Lots of kids cherish a childhood dream of becoming an astronaut. But not Harvey Jones. Harvey was actually going to do it. He announced his intention at the age of six during his grandfather’s seventy fifth birthday celebration, and no one in attendance took him seriously… except his indulgent grandfather.
For the next nine years, on birthdays, Christmases, and sometimes just because, Harvey received telescopes, star charts, moon rocks, and as many books on space as his grandfather could find. “You reach for the stars, Harv’,” his grandfather whispered to him. “You’ll get out there someday.”
The morning dawned on Harvey Jones’ sixteenth birthday, and he opened his eyes to find that his grandfather had sneaked a surprise into his room in the night: a real NASA space suit.
Harvey Jones wasted no time. He called a cab. He suited up. He sneaked downstairs. One of the neighbors spotted him and called the police, but by that time, Harvey was long gone, speeding toward Cape Canaveral.
There was no way they would turn him down!
Hours later, Harvey sat, dispirited, waiting for the bus.
They’d turned him down.
He was too young. Too hopeful. Too uneducated. “Generally astronauts have degrees in engineering, mathematics, physical or biological science!” the girl at the information desk had spouted at him between hysterical spurts of laughter. “Just because you have your own space suit doesn’t mean we’ll send you up on the next available mission!”
A pigeon wandered past him, and Harvey thought sadly that no one denied a bird with its own wings a chance to fly. He sighed and stared up at the warm Florida sky. He knew the stars were there, out beyond the atmosphere, just waiting for him to reach them.
At that moment, on the bench at that bus stop, he determined he would. He knew now that he couldn’t just rely on his grandfather to help him; he had to put in some hard work himself.
He knew he would get out there someday.
|Writing Prompt #695|