Lucy looked down at the headstone and wished she could have sent flowers.
“Henry Smith, 62. He made us all look up.”
“Husband to Katy, Father to Lucy and Aaron.”
She could have cried.
Lucy had spent her life listening to stories of far off nebulae and second moons. She’d been a rebellious Starbuck to his kindly Adama as they watched old sci-fi and built rocket ships.
Had there ever been a father / daughter team up in sci-fi? She couldn’t recall; her memory was sluggish but she knew they’d hoped one day to be that team, speeding their way to the stars, fuelled by arguments and misunderstandings on a mission to reach strange planets and inevitable reconciliation.
It was a childish dream, and now so far away.
Space begins sixty-two miles out but the furthest they’d ever reached, with their kit rockets, wouldn’t get them to the nearest MacDonald’s. Henry told stories about Icarus and claimed it for their genre. He encouraged her, enthusing on how each launch would take them further and bring them closer. As the years went by, this encouragement seemed to become more for him than her.
“One day we’ll put a hamster in. Then your baby brother, just to be sure. Then our adventure can start.”
Her last test was scheduled for a Saturday and, distracted by memory, Henry had left his little girl priming the launch, not noticing she had long grown out of believing space was the only frontier.
After a late Friday night and with rocket fuel cocktails slowing her down, Lucy made that one simple mistake which sent parts of her and the rocket up into the sky, leaving Henry holding a useless trigger.
In the twenty years between Lucy’s death and his own Henry continued to look up, hoping to find the star his daughter had reached but knowing that in the countless drift of interstellar matter it was all too easy to become lost.