When the noises woke me up, mother read stories of jungle adventures, knights in armour, and the man in the moon.
“More,” I said when she stopped.
“No, not today. You’re going on an adventure of your own.”
“Where am I going?”
She looked past me and whispered, “To the moon.”
She packed a case with clothes, a toothbrush, and my favourite book, and then held my hand as we walked to the station.
“Are all these other boys and girls going to the moon?” I asked, when we arrived on the crowded platform.
Mother didn’t speak, but she nodded and pulled me close. She tied a ticket to my coat and kissed me and told me to be good.
“We’ll see each other again soon.”
When I got off the train, I was in a place I couldn’t say and was taken by people I couldn’t understand. There weren’t many buildings in this new place or many people either. It was too quiet and it smelled bad and I wanted to go home. At night, I looked at the pictures in my book and recalled the stories Mother told. Stories of jungles and knights and the man in the moon. But the moon in my book was nothing like the fields and hills I could see from my window.
In time, I was on the train again leaving that green place. Grandma met me at the station and we walked past places I used to know. When we got to my street, it was flat and white with dust.
“Are you okay?” Grandma said.
“Yes,” I said. At last, I was on the moon.