Shifting his weight to get the best traction from his hover shoes, Asher maneuvered through the same hall he always had, but he never felt this excited before. He couldn’t wait to tell Arin about his new job. “Would she be in one of her dark moods or would she be able to share his excitement?” Asher wondered.
As he turned the corner, he saw her brown wavy hair loose across her shoulders. “Arin!” he shouted as he swooped up behind her. He didn’t understand why she couldn’t sense him long before he was at her back. Everyone had Enhanced Computer Chips and their ECC’s got them through the dim hallways and low voice commands coming through the speakers. This kind of efficiency made them all high performers.
“Are you ok?” Asher asked.
“No! I’m not ok.” Arin winced.
That was not the way he wanted to start a conversation with Arin. He wondered if he was in love with her. She was so smart. He admired that about her. She could be so cold and aloof at times. But that kiss! He had never felt so alive. Maybe it was worth it to keep trying if he could just get close enough to feel her warmth and connect with her mouth again. His heart was beating faster just thinking about it.
“Do you want to catch up with Cyndi and Mitch at the Malee? We can play some games.” Asher said.
His heart sank when he looked at her face. Asher really wanted to be alone with her. He needed a plan. Something to entice her. The Gathering Room was too busy. He could just hear his friends chiding him with jokes and snickers as they always did when he was vying for Arin’s attention. No. Somewhere quiet. He pictured the planetarium. Arin loved to look at the stars in all their different configurations imagining she would someday see the real stars, not just holograms. Arin wanted more than just The City. Asher told her this place is all there is. The stars are just pictures. It had all been destroyed years ago. There is no “outside” as Arin had heard it rumored. Ok, he knew he blew it that time when he saw the look on her face and she made a fast exit. Arin just wanted her to accept the truth. Should he tell her about the new show at the Planetarium with vids about old earth with its trees and lush gardens? She loved historic shows.
“I have a better idea,” said Asher. “The Planetarium is showing the Claude Monet Gardens from the Outer World Era in France.
Science to reality: Watch the video showing young men putting on their Hover Shoes and enjoying a fast smooth ride along the beach. I can picture Asher shifting on his shoes and gliding through the hallway.
From the author: Throughout the story, Arin experiences, Sehnsucht, a desire for something that has never actually appeared in her experience. She doesn’t recognize it at first but finds it in the community of A Band of Light at the end of her travels.