8 Days Until Weddings And the Uncertain End
Evester sat with his mother, going through the wedding clothes that he had selected for Uly, as well as the clothes for all those additionally part of the ceremony. His mother went through each one with a nod. He had picked them specially from shops that had closed. Most excessive clothes in Ovaria had been left behind, as they left behind most things that were not needed for their travels. They were stolen, but Evester doubted anyone would care.
Especially not his mother.
“Will the suit be okay for Europa?” Evester asked pointing to a dress.
Estashia nodded. “It will look good on her.”
His mother looked aged, or tired, or both. He was not sure. They had lost Avalain, although Ovaria was still their’s. The Tower might have been surrounded by blooming mists, thanks to the Aralax, but The city was blocked off thanks to Zeydar. He was supposed to go back to check things that night, and the idea of it chilled him.
The planet was no longer their’s. It was becoming increasingly clear, with the images that Uly sent and the reports from space. Most of the ships had settled, but movement to the final ship was still underway, and many people were being difficult with leaving their rooms on the ships. His siblings were handling it, but the idea of it bothered Evester. Any fighting in space could be catastrophic, worse than they’d faced thus far.
“What’s on your mind?” His mother asked him.
“Are you ready to go up there?”
“Not particularly, if I’m being honest.”
She nodded. “Neither am I.”
Evester balked at his mother’s honesty. He had never heard her admit to anything but certainty before. Was she really that tired?
“Not prepared?” He confirmed.
“No.” She shook her head. “I don’t usually say how I feel, but in this instance I think it would be reasonable to admit that I am terrified. It’s space. Anything could happen.”
Their family and all of EverDanger, were meant to be split up amongst the ships so that in the event that something terrible happened to one ship, they would not lose everyone all at once. Each would hold a copy of the Project and navigation. The final ships would be announced soon, as decided by Maverin, and Evester was shaking thinking about it. Reasonably speaking, the last few days could be the last time he saw his friends alive. The last time he saw his family alive could be during the wedding.
He didn’t want that. “I don’t want to think about that.”
“In the perfect world we all get to the planet together.” She placed her hand on his shoulder.
“And in another world?”
“We wouldn’t be that luckily. Unfortunately, life does not always lead to luck.” She reminded him, pulling him closer to her.
“Then I’ll believe in a better future.” If no one else did, he would have to. He needed to. Three days. Three days was not enough. Why hadn’t he given them more time? Why hadn’t he been more direct? Why? Why? Why?
His mother placed her hand on his head, and ruffled his hair. “You always have.”
It was the single most intimate moment he had ever had with the woman. His cheeks turned hot as he avoided eye contact and once more focused on the clothes.
“I am going up tomorrow, stay safe.” She kissed the top of his head.
“Promise me you will make it to the ship. No wild acts.” She wrapped her arms around him.
“I love you Evester.”
Evester froze. Love? He looked up to the eyes of his mother and saw just how afraid she was. She was to leave him alone with no guarantee that he would make it up to space, that they would make it to tomorrow at all. The world was destroying itself and… Evester pulled her closer, hugging her.
“I love you too.” He whispered.
The hug was over in seconds and Estashia left the room in her elevated way, leaving Evester with the knowledge that his mother cared. She was human too.
He began to pack the clothes. She’d bring them up with her, and then once in space… Once in space, the next fight began. A fight that he had no control over. And perhaps that was why it scared them all so much. EverDanger operated in margins of error, because they believed in each other to succeed. Trusting humans and human error was different than machine error.
If the Project failed. That was it. And while the Project never failed. It was always too early to say never.
Having to face something outside of his control or anyone’s control… an outcome he’d never know the answer to if it failed? He was scared. But Evester Igilistal was not allowed to be afraid. So he cried for all of five minutes, before he planted a smile upon his face and left the room, bags in hand, ready to be an image of hope until the end.