At that moment I felt my hair stand on end, like a soldier stands to attention. Only two minutes ago I thought the worst thing that could happen was Harry finding out about my relationship with his daughter. That seems more of a laughable matter now, compared to the death of over six billion people, and millions of species of animals and plants. Two hundred and twenty five million years of evolution obliterated in one go. I felt a wave of anger build up inside me. How could the government not see this coming? Eighteen days is not enough warning. Who is responsible? My mind was teeming with questions.
It was the first time I had ever seen Harry with such an astonished look on his face. He usually always seemed very confident, and had a positive attitude. Then it hit me. Grace, my family, all of my friends on the rig, we would all die. Our hopes and dreams, all shattered and pointless. The bubble which held our dreams popped. We would be forgotten as there would be nobody to remember us; with all life deceased. Our existence would have been eradicated from history, with no purpose or proof of us ever living. Regrettably, there was nothing we could do.
As soon as I found out that NASA wanted all of us rig members to fly a shuttle up to the asteroid and blow it up, I was astounded. However, I couldn’t help but feel some what assured that there was still a chance we might survive. That the human species might live on, along with the animals of the jungle, and the fish in the sea. The world’s fate was resting on our shoulders, and I was trembling with fear.
I wanted to help, I really did; but I could die. Death; was this my fate or could I change my destiny? I wasn’t ready to be engulfed by the hands of death. To be hauled into that bitter, black hole. Did I actually have a choice? I wrestled with my conscience; how am I going to be able to save the world, I thought, as I am no hero. I wanted to try to help in the saviour of the world, and the rescue of six and a half billion people. The thought of the entire population of the earth, instantly dying, made my flesh creep. People who had not lived yet, not experienced things like have a first love; had never seen the most beautiful phenomena’s of the world; and had never tried their first sip of alcohol, would miss out.
That evening, I laid on the blue and white bed of one of the NASA rooms. I couldn’t stop thinking about my family, my friends back home, and Grace. I have to do this to save them, I thought. They would for me. I was anxious, and not very confident. I was addicted to Grace. I craved for Grace like a smoker craves for the nicotine in their morning cigarette. I was sure she was missing me too. I wondered what she was doing at that very moment, how she was feeling. I wished I could be with her to brighten up her night, and ease her worries.
During the training for the mission, I became aware of several members of the team, who were taking it as a joke. Am I the only one who is utterly terrified, I thought. I was apprehensive about the entire mission. I feared we might not even make it out of the earth’s atmosphere; I knew space shuttles had quite literally blown up on take off, not even getting to start their mission. The astronauts not able to see space after being so close, like if someone were to dangle the key that opens the door to all of your dreams, and then throw it away just as they were about to turn the lock.
Then there’s the journey to the asteroid. What if we do not land accurately and crash; then we are stranded, out in the eternity of space, thousands of miles from home, with a nuclear warhead. We would have to sacrifice our lives for the earth. The notion petrified me, even though I knew it was unlikely, because I was working with the biggest space program in the world, NASA.
The night before lift off, I met with Grace on the hillside, a couple of miles away from the NASA headquarters. It was the best time I had ever had with Grace, we really felt as one. I learned that she is a stronger person than I had ever thought. She did not want her father and I to go, but she knew we had to. I did not want that evening to end, not only because that could have been my last day on earth and my last night with Grace, but because I felt I really connected with Grace, more than ever. It made me love her more. The beautiful countryside that surrounded us, plus Grace, the love of my life, made those few hours just perfect. It was all worth risking my life for. I was more ready for the mission than ever.
“NASA, we have touch down!” At that moment, my life changed. I just couldn’t believe it. I felt so emotional. I was the happiest I had ever been; we were home. However, I was the saddest I had ever been. I couldn’t get Harry out of my mind. I should have been the one who detonated the bomb, and slaughtered that evil, hell driven asteroid, not him. I knew he sacrificed himself because he knew Grace loved me, and I loved her. He not only did it for me, but for his daughter.
Then the shuttle came to a halt. We walked out of the shuttle, and I immediately saw Grace. She ran to me. We hugged; I didn’t want to let go. I couldn’t bear to tell her about Harry. My stomach was knotted, and I had a powerful ache. How do I tell her, I thought. I looked into her eyes. She knew. I was heartbroken, because she was. I wanted to mend her broken heart, piece by piece. I would put it together with my love and devotion. I would always protect her, as she was my life. If she was miserable, my life would be worthless, like a priceless vase that falls and shatters.
Nothing but love can help Grace and I more. We have to work together to come to terms with Harry’s death. I am so grateful that he has allowed me to live on. I can live the rest of my life and make the most of it. The bubble which held my dreams is reborn, but this time, my dreams are stronger than ever. I am so lucky, that I had the pleasure of working alongside the bravest man in history; my hero. Because of him, I can plan my life. One day I hope to marry Grace, and have a family with her. Then I can tell my children how granddad Harry, saved their father’s life. That if it was not for him, they would not exist.