In youth Suzie boasted that she dated a guy who worked for NASA, training to be an astronaut. She dreamed of the day she could say "My husband works up in space."
Howard celebrated passing his Astronaut Test by proposing to Suzie, marrying her a just few months later. A year later Suzie gave birth to Jake and life was perfect, until Howard's job kicked in, forcing him to travel into space on a regular basis.
For seven years he would leave for a few months at a time, working with a team repairing satellites orbiting Earth. He was only back from a three month absence a month when it was announced; NASA wanted Howard to captain the first human expedition to Mars. This gave him the choice, his wife and child, or his career. It would last twenty years, too long to force Suzie (thirty) to wait loyally.
He met some friends at a local bar to discuss his predicament. They were equally as split as himself. The eternal glory of being the first man on Mars or raising his son into manhood with his beautiful wife. He decided it would be best to talk to Suzie and get the perspective of someone he loved and loved him in return. Suzie could choose for him as she would know what was best.
Howard returned to an empty home. On the table sat an envelope labeled with his name in Suzie's handwriting.
I love you more than I can say, so I'm leaving. Sorry I didn't stay to tell you in person but I couldn't allow myself time to change my mind. I know you want to go to Mars so I decided to wave the white flag for Jake and myself, allowing you to go. Don't think I'm happy to be rid of you. I'll weep rivers every day but I believe that if you have considered, even for an instant, to leave us and go to Mars then that says enough. You should go. Remember me and remember Jake. We're proud to have been a part of your life and you will be forever in our dreams as you live out your own.
All my love
The letter concluded with a kiss, her lipstick printed on the page. He kissed the image of her lips and wept. She was right... but that didn't make it any easier.
Word Count: 401
I'm sure we can allow one word. I unfortunately wrote 580 first draft.
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