Dear, Red

by Taya Van Dyke
British Columbia, Canada
genre: Science Fiction
content warnings: Death/Dying

Dear Red,

I know you will never read this, and that me writing this is nothing more than a futile attempt to stave off the reality of my own mortality, but what the hell? I’m an old romantic. And there’s nothing quite as romantic as leaving behind one last love note, eternally floating on an empty, derelict spacecraft never to be found again…. It gives you chills doesn’t it? Or maybe it’s just getting colder in here. I suppose that’s bound to happen once your heating system kicks the bucket. Don’t worry though, the life support isn’t far behind. I won’t be cold for long.

You know, the really funny thing about this whole situation is that it isn’t the cold, or the lack of oxygen, or the hollowness in your belly that gets you. It’s the emptiness. The Aloneness. Between you and the next person there’s only millions of miles of blackness, and vacuum, and stars. Maybe that’s why I’m writing to you… or to the void… or to the twenty-armed purple alien archeologist that discovers me in 600 years… or whoever it is that eventually finds this letter. Maybe it’s because talking to you in some way makes you feel closer. 

Like… when I close my eyes, I can see you reading this, hunched over on the kitchen stool. Maybe you’re sad. Maybe you’re angry at it all. I really hope you’re laughing at my jokes. You really liked that alien archaeologist one, huh? Well, just between you and me I’ve been workshopping it with the computer console all week.

Oh! Speaking of the passage of time... Happy Birthday! See? I told you I wouldn’t forget this year.

It’s crazy isn’t it? Out of the whole damn ship the only thing that still works in the end is the stupid calendar. Perfect. Just the thing I need to help me organize my time! This “letter-writing” thing almost didn’t make it into the schedule. Between the sessions of staring out the window in existential dread while contemplating my imminent demise and the meetings with the growling in my stomach, it’s really hard to find time for the simple pleasures.

Sorry, I don’t mean to be morbid. 

I never thought I was that into dark humour before this. There’s nothing like the presence of the metaphorical gallows to bring out the comedian in all of us. It’s not like I really notice the passage of time anyway, calendar or no. The days just blend together into one big blob where bit by bit it gets a little colder in here, and the air gets a little thinner…

But some days still stick out in your mind no matter what, don’t they? The important dates. Like, October 13th, the day the rations ran out. Or May 30th three years ago, the day I found that really cool coin on the sidewalk. Or October 17th, the day my beautiful Red turns 34. Man, you sure are getting old aren’t you? Kidding. Kidding. Even with my actual death creeping up on me, I’m still more afraid of you kicking my ass. If that’s not a testament to our eternal and everlasting love, then I don’t know what is.

Anyways, all of this clever and hilarious stuff to say, don’t be sad. I know you will be, and I know that me saying this won’t change that… but as you should know by now, I’m stubborn and I never listen. But when I die, I want you to know that I will be thinking of you. I’ll be thinking of all the times we shared, of all the kisses we exchanged, and of all the improbably, impossibly good times we had. And that’s not sad. That’s never sad.



Your stupid wife, Blue.

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