Her lips lingered on his, her hands on his hips, memorizing his taste (salty), his scent (just a bit sour, as it was after a long day of work), the way his eye crinkled at the corners, the way his hands felt on her back. “I’ll be back,” she murmured.
“I’ll be here,” he replied. For the moment they said it, it was the truth. For the moment of their farewell, it was complete, and real, and more than a little touching.
Science and trial and error had shown that humans needed the emotional stepping stones of farewells, of leave-takings. Experience on the long liner trips, though, had shown that things left behind, memories, roots to the earth, did nothing but hamper the pilots and explorers. They needed to be free to fly, and they needed their nest when they returned.
And so there were those like him, and like me, who minded the home fires. Who were there to be lovers and spouses and anchors when the explorers were on earth. Who were there to be forgotten when they left the planet. Loved but never missed. And never knowing what we missed, either, because we, as much as they, forget when our backs our turned.
We cannot waste our time in pining any more than they can. There are few of us, and many of them.
Prompt: what we miss because we forget
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