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We Tried the World; Good God it Wasn't For Us

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In the beginning, John’s life was picture perfect. He came home at least once a month and Maureen would take time off to spend with him and Judy. They’d have picnics before it had gotten bad and John would play with Judy while Maureen would laugh and watch the comedic gold which was them competing at literally anything. 


Soon after they had gotten married and his best girl became his legal little girl, Penelope came along. And, God, did he wish he could have been there. He wishes he didn’t have to watch over the phone. He wishes he could be there more for his girls. 


However, that didn’t stop him from trying to save as much of the world as he could. Quite frankly, nothing and no one could stop him. It would be a waste of time to try. Maureen knew that and she was at peace with it. After all, she spent a lot of time at work as well. She would be a hypocrite if she told him he was wrong. She couldn’t necessarily be mad at it either. He came home more often after he had gotten married and when he was home, he was fully devoted to her and the kids. No calls, no emails, no meetings. That was his time with his family and nothing could interrupt that.  


And when William came along, boy was he thrilled. Maureen had gone through so much this time around. Hell, she was probably going through much more than she spoke about. His heard-headed wife never liked to let her guard down. He needed to be there for his son and wife. No exceptions. 


Maureen was glad he was going to be there but that didn’t last for long considering her baby boy was way too early. John had rushed her into the car and collected as many things as possible in the baby bag before jumping in the car and calling Mrs. Kelly to watch the kids while they were at the hospital. 


Their baby boy was born months too early and his lungs had barely developed. They weren’t sure he’d make it considering he had been losing weight. But just as always, he pulled through and John had never been so relieved. His family was alright. 


Until it wasn’t. 


Years go by and he had lost himself. He lost his wife and his kids. They weren’t dead but he was probably dead to them. And rightfully so. 


He was obsessed with work and didn’t think about the consequences of neglecting his family the way he did. He figured since the world was falling apart, he could be a part of fixing it. What he didn’t realize though was that his world was falling apart. 


His work had destroyed his life and although he didn’t want to admit it, he was to blame. He had tried blaming Maureen and that didn’t feel right. After all, she was the one most hurt by this. He tried blaming the world but it was bigger than that. He pushed his biggest responsibility aside for the sake of the impossible: saving the earth.  


Needless to say, he learned from it once Maureen called him saying she was leaving. Not even just leaving him or leaving their marriage behind but leaving earth. And she was taking their kids with him. She was taking Judy, his mini-me (despite them not being biologically related.) She was taking his fiery red-headed daughter, Penny, that always kept him on his toes with her witty remarks and sassy attitude. She was taking his miracle baby, Will. His only boy. And that had hit him like a rock. Better yet, a boulder straight to the chest. But he couldn’t blame them. He could only blame himself. 


So he got off his ass and left. Quit and never came back. He did the training at the last minute and made an effort to start fresh and get off of this God-forsaken planet. The world wasn’t good enough for his family. He gets that now. 




“John?” Maureen waves a hand past his face, chuckling at him completely zoning out. 


“Yeah?” He smiles at his beautiful wife. What was he thinking when he almost lost her? 


“You okay, honey? You kinda zoned out there. Something wrong?” Laying a hand on his chest, she looked up at him. She always knew when something was wrong. It was almost creepy. 


“Just thinking about life on earth.” There was no point in lying. She probably read his mind like how she always seemed to do.  


“Why? That’s not our-” 


“Our home anymore. I know and I’m glad. I was just thinking about how stupid I was for almost leaving your side. Leaving our beautiful kids. I don’t know what got into me.” 


“Well, to be fair, everyone had gotten a bit crazy in those last couple of years. You were trying to save the earth so our kids could be happy. I get that and I did the same. A bit different but it’s behind us. I don’t blame you for that anymore and neither should you. We all forgive you, hon. Help me help you forgive yourself.” 


“I hate when you do that.” He smiled and kissed her.


“Do what?” 


“Give me motivational speeches. You’re always right.” 


She starts walking away to their kitchen, “Well of course I am. It’s kinda my thing.” 


“‘It’s kinda my thing’ come here you!” 


“Don’t you dare tickle me!” He chases her around their house on Alpha Centauri. Their laughs and her screams fill the house with warmth. Everything is perfect now. His kids were safe and his wife was happy and Don was...well...down the street. For some reason. 


Everything was perfect and he could finally be the man he wasn’t while on earth. Finally making up for the lost time. They tried the world and it’s safe to say it wasn’t good enough. But this? This he could do. And he wasn’t going to leave them ever again.