Do you know why it's hard to say goodbye? Because we afraid if our memories might not be able to remember them, rightly. The fact is, goodbye means good. No matter how hard.
~Aurora Esterlia

Sad Rocket

I am standing around these people on the hall. We all listened the radio. Its all over the news. The mission was succeed but something terrible happened on the orbit to set the rocket back to earth. It should be four months long road, but it turns to be ten months. The radar couldn't scan the route of the rocket. Yet, the passenger has awake by the error and its not actually dangerous to him.
Yes, him. Astronaut Zach.

His smile, first time I saw him on news and how charming he was to people around him. He's my muse. I applied to NASA so I could see him, personally. NASA hired me for mathematic analyst. I was there when Zach spent his last evening on earth. No, I never really want me to be seen. He's really nice and fun person. I saw he brought his girl, I didn't care. All I cared was Zach to be saved for the launch on the next day. I worked myself with the whole preparation for the rocket and all notes, and the machine.
It's all about the machine.
The machine is the mission.
An interstellar paradox timeline. It was hard for me to let him go. I told them it won't really work that way like in the movie. Zach was just becoming a volunteer, a mouse subject. But, I couldn't touch him or try to talk to him. It has to be the back-up plan.
I put it on my video diary,
"The chance to Zach back home is zero percent. It's like to let him get through to the blackhole. But, the hypothesis is for bring him back it has to build a new route, path, like a new memory to bring him back. The theory is by his life-point paradox, so my back-up plan is my life-point paradox."

He is alone inside that little rocket. The rocket might be there but it has change a different life-point paradox. Floating yet unreach. And hundreds people inside this building went frozen by listening Zach's breathing on radio. He will starts thinking he wouldn't make it to believe the rocket will arrive by the tenth month. He might arrived to our earth of another dimension. 
This is the back-up plan.

I run to the director's office room, many people inside. I heard Zach's talking. I can't make any sound. I stop right in front of the door. I prepared my white boards. I wrote, "I HAVE A PLAN. PLEASE." The director was still talking with Zach. The director asked Zach to keep talking with his ex-girlfriend. That's also a good theory. The memory will put us in close distance, as if he's with us. Then the director's came out. We both walked and I brought him to one of computer. 
"Its called The Lighthouse."
"How does it work?"
"The life-point paradox. I think we can reach him. We gather people who has great affections to Astranout Zach, the best place where the people can gather on same place."
"What kind of affections?"
"Who adore and love. Well, there also a great amount of affections from hate or jealousy."
"Is this a joke?"
"....no, Sir."
"How many ex-girlfriends he had then?"
"Well, that's funny. Not just ex-girlfriends. But people who remember the relationship with Astronaut. In the same place. Like a home. A lighthouse." 
"But we chose him because he has nobody." 
"Yes. This. This is his home." 
The director looked at me like a joke but he knew because I stole his real idea. I expand his idea. Zach met his ex-girlfriend as one of scientist in his department. Both were breaking up by the time Zach accepted the mission. The woman never moving on but they keep themselves on a distance. The director starts the announcement. I am standing around these people on the hall. We all listen the radio. Its all over the audio sounds. They all were in moved, attached by their own affections of memories with Zach. 

Zach was told about people who knows him are gathered now. He said gratitutes. While, I set up the mood of people. People who really moved by Zach's speech. The crying, the awe, and the silence. The director is standing next to me.
"I will send his favourite work song playlist." I walk out from the hall and get to the director's room. The director follows me.
"What? How did you know?"
"Well, it's all the back-up plan."
"Tell me, how both of you knew each other?"
"No. We never know each other."
"How do you know about his favourite work song playlist?"
"It's my job." I arrived and now, I can back to hear his voice again. He's now talking about several people who really he missed on the workplace. One of them was the director. I just straight to the front of computer. This is how we communicate.

The signal was hard to build if we want to talk about the paradox layered-dimensions. But, the only control who will always be stabilized is earth, same coordinate. Its already a suicide mission, we let Zach to take the control of communication. Yes, it was him who wants or not to communicate with us. While he can shouts and talk by we hear his voice, we couldn't do the reply with voices. We could only send messages  also files. We could send voice messages but it still need count as mp3 file. Like torrent seeds. So, I send the songs files. Zach is keep talking where he realized he got a new voice messages. So  he played it.
Zach starts to hear the song.

"Who...send this?" Asked Zach.
"You should tell him."said the director.
"I can't. That's not the plan." I keep sending the files. 
Zach was went silent but the songs were overheard on the audio.
"Why he didn't say anything?" Asked the director.
I smiled, "It works."
"What works?"
"There's no one knows better about himself except himself. Zach learned the truth for so long and that's the whole reason he took this mission. The paradox life created when Zach realized he's not alone. There's someone out there that knows his personal past."
"You?"
"I just create myself to know him better. It's not the same, but closer with what your intention to say that."
"So, what's your relationship with him?"
"Nobody, Sir."
"What is he doing right now? He's not talking anymore! Is he alright?! Ask him!"
"No. Calm down. He's listening his favourite songs. I triggered him to focus on the hall where people he liked were there. Now, he listened his favourite tracks, he wonders who did this? Who knew this? He will put his mind and thoughts back to this place, the hall where everyone's gathered. He wondered who did this."
"You?"
"No. He didn't tell his playlist to anyone."
"Why?"
"I... I don't know. But, it was in one folder of his office computer. Folder said to Mama."
"How did you hack all these stuffs?"
"Nobody really paid attention to Zach's stuffs."
"Can I questioning your liability on your job here?"
"What?" I stopped and looked at the director, "Are you going to fire me?"
"I...I don't know. How far you've crossed the line?"
"Just about Astronaut Zach, Sir."
"Why?"
"That's the only reason I'm here. I couldn't be here if it's not about Zach."
"You mean you've planned about this since?"
"Since NASA announced the mission."
"It was classified."
"No. Not really. It was all over the news."
"Like what?"
"Announcing Astronaut Zach to media."
"But we didn't tell about the mission."
"Well, that's also right. Am I still going to get fired?"
"Yes."
I went silent. 
"Of course not." The director back said, "Come on. What we're going to do next?"
It was funny. I smiled.
"We...we should back to the hall. That's the last thing we should wait. You, Sir, also one of important person that needs to be on the hall."
"Why?"
"You did care him."
There, I said it. The director had great burdens because at the end if Zach didn't return, it is all in his hands. So, we both walked back to the hall. 

You know, when we walked across the road and suddenly a light bulb just twinkling for no reason and random,it's something glitch of our moment of life. A thing we're not sure if it's just random or it's because our close-appearance that makes it happen. Something's searching our life's attention.

"I have to stop here." I said to director before we both get in to the hall's door.
"Why?"
"Not everyone in there really truthful. There's a chance for them to lie just in case they could help our moments, for any good intentions, or maybe they just want to be involved. It means I'm not the only one who can be Zach's paradox life."
"So anyone can be just like you?"
"Yes. But the best thing to keep the plan is by keep the path by my own self."
"How's that even possible?"
"It is possible. It was just like what happened in the hall. People inside were all wished if Zach could be here now, this place. Like we're praying. If only Zach could be here. And my job is to make sure it will happen."
"How?"
"Predict what Zach's going to do next without me being there."
"Because there's only one Zach? Out there not here?"
"Yes."
"No. Wait, is that mean you want Zach to, wait, wait. Now, I get it." The director realized what I'm going to do. But, it's better not to talk about it further.
"I..I should go." I ran far from the hall door and walked to far the corner amd got in to another room. Oh, light bulb glitches again.
I closed the door.
"What are you doing here?"
I shocked, it's Zach's ex girlfriend with her friends. They're smoking. 
"Ah, you're not suppose to be here. You should be in the hall with others." I said them,"Especially you,"
"Leave us alone." She said.
"You should help Zach to find lighthouse."
"What is this lighthouse?" asked her friend. Others laughed.
"It's metaphor theory to Zach reach us."
"He said by himself, he will return to Earth by 10 months."
"We are not sure by that. 10 months for him might be days, or far months, even 10 years for us."
"So?" She replied.
I stopped. I just went silent. I coughed by their smokes. It made me cry.
"If you can't stand with smokes around can you please out from this room?" asked her friend.
"Uhukk...I..I will." I never understand that woman. She's gorgeous. She's very fit with Zach. Yet, she should have supported Zach whatever the circumstances. Even though she didn't want him to get the mission, why she left him? She should fought for him.
I went outside the room, closed the door and still coughing.
I looked at the watch time. Then suddenly, another light bulb glitched. Not just one, all the corner.
"What is happening?"I hate dark. Suddenly all the lights turned off. I was going to get back inside the room but they're already locked the door.

Suddenly I heard shouting from the hall. Well, it made me goosebumps. What is happening? The only way to make me calm around this dark is by looking at evening light outside the window. There's no window. I closed my eyes. 
I love doing this. I'm not a very confident person. To not see a reality and just be with my own world. My own reality. When I close my eyes, everything also still dark but it's my dark. My darkness. Comfort with my own darkness, at least it courage me.
I walkthrough the corner. My hands reaching all the walls. Using my own ears, listening those shouting. I got chills on my skin more than before. Maybe it's Air Conditioner from the hall out from its opening door. It means I get closer.

I can feel the light around my face. I open my eyes.
It was extraordinary. I'm walking inside the hall.

Zach is there. He's standing on the center of the room. A form as a slight spirit. I don't know, like hologram. Zach then vanished but back to appear on other side of the hall. Everyone's screaming whenever Zach was gone and appear at same time at other place. I looked to the director and he's also looking at me. His facial was shocked. The music kept playing on audio which means Zach kept playing the music from his rocket. It's very gloom and relax songs. It put me to a thought: Is he sleeping?
I was going to come to director as same as director was going to reach me but suddenly Zach appears. In front of the director.
"You." He said. 
"Oh my God." said the director, "This is real."
"Is this a dream?" asked him.
"Well," the director looked behind Zach and straight to me, "I..I don't know, Zach. We're doing the best we could."
"Look at my form," Zach looked at his own form, "Am I a ghost?"
"I...I believe so. We calculate your dimension as not ours and the red line to keep the silver lining is by... by your memories to this workplace." The director started to explain.
"How did you know my playlist?" asked Zach.
"It...It's not me."
"Who?"
"It was her." the director was said it.  Zach didn't react. I heard what the director said. I had to hurry hide myself. I walked back outside the hall. The corner was still out of light. But, I looked to another door entry to the hall, I ran quickly. 
As I arrived, I found people were still at the center where Zach appeared to the director. I still see him. I just can't reach him. My prediction is he will keep search around this hall who might be her. I am not worried. As a matter a fact, there's a chance Zach might mistaken that she might be her, his ex-girlfriend. I don't mind. As long as he keeps back to his lighthouse. I walked far from the crowd. I looked around, I prefer to look around where there's no Zach's spirit. 
Then, I was hurry, I didn't see someone's behind me. I surprised when I bumped someone and I turn around, "Marcel!"
He smiled. 
"Oh my gracious! Marcel! Marcel!" I was so shocked and so happy, I didn't know he also here. I hug him. It feels so real. Marcel, was my best friend. He, died on a plane. He, he was worked here.
"He's not real."
Zach's voice behind me.
I looked into Marcel as I let go my hand from him. Marcel starts to vanish. Marcel's hand trying to grab my hair but he was already gone.
He tricked me.
"Is he your boyfriend?"
I am not sure if I have to turn around.
"Please, turn around."
He read my thought? It's really creepy. So, I turn around.
Zach is looking at me. Then, his hand touched my hand. He can touch me. He smiled, "Somewhere in time, I thought I might not return on earth. But, you brought me back."
His hand was cold. It's like a sharp moment. He kept hold my right hand and he put it to his chest, "Am I still breathing?" He asked. I can touch his body but its all freezing like ice, yet it moves. My heart is beating fast that it can felt on my hand, the beat, "You're shaken. Oh, it's your beating heart, so fast." I can't feel my hand. It's like the gravity arounds me is getting heavy.
"That's how I feel, too." He reads my mind again, "How did you make this?"
I am trying to answer that question but I got a shock attack. I just put myself to not say anything. Its forbid to interact with Zach. Even to know my name.
"Why?" He asked, "What is your name?" I stop thinking. "I can make you answer it." He said. Then, he suddenly put his hand to my head and I scream. Its really heavy and hurt me.
"NO, IRIS!" Someone shouted.
"Iris...?" Zach let go his hand from my head,"I...Iris, oh....I...know...you...."
Then, he dissapeared.

I am all alone as everyone staring at me.
The director is running to me as he straightly hug me.
"It's alright. It's alright."
All the goosebumps and freeze.
"He knows me," I said.
"He knew you?" The director asked.
"How could he read my mind?"
"You're going to dissapear, too." The director suddenly face to me. His hands on my arms, "He was going to take you with him."
"That's impossible."
"SOMEONE, GET THE BLANKET!" Shouted the director. We down to the floor. He keeps rubbing my right hand, "Its almost purple." He showing my skin on the right hand.
"How he did that?" I asked. Suddenly a person gave me the blanket. They put it on my shoulder.
"We saw you're vanishing, Iris." Said someone.
"No, we saw her is getting blue." Said another one.
"You're doing a great job, Iris." Said the director. He really holds me tight.
"So, let's get you rest, okay?" He is trying to comfort me.

What did I miss? Why he dissapeared? Was it because the playlist song was over? I remember it was still on. We still can hear it. Wait. What if its because he knows my name? Now, I'm no longer becomes the paradox alternate life from earth for him. I'm not him. Wait. But, what if I make an imagination friend? Asking someone who doesn't know anything about Zach then teach her how to be the bridge between Zach and earth?
"Iris?" The director comes in to my room on hospital. I was all alone.
"I have called your parents. They will be here, soon."
"Thank you, director."
"I brought you a soft drink."
"Why?" I smiled. He opened the can and I drink it. Strawberry soda.
"You need sugar. Your blood sugar goes lower." He sit next to my bed on chair.
"Its like meeting Dementor, I bet?" 
"Yes." He smiled.
I keep drink the soda.
"How did you know Marcel?" He asked.
"You saw him, too?" I asked.
"Everyone saw him."
"Do you think it was him?" I asked.
"Is it him?"
"I don't know." I look to the director and I just to tell him about my relationship with Marcel, "Marcel was a random person I met and we got along together. Then, he died long ago, too."
"He was my best friend. He was the first person who supposed in Zach position."
I didn't know. 
"Well, why he suddenly appeared? Was he know Zach?"
"Zach didn't know. Is it because of Marcel you interested to NASA?"

Yes, I guess.
"He made the calculation of the route and the communication. The sending files, the audio sound, and the rocket."
"So, he made all of the mission?"
"Just the blueprints. We made them happened."
"So," I bit my tounge. I went silent.
The director asking, "The lighthouse. Can we make it again? Was it because I called your name so the lighthouse was gone?"
"No. It's just. I made a mistake. I missed one thing."
"You missed?" He asked.
I took my iPad on shelf, I start to explain, "A lighthouse, the shore, and the boat. We all the lighthouse here, Zach is on a boat. What I did was never meant being Zach paradox life because all I did just exactly what Marcel had planned. I just maintain the conditions. Yet, I might be the paradox life of... Marcel."
"Why?"
"He didn't know I work on NASA. I work at his workplace, I work to his mission. We didn't know anything and the lighthouse we builded last night made a heartbeat for...Marcel."
"So, we just calling a ghost, too?" Asked the director.
"Is he Marcel?" I asked myself.

My parents came. The director decided to let me alone with my parents. They asked me what's happening but it seems like not right to say its job accident or incident. I told them, I got low sugar. It was two days and I'm back to workplace.

There's her again. Zach's ex-girlfriend. She was the flaw on that night. She was not there. The soul for Zach to be there. I mean according to my calculation, I just like any other men on the room but not her. She supposed to be the trigger to bring Zach's back. Yet, she was not in the same room and Zach never showed up to her. 
She's looking at me and coming to me.
"I am sorry," I said, "I need to go see the director."
I am walking fast through her. I left her behind.
It's just one of the loser move, because it was true. I kind adored Zach from the start. He's handsome and really kinda man. A public figure typical and for what happened on that day surely made me as a weirdo. People stared at me for no reason but never really want to talk to me. I just got here. 

Well, I don't have many friends.
"Iris," the director saw me first from far and he gave me a signal to come quickly to him. We both get into his office.
"Any progress with the contact to Zach?" I asked.
"Well, yes. After that day, he said," the director paused and asked me to sit. So I sit in front of his desk while he still standing, "He said he was falling asleep and didn't remember at all. Yet, the machine caught the strong signal and gave him a possible calculation of coordinate of earth which we just gave him the route with the less than 10 months."
"So it works?"
"Yes. The calculation is now only two days from now."
"How's that even possible?"
"Our satellite didn't caught him but there's this what is it called... like anomaly magnet currents, it happens in outer space and on that incident, the machine was triggered by searching the hyper-signal, which lead the machine to find our satellite. The same system which can read their system. NASA. Your lighthouse theory is work. It's work in the Interstellar theory."
"Where is he now?"
"On Jupiter route."
"Why you sure it's going to be two days?"
"What... well, the system, Zach said so."
"I don't believe you."
"Why?"
"My theory was failed. It's just some juju sensation so Zach could think back about earth and not losing hope."
"Well, what about Zach's spirit came on that night?"
"He didn't remember at all!"
"But it triggered the machine."
"What do you mean?"
"The machine, Iris. The machine was linked by the helmet to Zach's head. You gave the machine a heart by put Zach memories of earth at that time. It's like pumping your heart when you got heart attack, it triggered the whole body and his brain, gives the whole memories to be read by the machine. The machine read them all and calculate the earth placed. It's a breakthrough, Iris."
"It's not a science. It's spiritual connection."
"You mean like calling a ghost?"
"Like Marcel. It must be a ghost."
"Or a vision?" the director asked.
"What do you mean?" 
"What if it's projection phenomenon. Like... fatamorgana? Or DejaVu? Or even premonition?"
"Or hallucination?"
Everyone went in silent.
"What if Zack was already dead?" asked Iris.

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