“Planet 9” by Ethan Tucker

Written by plumtree

Topics: Archive (2012-2019), Uncategorized

My name is Nate and I’ve always loved mystery novels—until one took over my life. I met my wife Monica when we were just ten years old, and we’d been inseparable since. She’d made me into the man I am today by guiding me through some of the darkest moments of my life. You see, I used to be a consultant for a large firm in Manhattan when the market collapsed. Monica had just left her position as a school principal in hopes that we’d begin planning our family. Without either income, we’d suddenly become trapped in poverty. Our entire savings had gone into the house that was now worth nothing. We were worth nothing. To make matters worse, Monica found out three weeks later that she was pregnant. A child we’d wanted so badly for so long, yet now couldn’t afford to have) character thoughts. The stress of the situation made us both sick, but without insurance for doctors we tried to push through. Continued stress cost Monica the pregnancy. Can you imagine the guilt? Pregnant with a baby, then becoming sick over its bad timing, then losing it altogether. I almost took my own life.
Despite her own pain, Monica pulled me through the wreckage. Her resilience gave me motivation each day until finally, five long years later, a new day began. We got back on our feet. I landed a position with another big firm, this time an even better package. One that would allow for Monica to leave her barista job and stay home again. To try again. But the worst wasn’t over, six miscarriages followed. This time, it was me pulling her through. By the seventh one, I knew I had to do something to bring Monica back to me. I had heard about a spacecraft taking civilian passengers to a planet called Planet 9 for a month-long stay. Considering how far we had come, how much our savings had grown, and Monica’s love for outer space, I decided it’d be worth every penny to take a break from our day to day life and make her happy again. I was right. I surprised her with the tickets for our anniversary and it truly gave her life.
In spite of the cold day in February, we boarded the spacecraft and checked into our suite, then immediately headed to the dining hall. A feast fit for kings was laid out for us. Monica made small talk with other passengers while I gambled in the aircraft casino. Everything to that point had been incredibly well put together… But overnight my world turned upside down. Waking up to find Monica was missing from the suite. I knew something was wrong when I couldn’t find her in the breakfast hall, Monica loved to crawl back into bed after finishing her morning coffee. After searching various stores and spacecraft amenities, I finally called security. They told me they had no record of my wife ever boarding the spacecraft. Her things were all gone by the time I rushed back to our room. It was as if she had never existed. I spent the entire month on Planet 9 searching for my wife, asking anyone who would listen if they’d seen her. I grew mad, crazy, and bitter. With no means to contact friends and family on Earth, I became increasingly isolated. I couldn’t wait to get back.
Ultimately, nothing could have prepared me to realize that she had truly vanished. But when I got home, it was as if she really had. There was no trace of her anywhere. Our friends didn’t remember her, her own family acted as if she’d never existed. Pictures in our home were gone, replaced with stock images as if the frames had never been filled. For years I continued to search for my best friend, my darling wife, hoping that the nightmare would end… And it never did. We’d boarded a spacecraft to a faraway planet, hoping to find ourselves again, but she was lost somewhere along the way, never to be seen again.

 

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