I always wanted to go into space. To float amongst the stars and feel free of the worries of Earth. When I saw the vacancy, I jumped at the chance. The training was hard, the zero-g sessions nauseating, the knowledge needed vast. Through all that I struggled.

He disconnected his harness, pushing free of his seat. Taking a moment to stretch his limbs in zero-g, he checked his uniform was neat and tidy. His tasks required a certain degree of presentation.

This was always meant to be a springboard for me. From here, greater things. Life doesn’t work out that way sometimes. Space has been harsher on my body than I thought it would be. I ache for ages on returning to Earth’s gravity, muscle and bone depleted from a lack of force being exerted on them.

Grabbing the tools of his trade, he loaded them up into one of the free-floating storage units and started off towards his area of operations. It was easy to move while weightless, pushing off certain points and letting inertia carry him where needed. The door slid open automatically for him.

The novelty has worn off. It hasn’t turned out how I wanted, but it cost so much to get here, in sweat, tears and credits… with the help my parents gave me, I can’t go back now. I need to keep earning to repay them. I wanted to be a spaceman. But I am just a man in space.

He smiled to the first row of passengers. “Would you like any refreshments? I have a small selection here, or you could head to the counter in the middle of the shuttle.” He noted their orders down on the application displayed to the side of his point of view, the programs automatically tallying up the price as he removed juice packs and snack bars from his storage unit.

This isn’t what I wanted to be.


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