At night, when I am alone, I look to the stars
Its orange tint makes me think it may be Mars
The hue of one among many catches my stare
I feel it connecting us, a jewel we can share
A cosmic connection seen from earth and space
When you came into my life, I found my place
No distance apart can hide this common sight
In all the galaxy, only your love gives me delight.
Lucas read over what he scratched out several times, testing the rhythm by reading it out loud. For a moment, he wondered if it what he wrote would make it past the HAMs censors.
He looked up at that last thought, placing the dull end of the stylus to his lips. Of course, they will read, and censor everything the students sent home. Loose lips sink ships, Lucas thought, not sure where he heard the saying before. He scanned the prose one more time, looking for something he thought they may find to revealing.
“Nah, it’s pretty innocuous,” Lucas said to himself after reading it aloud a couple more times.
Satisfied with the words and the rhythm of the poem, his stylus once again found its way in between his teeth as he decided on what else to put in the letter.
Making new friends here. Not sure how well I will keep in touch with most of them after we get out of camp. Most of them live outside of the 612-area code, and my mom will never allow longs distance calls.
Lucas thought about the last passage for a second. He was at a Boy Scout camp in Missouri, so it is plausible that he will make friends from other states, not just outstate Minnesota.
I think it would be fun to visit some of these kids in their home state, but not sure how I can pull that off either. They keep us pretty busy here. Really don’t give us much opportunity to sulk around missing home.
I do think of you often, and at night, when we are sitting around the camp fire, I do look up and wonder if you are seeing the same stars as I am.
Hope your summer is going great. Talk to you soon.
Once again, Lucas re-read what he wrote. That part about the stars sort of bothered him, but only because the night sky was so different in the city. Only the brightest stars were visible, not like out here in space, or even actual Boy Scout camp. The only camps he had been too were in Minnesota and Wisconsin, but the night skies were always the same. There were so many stars, it almost seemed though a jeweled vail blanketed the sky in places.
As he wrote that passage to Sarah, that is what he was envisioning, those night skies above the Boy Scout camps. Now as he looked up through the clear alloy dome of the observation deck, it looked as though God speckled large swathes of sky with black paint. The stars were so numerous, they almost ran together. This far from the sun, with no atmosphere, humidity, or suspended pollution to filter the light, it was brilliance.
“No nighttime sky anywhere on Earth looks like this,” Lucas said before turning his attention back to the data pad.
He re-read the poem and the subsequent letter a couple more times, found a spelling error, corrected it, and gave it one final read. Satisfied that it was suitable for that speacial woman in his life, he filled out the recipient information, and hit the Submit button. Lucas closed the letter writing application and pulled up some notes on his upcoming tactics class. There was a quiz, and he hated getting anything wrong.
As he read through his notes, guiding himself through them with flips and swipes of his left index finger, something caused him to look up. Immediately Jeannee garnered his full attention. Her long flowing blonde hair mesmerized him. The strands about her face flowed in the breeze caused by her passage through the room. It was as though a pulsating golden light framed her beautiful features. Crystalline blue eyes sparkled with a light of their own, while her mischievous smile played across her shapely lips, and danced in those marvelous eyes.
“Lucas,” she said in greeting.
“Jeannee, what brings you up here.”
“I would assume the same thing that brings you up here, I love the view.”
Lucas looked up at the field of stars that permeated the top of the observation deck. Jupiter’s north pole floating just above the lip of the dome to Lucas’s left.
“I get up here whenever I can,” Lucas finally said after returning his attention to Jeannee who was now sitting directly across from him.
“The rest of the squad is playing a pickup baseball game in the holodeck,” She said, a look of sadness settling across her features. “Don’t you like your class mates?”
Lucas was a bit taken back by the question. All of his squad mates new he was a bit of a loner, but when it came to fighting and flying, he was all team.
“Not even one of those guys will question my loyalty to the squad. I have been with them since the beginning. You…you are new, yet you’re not with them.” Lucas said with more bite than he intended.
Lucas’s tone stung and Jeannee pulled back a bit from him, “I don’t know how to play baseball, or any sport for that matter. I was watching them play, and noticed you were nowhere to be found, so I went looking for you.” Anger supplanted the pain on her face, “Guess I should have left you be.”
“I am very sorry Jeannee. Your new, I should remember that. It is not uncommon for me to wonder off by myself while the rest of the squad hangs out.”
“Bit of a loner, are you?”
“I have my friends, I just prefer my own company at times.”
“Yes, I have spent many hours with just little ol’ me for company,” she looked about the deck, then focused back on Lucas. “There is an old song, I am sure you have heard it, ‘One is the loneliest number’.”
“Harry Nilsson, yes, KQ plays it all the damn time.”
“Yeah, our classic rock station. They have been playing the same songs since 1968,” Lucas offered Jeannee what he hoped was a reassuring look, “I am fine…really.”
“There is something different about you,” Jeannee started, giving Lucas pause, “you’re not like all the other boys in my life. My dad opened my eyes to what total ass’s men are, but you.”
“I am taken Jeannee,” Lucas spat out in an attempt to divert the direction the conversation was going in.
Jeannee’s eyes glistened with the beginnings of tears, “You don’t like me?”
“Jeannee, I spent over a year pursuing the love of my life. Just before getting shipped up here she agreed to be mine.” Lucas locked eyes with Jeannee. “I am not screwing that up.”
The look of hurt and rejection would not leave Jeannee’s beautiful features and it was having an effect on Lucas. Appearance wise, Jeannee was exactly what he pictured as his ideal girl. Those sparkling blue eyes, long flowing blonde hair with just enough body to keep it from looking stringy. Her complexion was smooth, with lots of natural color. Like Sarah, Jeannee wore no makeup, and needed none.
Some animalistic part within him kept grunting out, “hey, your hundreds of thousands of miles from earth, who is going to know.” Lucas did not like that part, and judging by her story, neither did Jeannee. But it persisted, and he had to force it to shut up.
“Under any other circumstances, I would be thrilled by your interest. In fact, I would stand on top of the tallest tower and shout, ‘Jeannee likes me.’ Any man would be proud to call a beautiful girl like you his own.”
“I don’t want any man.” Jeannee said, then stood up leaned over and pecked Lucas on the cheek, “you are such a sweetie.”
Without giving Lucas a chance to respond, Jeannee stood straight, spun on her heal and stepped purposefully toward the exit of the observation deck. Just as she touched the control for the door, she shot him one last mischievous smile over her shoulder and disappeared through the door.
“Great,” Lucas said under his breath, “just what I frickin needed.”