We head for the moon tomorrow -a consequence, of course, of the postponed trip to Mars.
Still, this is a dream come true; this is hope realized. That we can even contemplate a definite date within the year -my friends, this is greatness achieved. "Yes we can!" they say. "No you cannot" I smirk.
"Yes we can" they chant. Awfully blind bastards.... "No you can't!"
"Yes we can" they've believed. I wash my hands off these f*ckers.
Launch: 3, 2, 1........blast off!
I snap out of the reverie -the whole office has its eyes on me. Oh I know these looks -the held back laughter, the overly-committal eye contact i.e. the word ‘LOSER' imprinted on my forehead.
"Bobby, I need you. I need you, man. I thrive on enthusiasm -you gotta do this for me. How long have we known each other? We grew up together man -this has your name written all over it."
"I'm sorry Cody, I can't". Pause for thought. "Get Luke; he can be your best man". I wipe my forehead clean.
"Bobbeeey, my boy, we need to close out this sale. 4pm pronto; they'll be here, we'll be there. I'm counting on you boy. We are going to massacre!"
"Yeah. Sure." says the tame reply. Pupils warily search, eyelids silently close -cue deep thought.
Moon dust! Moon dust, moon dust, moon dust! We're landed! Space Orbitron to Earth: we have landed!
"No you haven't. That's just an expensive prop -a man-made set. You can't fool me"
"Space Orbitron to Earth: we are in the process of collecting samples -over"
"Hahaha! Impeccably done! The live feed to the news stations, the validating scientists, the overjoyed astronauts -impeccable; an impeccable fail!"
Fathers and mothers, grandfathers & grandmothers, uncles and aunts, men and women, boys & girls -citizens! Citizens, as our brothers and sisters on that flight approached Mars, all seemed well, all systems were working perfectly -all the maths added up.
Citizens, our heroes are dead -lost in space. Our best engineers are doing everything they can -so far, there has been no contact but static. Let's keep the astronauts and their families in our prayers.
"Aha! The sky might fall. The sky might fall but I'm not worried at all. Hahaha! Nonsense."
"Bobby! We're going to Silverstone General. Rebecca has just gone into labor."
"What? No, she's only 7 months pregnant!"
"Bobby, you're needed there. Let's go!"
"What? No! I got a meeting at 4"
"Are you crazy? Are you nuts? Did I hear you properly? My sister has got your kid inside her and just got rushed into hospital, Bobby. You are her husband. You're gonna go be with her right now."
Pause for thought. "I'm not going anywhere man. She's 7 months pregnant. I ain't taking that crap."
He pushes me. Retarded ostentatious adolescent display.
"She lost the baby, a-hole. You happy?"
"Well, that's her fault."
"Is this you, Bobby? Is this you? 'cause if it is, I don't know who you are."
"Ah mature." He sticks his middle finger in my face.
"Why weren't you at the hospital? Why aren't you saying anything? Look at me. Bobby, look at me. Do you realize the condition I'm in? We just lost our baby today -she's gone. Lost."
'Lost.' My eyes turn bloodshot. The word resonates with me.
"She's not dead. You're hiding her. She's not dead. She's with Cody, isn't she? 'cause she's Cody's, isn't she?"
"What are you talking about? Why would I sleep with my brother?"
"You aborted her, didn't you? You slimy Delilah."
"These are hurtful things that you're saying."
"You ought to be calling for help right about now, Rebecca. Right about now is a good time."