By Allison Lentz

It was a day I will never forget. The gentle hum of the spaceship was white noise in my ears as I silently slept. Slowly, my mind and body began to awaken. My eyelids fluttered open to the tiny, modern cabin where I was staying. I pushed the soft blanket off of my body and sleepily swung my legs over the side of my bed. My toes touched the cold tile floor, chilling my bones as I stretched. I walked into the small bathroom and turned on the shower, sighing as the hot stream of water hit my skin. I allowed my eyes to close and visualized my new life. I had no idea what to expect, but that was the exciting (and terrifying) part of it all.

I dried off with a fluffy towel and looked at myself in the mirror, taking in my long blond hair and ocean blue eyes. I could hear my deep breaths, and I felt butterflies in my stomach as I focused on the rising and falling of my chest. I quickly pulled my hair over my shoulder, putting it into a messy braid. I was too nervous to do anything fancy that day, despite the importance of the day’s events. Returning to my room, I slipped into the one outfit that wasn’t packed up. I wore a casual white shirt, knotted at the bottom, jean capris, and gray slides. I examined myself in the mirror once again. I pondered skeptically for a moment, before digging into my suitcase and pulling out a black jean jacket. That was much better. Much more… me.

“All passengers, please finish packing up and report to the main wing,” The loudspeaker blared, making me jump. I did a final check, thoroughly looking over the room. I wistfully sighed, saying a silent goodbye to the place that had been my home for the past two months. I pressed the silver button to open the door, resting my hand on its smooth steel surface. I turned, feeling some sadness about leaving this tiny chamber. It wasn’t much, but it’s been comforting to have it. Taking a long deep breath, I stepped out into the pristine white hallway and the silver door slid shut behind me. I was leaving this part of my life behind, and I wasn’t sure if I was ready.

A few hours later, I gathered with the crowd of passengers in the main hall. Frustrated, I tried to move through the group towards the window, but the people were like a strong stone wall.

“Excuse me,” I huffed, “I can’t see.” A tall, dark haired young man turned to look at me. He smiled warmly, stepping aside and gesturing for me to come in front of him. Taken aback, I smiled shyly, squeezing quickly through the gap. My cheeks flushed warm and pink. However, upon seeing the view, I quickly forgot about the handsome stranger as my eyes met our new home – #2896, otherwise known as Opportunity.

I was taken aback by the most beautiful, breathtaking sights I had ever seen. Shimmering lavender oceans stretched over the surface, surrounded by emerald land masses. Light pink cotton candy clouds danced in front of us, filling the atmosphere with a romantically stunning touch. The pastel color scheme of Opportunity was absolutely magical. I felt like I was stepping into a fairy tale. It was unlike anything I’d ever seen before.

“Attention passengers, we are preparing to land. Please find a seat for your own safety. Thank you everyone for joining us on this incredible journey.” As the ship slowly lowered towards the planet’s surface, I flashed back to the two months that I’d spent on this ship; enjoying meals in the beautiful dining hall, surrounded by views of vast outer space outside the windows. Days spent swimming, playing tennis, and watching movies in the theater on board had filled my time. It had been lonely, to be honest. None of my family had come with me, and I wasn’t the type to make friends quickly. But Opportunity has its name for a reason.

The heavy plod of the ship’s landing jolted me out of my thoughts. The passengers quickly erupted into a cheer. A bright smile stretched across my face as excitement took over. I grabbed my suitcase and shot up from my seat, joining the sea of people briskly walking towards the exit. I was grinning like a crazy person, but so was everyone else. As the doors opened and the light flooded in, the crowd started pouring off the ship. Someone pushed past me on their way out, and I clumsily stumbled forward, catching myself on my suitcase. I lifted my chin and was met by none other than Opportunity itself.

The gorgeous dark green grass shimmered under the light of the planet’s sun. A white marble fountain greeted us, the beautiful lavender water of Opportunity splashing gracefully into the pool at its base. The first city on the planet stretched as far as my eyes could see, its buildings made of beautiful metals native to the planet. They shone with vibrant colors, greeting us with emotions of joy and astonishment. The view brought delight to everyone who laid eyes on it. In the distance, navy blue mountains topped with crystalline snow protruded from the land, stretching up towards the rosy clouds filling the periwinkle sky.

The very terrain of Opportunity brought so many emotions, but I felt them all form into one – hope. A single tear of joy traced its way down my cheek, resting next to my nose like a tiny diamond. I felt a presence next to me, and I turned to look. The handsome stranger from minutes earlier held a tissue out to me, smiling warmly. I smiled back, accepting the tissue. As I dabbed the tear from my cheek, I noticed a phone number scrawled on the tissue. I looked up, but the man was gone. I stood alone at the base of the ship. What was I waiting for? I knew that the change scared me, but it was the whole reason I’d come this far. I’d come for a new life, for… opportunities. I would start by getting to my new home and calling this man. I felt the confidence to take initiative and do things that I never would’ve been brave enough to do on Earth. I can find love. I can chase my dreams. I can live the life that I’d been so lucky to be able to pursue. I took a step forward, and I walked towards the city – leaving my old life behind, and entering a life of opportunities.

Allison Lentz is 16 years old and from Ephrata, PA. She loves anything creative, especially writing, art, and music. She loves to read and write super descriptive fiction and fantasy that lets her paint a picture in someone’s mind. She also loves to ride and spend time with her horse, Oslo, swim, bake, and, of course, draw or write.