Here is my first entry.
Celia waited with everyone else.|
Girlfriends could only watch from the sidelines. That was okay. Today was not about her anyway. It was about Johnny and his fellow heroes.
That’s what the president had called them last night on the news. Heroes.
“They may not have made it to Mars, but against all odds, they made it home. We will get to Mars someday. I know this because we now see it much clearer. They have paved the way for those that will surely follow. They are our heroes.”
He went on to talk about details of the mission. She’d heard it all before. The mission dominated the news.
His voice faded as Celia thought about Johnny. They’d had their first date only two months before the mission. They had clicked right from the start. One date quickly followed another. They had even started talking of their future together; one they would start when he returned.
Then Mars had called and he went.
The catastrophic fire on the ship had changed everything. Now, he would never be hers in the way they had planned. Now he belonged to a country. His picture was on the cover of every newspaper in the world. Even though she had only known him a short time, she knew that was where he belonged. He was born to be the center of everything.
According to the president, only Johnny could have pulled it off. Only Johnny could have saved the crew.
That is just what he’d done.
Celia could hear the sound of the crowd as the float carrying the astronauts approached. People were straining to get a better look. Soon, she too could see them. They were wearing their orange jumpers and waving to the crowd from their float.
There was her Johnny, right in the middle of it all. Right where he belongs, she thought, smiling in spite of her grief.
His flag-draped casket was raised so everyone could see the hero amongst them.