Sorry, I didn’t post yesterday either (wow I say this like every other day now) but at least we’ll be done with this challenge in a few days!!
Also, Becky, this one’s for you 😉 Scifi except I couldn’t resist adding something else lol.
Tara fiddled with the ventilators, pursing her eyebrows. A strand of dark brown hair fell in her eyes and she huffed, standing up and whirling around to face me.
“I hate this ship!”
I tried to smother my laugh. “Yeah, baby, I know. But we need this to go back home. It’s been way too long, remember? You said you missed the grass.”
Tara seemed to calm down and she slumped her shoulders, remembering. “Yes, Mommy.”
I walked over to her and enveloped her in a hug, her soft hair brushing my arms.
I turned around to see Captain Oren standing at the doorway of the mechanics room looking annoyed.
“You promised to get the ventilators fixed twenty minutes ago. Remember- this is my ship. And if you can’t contribute anything, don’t expect to be riding for free.” He said curtly.
I sighed as he walked away and turned back to my daughter. “Sorry, babygirl, but let me try fixing the ventilator now.”
Tara watched as I pulled on the knob, twisting it fifty degrees clockwise before using a screwdriver to ply out the loose nails. I finished by hammering in some new hinges and oiling up the machine.
“The ship is taking flight in ten, nine, eight-” the intercom announced.
The door to the room opened again and a man with light brown curls walked in. He shook his head and I realized that his hair was sopping wet.
“Cecil, why is your hair wet?” I asked.
He glanced at me like he hadn’t noticed that I was there and flashed me a bright smile. “Oh, hey, Keisha! Nice to see you too!”
I rolled my eyes and turned around to turn one of the knobs on the last ventilator.
“If you must know, Captain asked me to increase the thrust capacity of the rocket and I got dunked in water for some reason. It’s going to be a rocky ride,” He said, but in a joking way.
“Hey! Look who it is- it’s my favorite girl, Tara!” Cecil said, scooping Tara up in his arms and laughing.
My daughter giggled and squirmed. I was positive that other than me, Cecil was Tara’s favorite person.
“The ship is taking flight now.” The intercom interrupted.
Cecil put Tara down and turned to me. “Can we go to the skylights?”
I nodded and kissed my girl’s forehead, telling her to go back to our cabin, before I followed him out of the room.
We walked through the halls of the ship and out to the Skylight Room.
We were flying through space and I could see twinkling stars in the distance through the skylight.
Cecil let out a quick breath.
“It’s beautiful.” He said.
Somehow, I felt like he wasn’t talking about the skylights.
I turned to him, half-sitting on a desk that was in the room. He was wearing a light blue shirt over slacks and his hair was still sopping wet.
He met my stare and his gray eyes were intense, the opposite of his easy-going humor when he was with my babygirl.
“She adores you,” I murmured, tucking a braid behind my ears.
He grinned a little, a bit of his mischief evident again. “I’m quite the charmer, aren’t I?”
He leaned forward a bit, putting an elbow on the desk as he said it.
I smiled to myself. “Sure, Cecil. Whatever you say.”
He looked at me and stood up, sobering. “Keisha.”
I ran a hand through my braids again, avoiding his gaze.
“Keisha.” He said again, insistently, his voice pulling my eyes up. “Are you going to go back to Earth?”
I let out a long breath. “Yeah, I am. It’s the best thing I could do for Tara. She needs a stable home.”
“Have you thought of staying here, on this ship? You could raise Tara to be a spacefarer, and you could continue being the mechanic for the ship.”
I shook my head. “Cecil. You know that what kids need when they grow up is stability. And you’ve seen the Captain- if I stay here, he’ll make my life and my daughter’s life hell.”
“I didn’t have much stability in my life, I turned out fine!” Cecil argued.
I raised my eyebrows at him, smirking. He laughed and ran a hand through his hair.
“Okay, maybe I’m not the best example. But you know what I mean! And you could always choose another ship without Captain Oren.”
I shrugged. “What about other kids? I don’t want Tara being raised as a friendless lonely kid with no contact with anyone of her own age.”
Cecil sighed again. “I know, but you could make it work.”
His head was still bowed but I leaned over and took his hand. “Cecil. Moving to Earth won’t make us lose touch. And you’ll visit us sometimes, right?” I asked.
Cecil lifted his head and nodded slowly. “Yeah, I guess. I just don’t want to lose you guys, you know? You and Tara, you’re basically family. My only family.”
I paused. “Cecil, this whole time you’ve been trying to convince me to not move to Earth. But what if you moved to Earth with us?”
He stopped and looked at me for a moment, rubbing his neck and averting his eyes. “Yeah, uh, I suppose. But we’re not, you know, married or anything. Or even, like, together.”
I waved him off and turned to press my face to the glass skylight as if I was Tara. “Come on, Cecil. Your whole life you’ve been trying to break rules, to prove people wrong that you need to settle down. But what if you’re tired of that? It’s time to take a leap of faith and try something new. Plus, you’re still defying everything- you’ve never been to Earth before.””
I couldn’t see him, but I could tell that Cecil was smiling from his words: “You know what? You’re right. You and Tara are worth being told ‘I told you so’.”
I turned around and beamed at him. “We can take things slow, and I’d prefer that, but I’m just so glad that Tara will have you in her life.”
Cecil raised his eyebrows. “Just Tara?”
I swatted his hand and laughed. “Okay, maybe not just Tara.”
Cecil grinned at me and slung his arm around my shoulder.
“Earth will be something new for me,” he said. “But I’d go anywhere with you, Keisha.”
I hope you guys liked this!
Do you like mixing the genres Scifi and Romance? If you were in Keisha’s place, what would you do? Did she make the right decision?