Introducing Jacob - The Main Protagonist
I thought I would share the beginning of the book, which introduces our main character, Jacob. I really appreciate your support, and interest in backing this project has waned from the initial posting. I really need your help to make this a reality. If you know of anybody willing to donate to help fun this project, please send them a link - I really appreciate it. And now, let's meet Jacob.
Jacob knew he would never see his friends again, and in just a few short weeks his life would be completely different.
Looking in from the doorway of the room he called his own for his entire life, he wondered how to fit all the things he cared about into the two small moving boxes on the floor. It was bad enough moving across town or to another city, but helping colonize a completely new world is going to be hard, especially without any friends.
“Might as well start somewhere,” he said to himself as he sat down at his desk and started going through the middle drawer. He sorted through the trinkets and half-used pencils, stopping for a moment when he found an old beat up car he got from his mom on his fifth birthday. He ran his fingers over the dented sides where it had collided with other now forgotten toys. It was the last toy his mom had given him before she died. He carefully put it into one of the moving boxes and dumped the rest of the drawer into the trash.
Jacob's dad appeared in the doorway and leaned against the inside of the door frame crossing his arms. “How ya doin' champ?” Jacob looked up at his dad, grabbed an old baseball trophy off the desk and threw it towards another trash can near the door.
“That good, huh?” his father mused. Jacob rolled his eyes and went back to cleaning out the desk. He could hear his dad shifting his weight onto his other foot and braced himself for another lecture about how moving would be a “great opportunity.” But nothing came. Instead, his dad grabbed another trash can from the hallway and put it next to the half-filled one by the door. Still not looking up, Jacob finally heard his father leave and go down the hallway to his own room.
Jacob worked in his room for half hour or so until all of the trash cans in his room were overflowing with toys, old school papers, broken toys, and things he forgot he had. One-by-one Jacob hauled each can out the door, down the elevator, and to the apartment's trash receptacle. After opening the steel gate to the trash chute, he lifted and dumped everything into the wall, closed the metal gate, and pressed the recycle button.
A red light above the button flashed momentarily while his former possessions were either picked for recycling, or held a bit longer and completely incinerated by two giant flames. A few seconds was all it took, and then the light above the button turned green again, signaling it was ready to be used.
Jacob made his way back to his room and decided the next thing to sort would be books. Jacob had always been an avid reader, and one of his favorite things was the floor to ceiling bookcase in his room that held all the stories he loved. He picked up a couple of books and opened the covers to see the inscriptions from people who gave the books to him for his birthday or Christmas. Even though he could have the same books on his computer or reading tablet, having a real book always made the stories seem better..
Jacob was doing very well at going through the books until he came to “How to paint and draw baby animals.” He opened the cover and ran his fingers over the inscription: “To Jacob on your birthday. Love always, Mom.”
Jacob closed his eyes as he hugged the book to his chest. He could still remember sitting in a big chair, first just reading and looking at the book with his mom, and then sitting down with a box of crayons and drawing with her. It had been seven years since she died, and it was getting harder and harder to hear her voice in his mind. He remembered his dad coming home and telling him mommy was hurt at work and wouldn't be coming home. Those words came back often in dreams. Mommy isn't coming home.
When he was older, he learned his mom died in an accident testing the new C6 drive engines being developed for interplanetary space travel. She and his dad met while working at Global Mechanics. He used to think nobody else could understand what it was like to be without a mom, but lately he realized how much it affected his dad, too. It's funny – when you are younger you think you are the only one with feelings, and then one day you realize others may have it even worse than you.
He opened his eyes and paused trying to decide whether to put the book in the moving box, or the trash can. “A new start,” he whispered. And gently placed the book in the trash can and continued emptying the bottom of the book case.