I always seemed to get the short end of the stick.
When I was younger, my older brother would always be the raffle winner. My younger brother always seemed to be at the right place at the right time to help someone and get recognition. Me? I got squat. I was the model student. Maybe a little too much because I just blended in with everyone else. My brothers were known by everyone. So, you guessed it, my name was never Chavele. It was always Jepson’s little sister, or Mason’s older sister. My identity was never my own.
That brings me to my point. The short end of the stick. I guess you could say I got my brother’s two lucky qualities in one unlucky package. I got my name drawn out of a hat, and instantly became known as a hero. Two in one.
The downside to this, however, is that I didn’t really “win” or choose to be the “hero”. I would much rather still be the honor roll student that all the teachers recognize, but never can remember personally, but it’s to late for that now.
I anxiously looked around. I saw a sea of faces I didn’t know.
I wiped at my helmet. I felt so nervous, and began feeling a little claustrophobic with the glass over my face.
I was wearing a uniform/spacesuit that was supposed to keep me safe from the outside elements. No one knew what to expect, but it is always better to be prepared. Especially when you are the one going out to do it.
There was a com check going on in my ear. Lots of people giving the green light. It finally came to me.
“Chavele?” I heard the chief ask.
“Go.” I replied even though I didn’t feel like I was ready.
My feet were stuck to the ground like I had glue on the bottom of my shoes. I felt like I could never be ready to move.
“We are cleared for phase two.” The chief informed all departments. “Chavele please proceed to docking bay three.”
“Copy.” I replied. “Heading there now.”
I sounded so professional. I received a few months of training before this moment. I now knew all of the lingo and phrases. It’s sad to say, but I was a natural at this. It still didn’t make me like it though.
I forced my body into a forward momentum. It was only a matter of steps to reach the docking bay. I typed in my passkey and waited for the door to open.
“Door opening now.” I informed everyone listening in.
They told me this was going to be a private event, but I didn’t believe them for a second. There was no way that an event this momentous wasn’t being shown live worldwide. This was the moment everyone had been waiting for.
“Door cleared.” I stated as I turned around and reentered my passkey.
“Closing door now.”
I took a few steps backwards as the doors closed behind me.
I felt my heart beating a million miles a minute while my stomach was doing back flips. I felt like I was on the edge of a panic attack.
I thought back to how I got to this moment. I couldn’t believe that I was the one standing here doing this. The odds for me to be here were 5 billion to one.
“Chavele we are reading some raised vitals on our end. Is everything ok?”
“I am just anxious. This is a first for me. I am still processing.”
“Long deep breaths Chavele. You’re doing great.”
I tried to take deep breaths, but it was easier said than done.
“Chavele,” I heard the Chief’s concern, “are you good?”
I could tell he was more so concerned about the mission than for me.
“I am good.” I answered. I didn’t know if that was actually true or not, but if I backed out now, I would never live it down.
I turned around to face the final set of doors. The doors that had stood closed for as long as I could remember. The buffer between us and the unknown, and I was preparing to break the seal.
“Pressurizing compartment.” Some peon had said in the background. “Pressure good.” They confirmed.
The Chief gave a few words before the countdown. I could have done without them.
He was going on about the most important day and the privilege I and all my work mates had at being a part of this.
It felt like forever, but he finally wrapped up and started the countdown.
“Doors opening in five seconds and counting on my mark. Five, four, three, two, one, open.”
I was hit with a beam of light. It was like nothing I had ever experienced before.
My helmet recognized the change in light and adjusted the tint. I blinked adjusting to my new surroundings. The doors screeched as they moved along their tracks. It was an unbearable few seconds.
Once they had finished opening, I took my first steps onto the alien surface.
I could hear cheering in my ear. Everyone was congratulating me and everyone else in the control room. I tuned them out as I looked over the expanse of my surroundings.
I had just become the first person to walk on the surface in five decades.