The Terra Core

Follow the adventures of a group of young men and women as they try to tame the final frontier.

This story will contain scenes of sexual and violent natures, so read at your own risk.

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15. Letters

Sunday saw the unexpected birthday of Helene, the shy French girl. We sung Happy Birthday, there was cake, and beer, and our combined efforts saw the purchase of a few books (real books) for her. She meekly thanked us all, made some awkward small talk with a couple of guys, and settled down to read. The rest of us played games, visited the Mall, and explored the ship.

Miguel and I were fast becoming friends. He and Sandro wanted to see what the La Salle had to offer, so we threw on t-shirts and jeans, and headed off to see what we could find.

Turned out they wanted to check out the Mall (I didn't, having already been there, but I was outnumbered). We walked around the shops, fending off offers to buy new games devices, clothes and gadgets. The staff were quite pushy, which pissed me off. I hate being told what to buy and why. I'm smart enough to decide for myself.

It was a bit of a letdown after the... ahem, steamy day I'd enjoyed yesterday. At least we wasn't too hectic, seeing as Monday would bring us back to work.

I was actually feeling bored- and I knew work was coming on Monday, which created a sense of foreboding. I was also struggling to get thoughts of Carla out of my head.

My dream was also troubling me. Chloe's appearance had reminded me of home. We'd only been gone a few days, but the pang of guilt I felt when I thought of my dream, and Chloe's face, contorted in anger...

"You ok bro?" Sandro asked as we walked down the Mall's strip. I guess I'd looked distracted.

"Hmm? Oh, yeah, just... thinking of home."

"Homesick?" He asked.

"A little."

"Don't worry, we all are, a little bit." Said Miguel. "But we're gonna have such a great adventure out here, you'll see." He patted me on the back.

"Yeah, we will." I wasn't so sure at this moment. The renewed optimism I'd felt yesterday had dimmed.

I was feeling down. The realisation that I was already light-years away from home was depressing me. To top it off, thinking of home made me think of my Mom, which made the guilt even worse- I'd promised I'd write to her all the time and so far I hadn't penned a single word.

"I think... I should write home, let everyone know I'm doing ok." I said, more to myself really.

"That's cool bro. I was gonna do that next week." Replied Sandro.

"Dude, next week we'll be too exhausted to do anything- we'll be building houses by then." Reminded Miguel.

"Oh yeah. Crap." Sandro looked a little crestfallen himself.

"Look guys, I'm gonna head back to the dorm, I need to write to my Mom. If you get the chance, check out the beach!"

****

The mood back at the dorm was quiet. Was everyone feeling as contemplative as me? Russell was playing chess with Gasparo, and everyone else was in quiet conversation. Carla was chatting quite merrily with Kameyo, and when I walked in, she looked up at me but carried on talking to Kameyo, who was giggling. I didn't know what to make of that.

I retired to the bunks and got out my tablet. Did I write to just my Mom or to Chloe as well? Did I mention Carla? My head hurt.

Hey Mom. I hope you're well. As I write this we're on our way to New Porto, nearly 1200 light years away! I've been learning how to use cranes and build houses- pretty cool stuff!

I miss you Mom. It's only been a week or so and I miss you so much. I wish I was at home with you. I'm looking forward to the adventure I'm gonna have, but I wish I'd never done what I did. I wish Dad were still here.

One good thing about the ship- I think it will take five years to explore it all! It's big enough that they've got a beach simulator! And a McDonalds too... I can see you rolling your eyes at that!

It just occurred to me that I know nothing about New Porto. Is it a warm planet? Cold? What's the food like? Hopefully I can tell you in my next letter!

I've made a few friends already. Miguel and Sandro are both from Spain, and pretty cool guys. Russell is from England- maybe his family know some of the same people as our family? I've also met a girl- Carla, from Ireland, who seems to like me. I have no idea why! Hopefully I'll find out for sure!

Like I said at the start, I miss you Mom. I'll do my best to keep writing to you, and I promise to stay safe. I love you Mom,

Adrian

Well, that was round one of emotional torment. Now for round two.

Hi Chloe,

How's it going? The gang still getting into trouble? I've managed to keep out of trouble so far!

We're on our way to New Porto- pretty excited to see a new world! I hope it's warm!

Made a few friends along the way too- a couple of guys from Spain, England, Ireland... bit of a mixed bunch.

I've... well, I was gonna say I've met someone, but it's a bit complicated. There's this girl on board, Carla, who seems to be into me, but I don't know for sure. It's a bit weird. I feel bad- I know we're not technically together anymore, but I... I still care about you. I dreamed about you the other night, and it made me think about you the rest of the day.

I hope you aren't angry or upset with me. I don't know what's gonna happen, or if anything will happen. I... I'm confused. And I miss you.

Could you do me a favour? I feel bad about asking but could you keep an eye on my Mom? I know she'll be outwardly tough but I also know she'll be hurting, especially around Christmas and birthdays. She'll need a shoulder to lean on and I know she'll appreciate it, especially from you.

Well, that's all I have to say right now. I'll let you know how New Porto is- I'll try and send some pictures too!

All the best, Adrian

My fingertip hovered over the 'send' button for that last letter. It felt so... poor, especially given who it was to. Still, she deserved an explanation, and she needed to know I still cared. The next question was, did I tell Carla that I still had feelings for Chloe?

 

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