I was starting to get worried. My boyfriend, Drake, hadn’t texted or called me in eight days. Granted, it wasn’t unusual for him and his friends to get involved in a game and go dark from the real world for extended periods of time, but the girlfriends would still get periodic calls or texts asking for food and beer, and occasionally just to get a cheering section going for a particularly hot tournament. My sisters all thought I was crazy for staying with Drake. They’d all roll their eyes and and plug their ears when I talked about him. They thought I was stupid to be with a guy who’d rather sit in somebody’s mom’s basement playing games than spend all his time with me. But actually, I preferred it that way. I got all the alone time I wanted, and Drake was a lot better than most of the guys I’d dated over the years. There was Derek, who was a total flake and wouldn’t show up for things he promised to do with me, but threw an actual tantrum when I forgot his dog’s birthday. Then there was Jeremy, who wrecked seven cars in the six months we were dating. I decided I valued my life too much to stay with him. And right before I met Drake, there was this guy, Tad, who was really cute but seemed awfully clingy until he stopped showing up at my work to walk me home one night. I found out he was arrested for stalking and suspicion of murder right outside my office door one afternoon. I was clearly a creep magnet. Then one night my luck changed. I was doing my laundry later than I’d wanted to and this guy came in to do his. I was still a little jumpy from the whole Tad thing, and even though Mr. Laundry didn’t seem to notice me I was watching him pretty closely. And then something really cool happened. He looked up from his Kindle and smiled sort of distractedly at me. I know that’s not much, but if you could have seen that smile...I knew it had to be me he was smiling at because there wasn’t anyone else there, but I caught myself looking around to be sure. He smiled a little wider and said, “You’re the only person here. Who did you think I was smiling at, the aliens sneaking up behind you?” We both laughed and I asked him what book he was reading. He said he was doing his annual read of “A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.” I pulled my well-worn copy out of my tote bag and said I was doing the same. While our laundry dried we compared our thoughts on various parts of the book, and then the conversation turned to other topics, like games we liked to play--he liked video games and I liked board games--and in that couple of hours we became friends. After that, when we weren’t working or hanging out with other friends, we spent some time getting to know each other. After a few months and many successful dates, we decided we were on a more serious trajectory and called it exclusive—as if either of us was actually seeing anyone else. We were both a little too nerdy and a little too quiet to have crazy social lives. Drake, it turned out, wasn’t just a gamer—he was a game tester. A really good one. His friends were a very highly skilled, hand-picked team to test some pretty high tech games and systems, some of which were hush-hush government tech they couldn’t really talk about when I was around. When I tried to get information out of them, they joked about being couch potato spies, meeting Doctor Who, and making contact with aliens, and I laughed with them. They were a bunch of decent guys. So like I said, I hadn’t heard from Drake in over a week, and I was really starting to go crazy with worry. When you are a games/game systems tester for the government, doesn’t that mean you could get kidnapped and tortured for what you knew? You wouldn’t believe the insane scenarios that bounced around in my head over those eight days. Then my head started playing those other games--you know the ones. I’m not good enough. I’m not smart enough. I must have done sometime really wrong to make this really amazingly kind guy never want to see me again. I really thought he was getting serious about our relationship. My sisters thought he was a total loser of a guy so they thought the worst about him, of course, and it made me so made I kept saying I really didn’t care what they thought about Drake because I actually knew him. Or, I thought I did. Until he dropped off the face of the Earth for eight days. I had called one of Drake’s friends at one point after he went dark, not expecting him to answer, but he picked up after two rings and sounded surprised I hadn’t heard from Drake. The guys had reason to believe he’d planned to spend a few days with me so they weren’t expecting to see or hear from him. Tom hinted that Drake had some special plans, “Well, you know, Drake, you know, talks about you all the time, you know? He’s, like, really hooked on you and said he might do something about it. You know, like, really serious. But I mean, none of really knew what he meant, so maybe we misunderstood or something. But, you know, we thought the two of you went camping or something, you know?” I hung up from that call confused and even more worried. That night I wandered out to the yard behind my apartment, where several of the tenants had cobbled together some lawn furniture and a little kettle fire pit, and looked up at the stars. From here the light pollution was minimal so I could see a lot more stars than you can usually see in the city. Drake and I liked to sit there on clear evenings and discuss life. Once we talked about what we’d do if we could fly to the moon. We decided we’d set up a colony and start a community center. Drake would teach computer coding and gamification, and I’d teach arts and crafts—totally opposite ends of the spectrum. Digital and analog. That was us. Our official song was Fly Me To The Moon. I won’t lie. At that moment I didn’t just get teary-eyed. I bawled like a baby. I realized that I really, really loved Drake and was worried I’d lost him forever. I was so wrapped up in my own misery that I didn’t hear the humming noise until it was directly above me, and when I looked up to see what it was I fell out of my folding chair and got all tangled up in it. After I got free, I stood up with shaky knees, unable to get my mind around the thing hovering about twenty feet above me. It was a spaceship. Clear as day. I closed my eyes and opened them again. It was still there. Now I was worried I had actually lost my mind. I thought, “This is the embodiment of the phrase,‘Out of her mind with worry.’ Slap on the straightjacket, Jack, we’re going to the funny farm.” Suddenly, a beam of soft white light projected down from the spaceship to the ground right in front of me, and I could see someone slowly descending. Now I was really scared, but before I could bolt I heard a familiar voice say, “No. Please. Don’t move. Stay right there. I’ll be down in a sec.” I realized I couldn’t have run, anyway, because my knees were still shaking and my legs felt like they had turned into logs, complete with roots that kept me firmly in place. I wasn’t going anywhere, and the aliens were going to abduct me and do whatever it was they did to people, and I’d end up a crazy homeless lady who tried for the rest of her life to convince people she’d had an alien abduction experience. By this time, the person (because now I could tell it had a human form, at least), was almost all the way to Terra Firma. As his feet hit the ground I realized it was Drake. I tried to talk, but the words just wouldn’t come out. I stood there, paralyzed and completely unable to speak. He spoke first. “Look, I know this is really weird, and I know I should have called or texted, but there’s no signal in space, and these guys wouldn’t let me use their radios to contact you. I’m really, really sorry. I was on my way over to pro-“ he paused, took a deep breath, and went down on one knee. “I was on my way over to propose when they dropped down and invited me for a spin, so to speak.” I strangled out, “Spin. You did not just say spin, with that thing spinning over our heads as we speak.” Drake cracked a grin, “Yeah, uh, well, kinda dumb I guess …” His voice trailed off, then he took a breath and said in a stronger voice, “Anyway, look, will you marry me? I got a ring made,” he fumbled through is pockets until he found a little gray box, “and everything. It’s titanium like the space shuttles, so it should last forever, like my love for you. And the stone is a moonstone surrounded by actual moon rocks. Not very sparkly, but I thought maybe you’d like it anyway.” His voice faltered and my legs finally woke up. I stumbled to him, and he jumped up to catch me. I said, “You jerk! I’ve been worried about you for eight days. Eight days! I don’t care if the aliens have a colony on the moon and need someone to run their community center, you could have found a way to call me!” Then I realized—he had just proposed. What was I doing? There was a real, actual spaceship hovering over my head, and my boyfriend was offering me a lifetime of...what exactly I didn’t know, but I did know it didn’t matter because we’d be doing it together. I looked at his stricken face and cried, “Yes! Yes! Yes, I’ll marry you!” He slipped the ring on my finger. It was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen. As I slipped my hand in his we started rising slowing toward the spaceship. I wondered what the heck was going on, but I knew I trusted Drake, and after all, he knew Doctor Who. I giggled a little hysterically and he looked at me searchingly. “You okay?” he asked. “Yeah, just...a little out of my depth, you know?” I said. “Yeah, I can imagine.” Drake said. “You get it though, right? All the jokes about communicating with aliens--they weren’t jokes, okay? And then these guys picked me up on my way to propose and I decided to go with them on a quick trip. I had no idea I’d be gone over a week. You must have been going crazy.” I took a deep breath and let it out slowly before saying, “I was. You have no idea. Just don’t ask Tom how I sounded on the phone, okay? I was pretty hysterical when I called him the other day.” “Promise,” he said, and squeezed my hand gently. I leaned my head against his shoulder for a little reassurance and he let go of my hand to move closer and put his arm around me. “Just, please, don’t do something like that again,” my voice trembled despite my best effort to sound calm. His answer was to tighten his arm around me. “By the way, where are we going?” I whispered after a few seconds of quiet. “To the moon,” Drake said. “To run a community center.” The opening strains of “Fly Me To The Moon” started playing on Drake’s phone when we reached the spaceship.