“Congratulations! You’ve won a trip to Mars. The rocket leaves in a few days; what will you pack? Please keep in mind it might be a long time before you go back home.”
I gave a squeal when I read the letter that Monday morning.
Only two weeks ago I had applied for the competition, thinking nothing of it as I rarely win at anything. Even on Sports Day as a kid, I was always second or third, never first. But now, I had actually won! The letter, explaining everything was in my hand, the ticket in the envelope waiting to be handed into the desk at the Space Centre.
I ran up to my bedroom, pulled my dusty suitcase from the back of my wardrobe and flung it open on my bed.
The letter told me that the rocket would be departing on Thursday at 10:00 in the morning, so I should stay overnight at the hotel that was a five minute drive away from the Space Centre, on Wednesday night. The room was already paid for, so all I had to do was pack for the trip.
I would have to wear suitable gear to go into space and would probably be given some clothes, but just in case I grabbed a bunch of my slouchy t-shirts out of my chest of drawers and threw them into my suitcase. I took a couple of jeans, knickers, socks and bras and put them in there too. I wouldn’t need make-up as it would be impossible to do in a rocket that has zero gravity; going to the toilet will be difficult enough.
Wandering around my flat I thought about what I would want to take as a memory of home.
There was a photograph on my mantel piece of me and my parents on Christmas day, back when I was six years old. Whenever I felt sad or lonely I would take the photograph off of the mantel and just sit and look at it for hours until my room mate came home.
I quickly placed the photograph into the suitcase.
Looking over my bookshelf that was filled with books both read and un-read, I took a mix off of the shelves and placed them in the suitcase. I may have needed a bit of entertainment when on Mars and reading has always been a joy for me.
Sitting on my bed, staring at my messy suitcase I thought about what else I needed.
I wish I could’ve brought my cats, but that would’ve been animal abuse to shove them into a suitcase and go into space with them.
I would miss them, definitely.
Packing up some small wash things into a little toilet bag and putting it into my suitcase, I was ready.
I zipped up my suitcase and placed it loyally by my bedroom door.
Next stop – Mars!