Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Behind Every Good Astronaut - a wee story part 4

I made myself a cup of lapsang. Aidan had never liked it. He was working on his laptop at our formica, kitchen table.
“Aidan. I love you.” I blurted.
“I know.” He said, as he tipped the last of his coffee in his mouth and handed me the empty cup.
I didn’t take it.
He looked at me. His long lashes fanned against his eyelids.
“You are so selfish and I did not want you to grow up like that. Everything is just about you and Mars. I meant for you to learn to love...” I trailed off, looking into my tea for inspiration. The smoky aroma reminded me of those nights.
“I know what you gave up.” He said, rubbing his laptop like a pet. “I know you wanted to complete your PhD but I came along and Dad left you and went back to Germany. Aren’t you proud of me?”
I said bitterly, “You think you have gotten where you are because you did it.”
“I did. But I did it for you.” He was staring at me now without blinking.
“Have you not seen all the people that have helped you?” I could feel the tears on the edge of my eyes.
“Every winter night when you were little I checked on you. You always wiggled out of your blankets and I would gently pulled them back up over you so you wouldn’t wake up cold.”
“What are you trying to tell me? Not to go? Not to make history? Didn’t you used to say I should make my life worth something?”
He stood up and I stared up at the underside of his chin.
But he was still my son.
“Not without love.” The words were not right and it sounded soppy but I hoped he understood.
He exploded before me like a supernova.

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5 Favourite Sights Seen

  • 1996 Watching tropical lightning turn night to day, outside a little wooden church in a small village in Sabah.
  • 2004 Flying down the Rainbow Valley at 8000ft in a cessna on a clear blue day.
  • 2003 Seeing and hearing Michael Schmacher rolling out of the pit garage in his Ferrari in Hungary.
  • 2009 Chancing upon 100 or more dolphins just off the Kaikoura Coast swimming around, jumping out of the water, doing somersaults and generally having fun.
  • 2006 Finding a pool at the bottom of a waterfall in the bush at Kaikoura that was full of playing baby seals.