Written In The Stars

Dear Yuri,

I’ve stepped out from an unlit kitchen to come and look at the stars. I thought for a moment that you might still be up there. So I waved. When I realised that I was waving at the constellation known as Cassiopeia, my heart sank. I wish it had been you waving back.

Cassiopeia is also known as The Seated Queen. Ordinarily, she is a proud W up there. I always forget to change the angle of my neck, to turn her into an M. I don’t want to unseat her, I just need a rest. We have gravity to contend with, unlike you.

Down here, it’s the beginning of a decade but the end of things. The world won’t be the same and neither will I. I shared Cassiopeia with a love that’s just left me.  I’m Martin, he’s W_____. We were literally written in the stars.

She must have looked different from where you floated. I think that’s what we need to be reminded of. Look at things from a different angle. Look at things from everybody else’s angle. That way, next time a finality happens we’ll be better prepared to look after, not just ourselves, but everybody who needs looking after.

All good things come to an end, true. How bitterly ironic that a training flight killed you on Earth because of bad weather. I know your ashes have been quarantined inside the Kremlin’ walls, but your soul is up there in the heavens. That’s freedom. What I’ve learned from being alone, isolated and broken up with is that if you live in your heart, then you can never be locked down, up or in.

You were in space for one hour and 48 minutes. It took me longer to make a pavlova last night. Imagine what I could do with the rest of my life.

Thank you Yuri, for reminding me to take a step outside, change the tilt of my neck and keep aiming for the stars.

Martin, Bristol, England


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