The outer edge of the solar system


Illustration by Börkur Sigurbjörnsson

“I listened to an interesting show on the radio this morning,” Jo-Anne said to Daniel as they sat on the sofa, sipping port after having put the girls to sleep. “They were asking people on the street how they would respond if offered a once in a lifetime one-way ticket to the outer edge of the solar system.”

“And?” questioned Daniel without looking up from the gardening magazine he was reading. “How did they respond?”

“There were mixed reactions,” Jo-Anne continued. “Some were really enthusiastic while some were really offended by the idea.”

“I would be offended,” said Daniel. “It’s an indecent proposal.”

“I can imagine,” Jo-Anne said, smiling, gazing through the living room window at the line of trees marking the border of their garden. “I would go for it!”

“You would?” Daniel asked, putting the magazine aside on the sofa and looking directly at Jo-Anne. “What about me? The girls? And the roses?”

“Don’t worry!” Jo-Anne said, looking Daniel in the eyes. “There are plenty of adorable single women out there who would love to become stepmothers to the girls — and the roses. But going to the outer edge of the solar system is a once in a lifetime opportunity.”