“River, I’m gonna get you!” Laura calls, chasing after her three year old granddaughter. They have been on Earth for four years, Bill well adjusted to retirement and Laura well adjusted to teaching again. Her cancer hasn’t reappeared and both are living their lives happily together. Lee and Ishay stop by often and let River spend a lot of time with her grandparents. She likes to spend time with them just as much as they like to spend time with her.
As Laura catches up to River, she wraps her arms around her and starts tickling her. “No, no!” River says as she is giggling her little heart out. “That tickles!” Falling onto the grass, she looks up at Laura and presses a kiss to her cheek. Laura falls down next to her on the soft grass and lies down, allowing River to rest her head on her shoulder. River looks up at the sunny sky, white, fluffy clouds drifting overhead. “Look, I see a flower!” River says as she points up to a fluffy cloud that indeed looks like a flower.
“I see it too,” Laura says, and then points at another cloud a little farther away. “And there’s a bird!”
River looks to where her grandma is pointing and hums in agreement. She then turns to face Laura and rests her tiny hand on Laura’s chest. “Grandma, did you and grandpa and momma and dad used to live in the sky?”
“Yes, we did. Hasn’t your momma and daddy told you about it?” Laura looks down at her beautiful little granddaughter and wonders how she is going to explain how they used to live in the stars.
“They say about it sometimes but they don’t talk about it. What was it like? I wish I could go up there. It looks pretty up there.” She looks up at her grandma with a curious expression and Laura knows that she won’t be getting out of this question.
She squeezes River tighter to her side and says, “It was beautiful up there. We lived in a big ship called Galactica and we traveled with some other smaller ships up in the stars. Your grandpa was the leader of Galactica. He was the admiral and I’m sure if you asked him he would tell you all about his job. He was in charge of all of the people who protected the rest of us. And I can tell you, he was great at his job. Your daddy was one of those people that your grandpa was in charge of. Your daddy was a pilot and he flew a tiny ship that protected us. Your momma was a nurse on Galactica. She helped all the people that got hurt while trying to protect us. She helped them get better. Galactica was our home for five years until we found this place.”
“And what did you do, Grandma? What did you do on Galactica?” River says, completely immersed in what her grandma is telling her.
“My job actually wasn’t on Galactica; it was on another ship called Colonial One.”
“So your job was on one of the smaller ships?”
“Yes, it was. I was the leader of all of the people on all of the ships. I was the president. I was in charge of everyone, including your grandpa sometimes. And once in awhile, he was not too happy about that.”
“So you had the biggest job?” River asks, looking in awe at her grandma. She knows that her grandma is sweet and caring and nice, but she never knew that she was powerful.
Laura chuckles at her granddaughter’s reaction and says, “Yes, you could say that. But it was also a hard job because I had to think about everyone when I was making decisions. And I was not ready to become a president when I did.”
“Why not?” River asks, now with a concerned face.
“Because I never planned on becoming president. I was just a teacher before I became president. My job before I became president is what I do now on this planet.”
“Oh, okay. So why did you live on Galactica when you didn’t work there?”
As opposed to her previous answers, Laura takes a moment to think before she answers River’s most recent question. It’s not like she doesn’t know the answer, she just doesn’t know how to quite explain it to a three year old. “Because your grandpa is such a nice person. I got sick and he wanted to take care of me. He knew that he wouldn’t be able to take care of me if I lived on a different ship, so he asked me to live with him. That’s when I started living on Galactica.”
Even though River is only a little over three years old, she is very intuitive for her age. She knows that her grandma is holding something back from her, but she also knows that it’s probably for a reason. This is why she doesn’t ask what she isn’t being told. Instead, she asks, “Did you love grandpa then?”
“Yes, I did. And I love him even more now. Just like your momma loves your daddy. And just like I love you.” Turning to face her granddaughter, she places a soft kiss on her forehead. She then says, “Alright, I think we better go in for lunch before your daddy has to yell at us to come in.”
Pushing herself up from the ground, Laura brushes the loose grass off of her and River and then lifts River up into her arms. Laura’s hair is back to its normal length now and it’s glowing in the sun.
“Your hair is so pretty, Grandma,” River comments. “I wish I had red hair like you!”
“Oh, I think your curly blonde hair is much prettier than mine.”
“Really?” River says with a smile.
“Really,” Laura confirms as she opens the door to the cabin.
“Hello Laura, hello sweetie,” Layne says from the couch. “What have you two been up to?”
“Just talking and looking at the clouds,” River says as she is placed down on the floor.
Laura walks over to the kitchen to say hello to Bill. Walking up behind him, she kisses him lightly on the neck and then says hello. He turns around and says, “What have my girls been up to?”
“Oh, just talking. River seems very interested in what our life was like before landing here on Earth. She was asking me all about us living in the stars. I told her to ask you what it was like being the admiral. You’ll have to tell her about that one day. So, what have you guys been up to while the two of us were outside?”
“We were actually just talking about all the settling that’s going on in one of the northern lands. Lee heard that Tyrol had built a metal-working shop and that there’s a lot of building going on up there. I told them that we might have to take our raptor up there at some point and explore. Wouldn’t that be nice?”
“Yes, that would! I would love to do that! We’ll have to do that when we are on one of our school breaks. Is lunch almost ready?”
“Just finishing it up now,” Bill says as he turns back to the counter.
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