Astral Voyager

by Dan

“No, The one before, before The Final Frontier, Season 4 episide 6! Space Pirates of Vorgon you fucking imbecile” Clive was incredulous. “That was where they really jumped the shark in Astral Voyager”.

Eilidh could not remember / had not really been watching.

“We watched it four days ago. How could you forget the most important event ever in the history in the world.”

“Oh yes” Eilidh replied. “Space Pirates of Vorgon. That was it.” She got up.

“Where are you going now?” asked Clive.

“To the toilet” said Eilidh, though in truth she didn’t need the loo at all.

The toilet had become her private lockdown place, her place to reflect on the mistake she was beginning to realise she’d made. The one place he couldn’t follow her.

God damn her she deserved this. Her need to be admired and different when she was really just the same as everyone else had got her in trouble again.

It had been readable all along, from day 1 in their relationship, when Clive had shyly engineered her into helping him with some dysfunctioning tech at a talk he was giving. Eilidh, frustrated by her her unexceptional career as a conference organiser was flattered that the great podcaster seemed interested in her.

He’d taken her to podcast of the year 2018 awards, which he’d won and they’ed then embarked on a whirlwind romance resulting in marriage and now pregnancy. He was a wry, clever investigative journalist and cultural commentator, who could be funny and sweet but only rarely. 90% of the time he was entirely without empathy.

She was pretty at least a 7 compared to Clive’s rather hopeless 4. Balancing career and intellectual ability with physical attractiveness made each of them about 14 of 20, Clive thought. And because he was so much cleverer and more famous, she allowed this denigration.

Now she had ended up as his mother, his lover, his nursemaid and everything else he expected of the intellectually unworthy.

She’d slowly realised that he needed rather than loved her and that she didn’t love or need him at all (that the glittery thing his celebrity bestowed upon her was worthless, especially in lockdown). She’d also realised that she hated sci-fi boxsets, board games, film criticism and ephemeral cultural knowledge.

She flushed the toilet she hadn’t used and went downstairs.

Clive was gone. This was most unlike him. Ah well, she turned on the radio, which he hated, just to hear a voice other than her own, Clive’s or that of Captain Sxczyr- Space Pirate.

A few minutes later he returned. He was carrying a limp bunch of red roses he’d bought in Tesco’s he turned the radio off and handed them to her.

“I know I’m difficult” he said “You’ve had the patience of a saint sitting through this lockdown with me. You know when I say things, it’s cos I’m terrified you’ll leave me.”

These 10% times meant more with someone like him. She shelved her mean thoughts, at least for now and looked tenderly at Clive who was readying another episode of Astral Voyager on the I-player.

She smiled at him and touched his shoulder and wondered how many more uninspiring episodes they might go through before they actually arrived at the final frontier.