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Crawled inside the cumulus clouds like an infant in a mother’s lap, the moon faintly radiated light. I just stood staring blankly at it, the soft grass prickling like thorns. It had seen the end of humanity and now it seemed to be curling its lips in disdain at us, the not so lucky survivors.
Being the youngest, I just lied on the grass, it being an exodus from the depressing conversation going on between the adults.
“Valerie! We need to get back on the spaceship.” The cold voice of my dad dragged me back into reality, into a destroyed Earth.
“But why? Just because my parents are NASA astronauts, I don’t deserve to live on Earth?” I blurted out in rage.
“We have to look for life on another planet. You have asthma and this air is too polluted for even a healthy person.” He replied in his same sophisticated, professional tone.
“After ruining it here, you want to search for another planet? I will live here, build a new world, a better future.” My words shattered the noise in that unruly crowd as confused stares made me nervous, forcing me to clutch my inhaler.
“There is nothing left here now!” An American guy with a tattooed neck shouted, tears streaming down his cheeks.
“No. There is. The moon.” I spoke, pointing towards it as it shifted away from the clouds as if in support of my argument. A deathly silence fell on the crowd as I could sense the effect in many teary eyes.
“The girl is right.”
“My mom is buried here!”
“I am not leaving my planet!”
“If we are alive, it means we can breathe in this air.”
Passionate murmurs aroused from the crowd as I could feel my parents’ death glare on me but my focus was the moon only, it now being my everything.
“In fairy tales, people looked at the moon for the reflection of their lover but now, we will see the reflection of hope, the hope of creating a world you never got.” A black lady remarked, lovingly patting my back. It was true. I had been born and raised on a spaceship but my heart was always stuck in the blue-green planet fellow humans called their home.
“I am a climate scientist and I believe that if there are no further poisonous gas emissions and a lot more plantations, we can survive here.” She then turned to my parents who were still muttering furiously under their breath.
And that was how our struggle started, how we went beyond the barriers the barriers of religion, color, caste and accepted the equal status as human beings. Today, I can still see the scintillating light of the moon rising, giving us hope that united, we can do it.