We Count Up For Birthdays

“Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three-”

“Wait! Wait! Stop the countdown! Stop! Stop!”

“What is the problem, Discovery?”

“I can’t go.”

“Please repeat.”

“I can’t go.”

“Is there a problem with the-”

“The problem is it’s my son’s birthday and I need to get home.”

“Discovery, is there any mechanical-”

“No, everything’s fine in here. It’s out there. I forgot my son’s birthday. I’ve been so completely caught up in this, I never got him a present or wished him happy birthday. I’m a terrible father, I’m coming out.”

“Steve- this is Martin.”

“Hi, Martin.”

“What the hell’s going on?”

“It’s Tommy’s birthday.”

“We’re at three, Steve. We’re three seconds from lift off.”

“I already lost Carol this way.”

“I’m sure Tommy’ll understand. His daddy’s going to space. His daddy’s going to be a hero. We’re restarting countdown.”

“No! No! No! I’m coming out. Tommy comes first.”

“Ten, nine, eight, seven,”

“No! Wait! Wait! Wait!”

“Four, three, two, one.”

“You bastards!”

                        And the rocket burst into space as the astronaut burst into tears.


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