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“But I choose to walk a different path,” she looks up to me and says, those deep blue eyes heavy with the world that she creates for herself, needlessly. Closed and yet not quite alone. Apart yet not quite completely by herself.
“That doesn’t mean it always must be this way, does it?” I say and step over to her. The light softly breaks over the horizon and shafts appear through the blinded windows, highlighting the concrete dust of the grey room.
“But what else is there? You think you’ve not tried another way? The other ways? There’s only so much trying one can do, until you must find something that you can hold onto, must hold onto to stop you from losing it entirely,” there’s a long pause. “I think I’ve found that path, and regrettably, it is without you.”
“Please. Don’t say that.”
“There’s a path that we all must walk, and mine is alone.” She stands and heads over to the sink in the little room, turning on the tap and splashing her face with cold water.
She’s facing me, dripping, circles of dark grey collecting on the polished concrete floor around her feet with each drop, her face glistening, those blue eyes calling.
“There are other ways,” I say. “The Colonials, the life they offer, it’s not like they say it is. The other worlds, do you know—I mean, have you heard what they say about the people who go, what they face? There’s civil war on two of the planets. You’re going to give up what we’ve got here, what we’ve made for ourselves, for something like that?”
“I choose to walk a different path.” She’s still standing. Still staring. “It’s your weakness that defines you. It’s my strength that defines me.”
“There’s no strength in always being alone.” I say and walk up to her. “There’s no weakness in needing someone.” I go to take her shoulders in my hands but she backs away and pulls on some clothes as a rocket somewhere far outside the habitat fires and the muffled engine scream tries to penetrate the thick concrete walls.
“Not alone, just apart.” She says, strapping on her launch armour. “If I didn’t make this decision, if I decided to sit here, on this planet, with you, for the rest of my days…I would have to cope with the idea of everything else that was lost.
“But can you not think of everything you might gain?”
“Love?” she asks, shakes her head and smiles, slapping down the last of the plating, clicking in the last of her buckles.
“Maybe? Children one day, a family? There’s a path there, isn’t there? What about that path?” I try to reason with her.
“Yes, perhaps,” she walks towards the door. “But I choose to walk a different path.” She turns and leaves as another rocket screams outside. The sun flickers through the blinds. The droplets dry on the concrete floor and the path that she chooses, it also decides mine.
Building inspiration: RW Concrete Church, Seoul