Planetary Romance is a subgenre of science fiction or science fantasy in which the bulk of the action consists of adventures on one or more exotic alien planets, characterized by distinctive physical and cultural backgrounds. I can’t write romances. It always ends up being a bad middle school retailing of a crush. You know the one that they think notices them but has no clue they are alive but that one time they made eye contact she thought that he was the one. Yup, that kind of romance but in the description of the vocabulary of a tween…with braces. Warning-this is another long one. I think this will be a great start to a longer story and chose to end it in a great spot.

My evenings are usually spent with just me and my cat. Cat’s are awesome to have because they can basically take care and entertain themselves. They offer comfort ideally on their terms but comfort nonetheless. Hemlock was a little different in a way that he knew when I was feeling especially down.

I didn’t have friends, my desk is in a maze of other no-name people, I’m an only child and my parents both died in a car wreck when I 19. With the inheritance, I didn’t have to work my way through college or worry about where I was going to live. I went to a tech college and received an Associates in Web Development & Design Specialist and have made my childhood home an entire place of my own. I have a room with all my computers and equipment, my room, my craft room, and I turned the attic into my amateur astronomer viewing room. My father was an astronomer and would warn me about making wishing could come true so be careful of what I was wishing for. My mother, on the other hand, made beautiful quilts that would win prizes. She taught quilting and even held quilting circles. I learned the simplistic beauty of stitching together shapes and colors to tell a story.

My life was boring and uneventful. I was your all around nerd in the office and the even bigger boring nerd at home. Hemlock would greet me at the door and together we would work on a wedding quilt. I was putting my own spin on it which included beautiful constellations. Then we would work on any freelance computer work which usually didn’t take more than an hour. I ordered dinner so I never have to experience the awkward, ‘table for one’ and then the walk of shame. Hemlock and I ate our dinner in the breakfast nook. I read the town’s rendition of a sophisticated paper and Hemlock sat in my lap waiting for me to finish. We would then migrate to the attic where I would look through the telescope identifying stars, constellations, planets, watched meteor showers, and even got to see the occasional shooting star. Hemlock laying in his basket sleeping. Before I left my attic I sent a wish into the never-ending abyss above for a true love.

My months went on like this without anything out of the ordinary. I was able to gain enough freelance clients, some even large companies, I was able to quit my day job. This allowed me to do more quilting and even took up learning to cook. The only thing I didn’t have was a soul mate to share everything with. One night I cooked up some Creamy Lemon Garlic Salmon Piccata and a separate piece for Hemlock that wasn’t seasoned or sauced. I surprised myself and even Hemlock seemed in heaven with his very own special dinner. The fact that I was able to complete something without burning or turning to fire hazard put me in an extremely great mood. Hemlock and I went to the attic so I could begin my star gazing.

‘Oh, my! This can’t be right,’ I said out loud. I often have one-sided conversations with Hemlock but he seemed to understand. I was shocked to find that there was a planet that I have never seen before close to the moon. Or was it Earth’s second moon? It was a beautiful lilac and white planet. From what I could see the purple was possible water and white the land or vice versa but there were two distinct masses. All I could do was stare and imagined what it would be like on this planet. I fell asleep there in the attic without making my wish.

I woke to Hemlock’s harsh scratchy tongue scraping across my face. My drool was obnoxiously sliding down my chin which I brushed off and remembered what I was looking at the night before. I looked through the telescope and seen the planet and it looked even more brilliant. I looked out the window and noticed that it was closer than the night before. I went downstairs and turned the news on and there was an anchor covering the planet and how NASA and the military were going to join forces to make contact with a planet that may or may not have life on it. T.V. off Hemlock and I started our breakfast ritual but hemlock wouldn’t eat. He just brushed against my leg pacing back and forth. I ignored Hemlock and decided that I was going to take the day off from computer work and add more to my quilt. It was a relaxing project that I will never put on my matrimonial bed but could donate it.

‘KNOCK KNOCK. Tap, Tap. KNOCK.’ The loud knocking startled me so much that I pricked my finger with the needle I was stitching with. I got up from my look, sucking on my finger heading towards the door when I tripped over Hemlock who seemed excited that there was someone else in our area. I opened the door and seen the most beautiful man I have ever laid eyes on. I know my mouth was gaped wide open but I couldn’t help myself.
‘Hello, Ivy?’ The hypnotic voice asked and all I could do was nod. Even Hemlock seemed to be in awe of the man.
‘My name is Echo and I was wondering if we could talk. We’ve never met but you know me very well.’ I opened the door and gestured for him to come in. He walked ahead of me as I passed a mirror and seen my hair was a huge bird’s nest and my clothes were wrinkled. I looked like I fell asleep drunk. I quickly tried to fix my hair and shoved it into a messy bun that passed as trendy straightened out my shirt as best as I could. He glanced over his shoulder and that was my cue to walk ahead and show him a seat. I chose the kitchen, ‘Would you like a cup of coffee, tea, maybe water?’ I asked as I made myself a cup.’
‘No, thank you.’
I waited and when nothing else was added, ‘So, I know you?’ I asked.
‘You didn’t wish for me last night. Has something changed? I panicked and decided it was time.’
‘Time?’ I could feel the color drain from my face as I thought I just let in the next Bundy.
‘I know this all sounds odd but I’m the prince of the planet Asption.’
‘Asption? My father was an astronomer and he never told me about that planet.’
‘He wouldn’t, we were never seen. Our planet wasn’t created until someone wished for it. It wasn’t populated until people started wishing for their soulmates. Slowly we just started evolving. We do pretty much everything people on Earth do except wish.’
‘So, how did you get here from that planet? There wasn’t a news report about a flying object and from what I understand nothing was on a radar or pictures taken by NASA.’ I asked skeptically, slowly standing and walking over to my father’s gun cabinet.
‘I’m not quite sure yet but when our planet was so close I seized the opportunity to come and meet you. The person that created me. I…’
‘Does this mean that I’m your mother?’ I interruptedly blurted out.’
He laughed at me, a first real emotion that I saw where he didn’t look like a robot. ‘No, you are not my mother but I can’t physically or mentally be with anyone else. You, dear girl, you are my significant other. Please allow time for us to get to know each other. We can date and take things slow. After meeting you I can’t leave. I don’t want to leave.’ I looked down at Hemlock, ‘Ok, the fact that you haven’t murdered me and that I’m interested to see how this whole pick-up story is going to play out, pick me up tomorrow evening.’ We both stood and he kissed my hand then walked out the door. He didn’t get in a vehicle, he just walked away.

The next evening he showed and we went to dinner. I was didn’t say much because I wanted to take in every detail of him. At the end of dinner, he apologized for rudely not letting me get a word in but I told reassured him that it was ok. Inside, he was everything I ever wished for in a partner. We set up a lunch date for the next couple of days because I had to get some work done on both clients’ work and the quilt. Hemlock seemed to be ok with me not being home as much, almost like he was relieved. It was 6 months of dates before I kissed him. There was something there that was more cosmically right than magical.

It was our one year anniversary when we talked about him moving in with me and Hemlock. You would have thought that I gave him the world wrapped neatly in a gold box. We became so close and comfortable. I cooked amazing dinners and he showed me stars that I didn’t know existed. I quilted and he read to me. Everything seemed wonderful and over dinner one night I told him,
‘I love you.’ To which he quickly replied.
‘Echo, I have a question? Do you ever regret being created? Do you wish that you were never here?’
‘Ivy, you and Hemlock are the reason everything makes sense. I didn’t know why our planet did things until I spent time here on Earth with you. I can’t imagine life any other way. I was actually going to ask you if we could adopt another cat. One that Hemlock would get along with and something that we take care of together.’ There I was, again, mouth gaped open. He grinned and kissed my hand.
‘Ivy, my dear girl. I love you to Asption and back.


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