It wasn’t always this way. It used to be better. The people were kinder. The quality of life was better. The volcano hadn’t erupted. I’m Yumiku. I am what two-legged pale creatures that destroy the earth would call a monster. I’m nice, though I don’t really look like it. I like to read. I like to learn. I like to study constellations. I like to get lost in the shapes and brightness of the stars. Everyone always says I got lost in the stars and never will come back. They probably say that I’m never coming back because the old me never is. My mama and papa (my dad) got on a spaceship with other volunteers so we could all live peacefully. They said they would always love me, and they’d come back for me. We lost communication with them two years ago, and the last words I heard my mama and papa say were “We’re lost. Lost in the stars. We love you always.” And then the communication device went black. And my heart shattered.
I remember when I was 10. I was worried about going to a birthday party for one of my best friends, Yoimi. My mama helped me put on a body-coverer and foot-protectors. I was really nervous because there were going to be other kids there that I didn’t know. My mama reassured me, though. “Don’t worry, Yumiku. Even if the other kids don’t like you, which they of course will, don’t let that get you down. You are Yumiku. You are my faithful, loyal, and kind Yumiku. You are,” she paused, sweeping her furry arms across the horizon, “My everything. My life and soul. My baby. I will never leave you. I promise.” My name means faithful, loyal, and kind in the old language, by the way.
When I got to the party, Yoimi’s mom said hello and gave me a sweet smile, which put me at ease right away. The other kids at the party were super nice too, especially Liesl, who is my new friend. Yoimi had her birthday party at a fur trick star, and the trick star really put on a show. I think the trick star’s name was Sunoko, and she flipped the fur-cutting thing at least 600,000 meters in the air! I was so impressed, I decided to have my birthday party at the same place! My mom was ecstatic that I’d had a good time at the party. My papa, too. I slept really well that night, but I definitely wouldn’t have if I’d known what my parents were going to tell me the next day.