The Lunar Lifestyle

We booked the cheapest seats on the rocket, which meant that neither of us faced a window. If I craned my neck around, I could see the other couples sitting in the expensive seats, ogling at space and Earth through their window views. I didn’t let it bother me. Once we got to the moon, everything would be free. I turned to Matt and pointed out a leftover drop of puke drying on his chin. He wiped it away with his sleeve. He didn’t do so well with g-forces.

“Any regrets?” I asked him.

Matt shook his head. “We can always video chat my parents. Or your aunt. And we’ll make new friends up here.”

“I guess you’re right.”

“Besides, Clara, it’s a fresh start. Think of it that way. A start for our family, you know?”

Matt yawned and thumbed through the Rocket Passenger Safety Handbook as we waited to disembark. It occurred to me that there was no point in reading the Rocket Passenger Safety Handbook at the conclusion of the trip. But he’d had a rough flight, so I didn’t say anything.

Matt and I lived in Lake Placid, New York. Matt had taught sixth grade math, and I’d taught seventh grade geography. Eventually, they had to close the school because parents were getting concerned with the levels of radiation in the lake, so we signed up to go to the moon. Matt and I hadn’t met at school, actually. He tells everyone that he fell in love with me at first sight. I’d stood out to him, apparently, in my bright green sundress on a warm winter’s morning at the dentist’s office. I’ve never had the heart or the courage to tell him that I’d only worn it because I’d been too lazy to do my laundry, and it was the only thing I’d had left. I certainly hadn’t fallen for him as I waited to be de-plaqued. Matt had grown his bushy red hair out into a bushy red mustache back then. I considered it something of a public service when I made him shave.

Our rocket docked directly inside the lunar base. There were six or seven other bases scattered around the moon—China had one, as did Russia and a few other European countries—but Matt and I would be part of the first group to settle the new American base. The government had done surprisingly little advertising for the program. On the last day of school, our superintendent had simply handed us a flyer: “Married couples between the ages of twenty and thirty-five looking to start families.” All expenses paid, forever. You just couldn’t go back to Earth.

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Rachel Cantor

Rachel Cantor

Rachel Anne Cantor is a nineteen-year-old sophomore at Emerson College in Boston, MA, where she is pursuing a BFA in Writing, Literature, and Publishing, with a minor in History. When she’s not at school, Rachel lives in New Jersey and works in New York City. She currently interns for Liza Dawson Associates Literary Agency, as well as Bearport Publishing. Rachel began writing fiction when she was five years old. Since then, she’s loved to read and write in any genre.
Rachel Cantor

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