Between blinks, time passes at an astronomical pace, but the ache remains. Across the reinforced window pane, Sharon sees the stars rearranging themselves in a strange, stop-motion procession. She had volunteered for the capsule as soon as Vicky handed her the divorce papers:
I love you, Sharon. But you don’t want to put in the work.
Vicky’s words linger as she skirts the edge of the galaxy. Inside her altered womb, she feels what will be the seeds of a new humanity stir softly, as if to comfort her. She thinks of Vicky, as she sat across from her in the clinic’s waiting room:
I won’t have your baby by my damn self.
Sharon has broken away from the grip of the Milky Way. She thinks of Vicky, young and still in love, a hundred million years dead, whispering:
You’re worth it in her ear.
In the blackness, Sharon cries: it’s a long, geological weeping but it does her ancient heart good. By the time the soft blue light of an alien star begins to seep through her window, the pain has dulled, somewhat.
In another ten million years, Sharon hopes, she will be over her.