(The photo is of a small-ish four-engine spaceship under power moving laterally away from a larger planet. There is a moon in the background in the direction the ship is flying. A star behind the planet provides a small bead of light on the planet's rim, as if the star is about to "rise".)

Photo courtesy of Pixabay

The Great Discovery

Jase threw his bag on the floor and shut the door. He couldn’t stand listening to her crying. Most of the time he handled the situation with his mom pretty well but today was a no-go. He had enough on his mind. From college applications and girlfriend drama to his slipping grades and pressure from his boss, the stress of this year was just too much.

He flopped down on his bed, landing on something. He reached behind him and pulled out the foam rocket that was originally created to be an overpriced stress ball toy for some NASA gift shop sucker. He held the worn toy up and then pitched it across the room hitting the poster. Sitting up, he glared at the detested reminder. He had almost trashed it hundreds of times this year, but something always stopped him. In the end, his own grief always betrayed his anger. Original picture or not, he wished he could set it on fire.

The day Will, the mission director, delivered it was nothing short of a high. A literal gift from space as one team shot a picture of another, capturing the last moment he would ever see anything of his father. It was only a few hours later they would find out he was never coming back.

His cell phone breaks the pain, and he answers to static, shaming himself for grabbing a spam call before checking. He reached to end the call and then heard it . . . “Jase?”


Shannon Leach is a slice-of-life encouragement writer and the owner of A Repurposed Heart and ARH Inspirations. Her authentic stories and books about leadership, life, and loving people focus on encouraging others and reminding them they are not alone. Her work can also be found in Guideposts and multiple Chicken Soup for the Soul books. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in Social Work and is the co-founder of the nonprofit The Fostered Gift.

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