Adriana woke up in a galaxy where old earth was little more than a distant memory for most. The inhabited planet where she was heading was called Paradise by its inhabitants, she had been told, and hoped that it wasn’t some cruel joke they played to attract new inhabitants. Whatever the planet looked like, it was one of the few where importing brides from earth was still legal. Most of the colonies had grown tired of immigrants from earth showing up on their doorstep looking for a life away from the smog and filth of the dying mother planet.

“You all right?” one of the other brides asked and Adriana nodded.

“I’m so scared. Can’t even remember my new husband’s name. It’s been years since we got married, you know. I couldn’t get a shuttle to bring me.”

Adriana looked at the ring on her finger. It was only an engagement ring. The white dress was packed in her allotted luggage.

“I hope everything goes well for you,” Adriana said. What else could you say?

 

She read the last message she had received again. I can’t wait to meet you in person, it read. I have loved you from the first time we spoke. We are soul mates, you and I.

Soul mates. She wanted to – needed to – believe him. Had to believe that this was true love that she felt and not just a wish to escape the constraints of earth.

 

Adriana’s battery beeped. She was fully charged at last. She stepped from the shuttle to start her new life.