Scan. Check. Scan. Scan. Check. Scan.
Thats the rhythm of my life. Scan molecular integrity and check for non-human life. The monotony of it can dry out your eyes. I don’t look for explosives, contraband, or weapons. If I see those I flag the traveler for ISA to apprehend later. My only concern is non-humans.
Karen was a bit down the line when I first spotted her. God. It had been, I don’t know, twelve years? She looks great.
Scan. Check. Scan. Check. Scan. Check.
She was wearing red. She looks great in red. I should have forgiven her then. It seemed so silly all these years later. I remember being so mad at her, but now, God. She really does look great. I don’t know if seeing how great she looked made me smile or if seeing her smiling back did me in. But I sure was done.
What a great story right? Twelve years apart and then we randomly run into each other on an orbiter station. ON VALENTINES DAY! I felt like I imagined an entire life for us in the few moments it took for her to reach the scanner. You know that point in a relationship just before you first say I love you? When you exhaust every combination of words other than I love you, but none of them are satisfying? It’s like having a name in the tip of your tongue. You know the names that are wrong, but you can’t remember the right one and its like a nail in your brain. Until finally it hits you. That relief of finding the exact right word. The comfort it offers. Thats how I felt when I saw her in the line, and the word that was the exact right word was forever. I wanted to be with her forever.
As soon as she moved behind the screen the alarms sounded.
A silhouette of her lingered after the blinding white light subsided.
I never knew she wasn’t human.
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Day 2: The One That Got Away
You bump into an ex-lover on Valentine’s Day—the one whom you often call “The One That Got Away.” What happens?