Saying goodbye is hard.
Nate watched her standing beside the huge bus that was about to ferry them to Lewiston Space Travel Terminal. Adelie shivered in the cold morning air. She looked a little lost and miserable. There were other player’s partners too, and none of them seemed particularly happy. He stepped next to her and touched her arm. “Hey. Take this.” He wrapped her in his team hoodie.
“You’ll get cold!” She protested, but snuggled into the warmth of the jacket nevertheless.
“I have a spare.”
“It will keep you warm as long as I’m away.”
The coach interrupted them by clapping his hands and yelling: “Okay boys, 5 more minutes, then it’s time to get this show on the road.”
Adelie’s eyes got wide, and she swallowed. “I hate saying goodbye.”
He pulled her into a fierce embrace, pressed his lips to hers and relished in the way she melted against him.
“Good luck.” She whispered, smoothing his hair. “Win the trophy.” Another long kiss. He was sure it wouldn’t tide him over to the end of the adventure.
“Yes, ma’am. I’ll write every day. Maybe I can find an interstellar phone box and call when we’ve arrived.”
“I’d appreciate the effort, but don’t. It’s hellishly expensive. 5 credits the minute. Let’s write instead. Works better with different timezones too.” She lovingly adjusted the collar of his shirt. “Now go forth and bring pride to Westerhaven. I’ll be a good girlfriend and wait for your return.” She attempted a brave smile.
“Time to go! Havisham, hurry up!”
One last, quick, insufficient kiss, then he was dragged into the bus. Outside he could see the girls huddle, waving as the bus pulled away. They were on the road.
He sat down next to Jake, who eyed him suspiciously. “Man, what’s up with you? We’re going to Lewiston Space Terminal! We’re going to Shanghai Five! And you look like you’re getting a root canal.”
“Adventures are only half as fun when your partner in crime is missing.”
My dear Adelie,
we made it safe and sound to Shanghai Five, after twenty-four hours of tedious travel. Shanghai Five is as breathtaking as you described it. The domes are amazing! We are in the centre one, close to the stadium and the famous night district. I think you’d like the hotel and I much rather share my room with you than with Jake. Our room is on the 25th floor, and we have a breathtaking view over the hanging gardens and the stadium. You can imagine how surprised I was when I found your sweet gift – I don’t know when and how you managed to smuggle the little bear and the restaurant guide into my bag. Jake is game to go sightseeing with me so this will come in handy. You are so sweet, and I miss you very much. I’m exhausted and will now go to bed and dream of you.