The tiny vessel approached, its pilot entombed within for six long years, out of one storm and into another, centuries old. The storm in his mind would prove to be worse than Jupiter’s, he was certain. Cascading thoughts had plagued him as he floated through space. He began to see that is all he would have as he stared deep into the vast black, dotted with far away stars and nebulas. The Universe was alive, it was clear. He only wished it would converse with him, break the monotony, give him some wisdom, some truth. He’d see part of it die and parts of it born in the past, the screens in front of him telling him the measure of time in the past it occurred. The monitors affixed to his body measured the effect of zero gravity and of space on him, before transmitting it down to them.
They’d told him it was likely a suicide mission, but he didn’t care down there, tethered by gravity and the loss of her. He wouldn’t, couldn’t end himself by his own hand, so he chose this way, instead, long and drawn out like his ache for her. Or at least he hoped.
She had left him without a word. Or rather, just a few. None of which gave him an inkling of what had happened, the why of things. She was broken, just like he was. He’d understood her far more deeply than he’d ever let on. He had loved her far more deeply than he’d ever let on, still wrapped up in fear and in the wreckage of his past and lovers gone. He stared deep into the vast black, dotted with far away stars and nebulas, realizing this might have been the fatal flaw, but he had no way of knowing.
The storm of her filled him now, just as it did then. The dichotomy of loving her. Then it was her mind and her body, the broken little girl that lived inside of her, that made her puff out her chest and boast of her cruelty. After six long years he knew that wasn’t her. It was her shield, the fruit of her fear and the wreckage of her past and lovers gone. Unimaginable trauma had shaped her, continued to. He saw that now, knew it in the core of him. He saw it in his memories of her, the soft look of vulnerability and sadness as she fell asleep each night, her head upon his thigh as he took in the soft curve of her cheekbone and her beautiful closed eyes, the curve of her eyelashes. He was unable to see that the day that she’d told him. He had lashed out, pushed her away, and had said hurtful things. These and the loss of her the storm of her now.
He had tried to reach out, always to no avail, always met by her silence. So he made the choice to begin his journey into Jupiter’s storm. He didn’t know what he’d find, really. He had an idea, of course, based on research and science, chemical composition and the like, what the astrophysicists told him he could expect. He was ready. He looked forward to the violent end he was likely to face. His mind filled with her as the tiny vessel gathered speed, propelled faster by the pull of gravity. He closed his eyes, ready and eager for his fate and for the storm in his mind to finally end.
She looked up to the heavens from down there, waiting for him to return to her, and wondering if he ever would.