Emaya’s hands vibrated over the controls, buttons and knobs she was less than half sure how to use.

“Activate AI,” she commanded the stolen vessel’s computer.

“Welcome to escape pod Delta4b. My name is Deb. How can I assist you?” The disembodied voice floated around Emaya.

“Hi, um, Deb. I’m Emaya. I-I don’t really know how to fly this thing. Where are we going?” Her voice stuck to the sides of her mouth, her throat squeezing them all into it at once.

“This pod is in route to the colony on Gedna’ta, arriving in 4 hours, 22 minutes,” Deb’s voice…

Several months ago, I re-discovered the absolute worst thing a writer can do when feeling stuck. I stopped writing.

I wasn’t feeling well — my grandparents, who this year will have been married for 69 years, who have not been separated since 1958 when he was stationed in Germany, were viciously pulled apart by COVID-19. Papa was hospitalized. Grandmother was not. But they were both sick. He called her as many times a day as he could, but the longing between them was palpable even from 425 miles away where I steeled myself in wait for the worst. It is…

“Hey, Sunshine. I’m at the market on Lienova II. I see you put menstrual cups on the list. But, did you know that there are about two dozen different brands? Shapes? — I mean, Sara, this one looks like a tulip — do you care what color it is? You’re going to have to be more specific. Call me back and help me out. I feel like a creep hanging around this aisle. I love you.”

It’s what I have — this old voice message, a reel of holographic photos, a handmade-with-love box full of handwritten letters, and a folded…

Photo by me, of photos by me and my husband.

I’ve had practice wearing multiple hats — sister/friend, student/barista marketing coordinator/traveling salesgirl. So, it seemed, it shouldn’t have rocked me like it did to become a person with a walk-in closet stuffed with hats — some hats perfectly fitted, attained by expertise, well-worn and comfortable, with others that set wonky on my head, or squeeze my scalp, or simply don’t look quite right with any of my outfits.

I am still a daughter, sister, wife, and employee. I’m a real person who requires food, sleep, showers, exercise, and time to breathe. And, for the last three years, I have also…

Hannah Godfrey

Hannah is a writer, wife, & mama currently working on her forthcoming debut series as well as half a dozen side projects. @hannahgodfreywrites on Instagram.

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