“Ryan, I know you don’t want me to go, but I’ve made up my mind.” Kimberly was struggling with leaving her little brother behind and Ryan knew it all too well.
“But why can’t you just wait a couple of more years so I can come with you?” he tried.
“I wish you could come with me. But I really need to leave this place, or else I might kill mum and dad.” A smile crept onto her face. Ryan knew exactly what she meant. His parents drove him insane often enough as well. Why he hadn’t stuck to farming, why he had chosen engineering when there was no work for engineers in town, and more like that. Kimberly had suffered exactly the same preaches and she was fed up with it.
A bit over a month ago, she’d made up her mind and asked around on the ships that were docked whether they could use additional crew, or knew a ship that needed anybody. It hadn’t taken her long to find work: if you were willing to work for very little pay, you could always find work.
Kimberly had found a job aboard some sort of cheap tourist vessel. Why the vessel had docked on this planet Ryan still didn’t know. But Kimberly had found a way to get off the planet and she would not let the opportunity pass. And that was why she was now saying goodbye to her parents and her brother.
Ryan pretended to be angry, although in truth he was just sad. Sad to see his big sister and his best friend go. He turned away. Kimberly sighed and turned her attention to her parents. Mother was crying and father also looked like he could burst out in tears any minute. “Please darling, don’t leave us!” mother wept. “There is plenty of work in this town. Or somewhere else on this planet. Just don’t go out there. It’s far too dangerous!” Father only nodded in agreement. “Mum, dad, we’ve been over this. I need to spread my wings. This planet isn’t for me. There’s a whole Verse out there and I intend to see a great deal of it.” She hugged both her parents. First her father, then her mother who was now crying so loud that her husband looked away in embarrassment.
Kimberly turned to her brother once more. “Ryan?” It just became too much for Ryan. He ran to her and wrapped his arms around his sister. “I know you have to go,” he said, fighting tears. “And I do wish I could come with you… I wish you all the best, I really do.”
“Oh come on.” It was now Kimberly who was struggling to keep in her tears. “I’ll come and visit as often as I can.” Ryan protested: “You know as well as I do that isn’t true.” Kimberly nodded in agreement. “Okay,” she whispered. “But I promise to send a wave every week.” Ryan doubted it, but he wanted it to be true so badly that he didn’t say anything about it. Reluctantly he let go of his sister. Kimberly picked up her suitcases from the ground and walked towards the docks, turning around once more, forcing a smile on her face. Ryan kept looking at her, his vision blurry with tears, until the top of her head disappeared from his vision as she walked down the hill. She was really gone now.
After standing there for a few minutes, Ryan’s mother’s crying calmed somewhat. His father still had his arms around his wife. “Ryan. Are you coming son?” the man said, turning around, heading to town. “No. I’m staying a bit longer. You two go on ahead without me.” His parents didn’t argue. They knew how close Ryan and Kimberly were. Ryan waited a few minutes for his parents to leave. Then he could no longer keep his grief bottled up inside. He fell to his knees and let it all out…