was more amazing than Cedric could ever imagine. 

Cedric and Clara had met at one of the annual balls held at Grand Central Station—the main space station that the Ajax stopped at once a year. They were both at the refreshment table, and started an easy banter over knowing no one and trying to not seem like a nobody. 

A few weeks later, Cedric found himself being transferred to work on the Ajax instead of staying at Grand Central. It was the best stroke of luck he could’ve ever hoped for. 

And three years later, he and Clara were going to celebrate their anniversary. 

He had made special plans that Clara didn’t know about. It was a surprise. They were going to dinner, which she knew about. Then they were going to see her favorite movie that was playing in the ship’s theater that night and that night only. It was a special showing just for them. He hoped Clara would love it. 

He hadn’t seen her yet that day, since she was an early riser and he didn’t wake till late. They’d agreed on seven o’clock to meet at the restaurant a few days before, so Cedric put on his suit and walked there, a gift for Clara waiting in his pocket. 

The internet was more amazing than Clara could ever imagine. She found out all the types of social media, which had never officially shut down. She made accounts for all of them, thinking of more and more creative names. She looked at the pictures and messages celebrities had posted, and some non-famous people. 

She looked at news articles from nineteen years ago, when she was less than a year old. They talk about the strange occurrences that were happening on Earth, but then they stop. There were no reports on the disasters; there couldn’t have been, since everything was destroyed too quickly. 

Clara learned more about how her family must’ve lived. Her mother had said it was on a farm near Asheville, wherever that was. Clara hadn’t been able to find it. Maybe now she could . . . No, she scolded herself, she had to stay on task and do her job well. 

She wrote a report about a few celebrities she’d researched. She also wrote about the current events of the weeks leading up to the disasters. Before she knew it, it was almost eight o’clock. She went to her apartments to find something to eat, her date with Cedric not crossing her mind until she saw the dress she’d gotten for it draped over her chair. 

She hadn’t come, at all! Cedric couldn’t believe it. He hadn’t noticed how long he’d been waiting at the restaurant for Clara, thinking that his nerves were making everything seem like forever, until a girl he didn’t recognize sat down at his table. 

“You know you’ve been sitting here for just over an hour, right? I don’t think whoever you’re waiting for is coming. I can have dinner with you if you like, though,” she said. 

“Oh,” was all Cedric could manage to say. He didn’t want to believe that Clara hadn’t come to their anniversary dinner. Why hadn’t she come? It was too important to forget. 

Just then Clara came rushing into the restaurant. 

“She’s here. Just very late,” Cedric told the girl he didn’t know. 

“That’s good. I’ll leave you then, good luck.” She left the restaurant, looking very underdressed for fine dining in jeans and a t-shirt. She spoke to the hostess as she left. 

Clara sat down in her seat. She was wearing a dark ruby colored dress that matched Cedric’s tie. He’d found that tie since it was her favorite color. 

She launched into her apology, “I’m so sorry, and I know how awful it sounds but I just forgot. It was really stupid of me, and I’m so so so sorry.” 

“What made you forget?” Cedric asked, the hurt visible on his face. 

“I just got really busy at work. Today I got access to, guess what, the internet!” Her face lit up at this part, and Cedric felt bad that he was angry since she got so much joy from doing her job. That didn’t stop him from being angry. 

Cedric was very mad at Clara. He was trying not to act that way, but she could tell her was hurt. She had to make it up to him somehow. 

They hadn’t stayed for dinner, deciding they could try this all again on Sunday, when neither of them had to work. That way they could spend the whole day together, Clara suggested. 

How could she make it up to him? She could get him an extra special present. She wanted to brainstorm it more, but she had to go to work. 

She found herself more immersed in the internet even though she’d thought the day would drag on for her. This continued until Saturday, when she realized she’d need to find a present, and fast. That was until her boss came into her office to speak to her. 

She tried to contain her excitement when he told her that if she kept up the good work she could take a trip in one of the time travelling space crafts to go observe the Earth of the path. When he left, she went back to work, even harder. She explored so many things she hadn’t before, writing her end of day report about what she thought the day of an average person contained. 

She didn’t realize she needed a present for Cedric until she saw a sweet note he’d left on her apartment door. Can’t wait until tomorrow, love you -Cedric. It was so incredibly sweet of him, and Clara felt awful that she’d barely talked or seen him all week. 

She ran to the shopping floor of the ship. After searching what was the left of the open stores, she lost hope. There was nothing perfect; nothing that screamed Cedric. As she was leaving, she saw something in a store window. She’d come back in the morning to buy it. 

Cedric had wanted to see Clara all week, but everytime he knocked on her door after work she never answered. He knew she wasn’t home, but he didn’t understand why she was always working late. Her promotion didn’t have extra working hours, the promotion that the pair had celebrated together the week before by watching movies in Cedric’s apartment. 

He just wanted everything to go back to the way it was before her promotion, then he scolded himself for wishing she wasn't as successful as she was at work. 

It was a slap in the face when he knocked on her door once more Sunday morning, and she didn’t answer. 

They fought. Cedric couldn’t keep all his hurt feelings to himself when she rushed back from the store with his present. He didn’t even open it. The fact that she had gotten it that morning meant she forgot. She said she was trying to get a special trip at her job, and that’s why she had been working so much. Cedric didn’t feel like it was worth it if she stopped caring about him altogether. 

In the end, they broke up. 

A few weeks later, during the annual ball that was held when the Ajax was docked at Grand Central Station, Clara was on her trip. She had an entire pod to herself, and could travel to any time period she wanted. She’d messed it up a little, so instead of watching a normal Fourth of July in New York City, she was watching the disasters. She was watching everything fall apart as Cedric danced with another girl at the ball. 

November 30, 2020 01:49

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