Aerogel, C23H22N2O3S2  (an element, sometimes a person)

Have you ever just met someone whose wit and intelligence spurred you? Someone who can talk their heart out about space and galaxies and physics and general relativity?

Because same.

It was on the date of, as I can still really remember, the 14th of November when we both find ourselves on the greenfield of Green Village’s park. It was not the usual park though, very few people stay there if they want to have peace of mind. But we both find the place soothing and peaceful. Something that would make us forget the noise of the world’s background, and yes, we called it our tranquility. We often lie down there, with a picnic blanket to support our back, and we just look at the night sky and wonder why the stars appear the way they are.

The name is Ale. I mean, his name is Ale. We were good friends since we were both entering the same junior high school. He was my go-to person when my thoughts are just too much, and he will be the one to sort it out, then find meaning out of it, and it was the only time I could make sense of myself.

I have been an outer space person since my writing mentor put me as a science writer at our school publication, well originally I am a feature writer, you know, the kind who writes with flowery words and all those metaphors, but it has to be laced with facts. Science writing is still featuring something, but on this part, you gotta be extra factual than being flowery with the words. So, to make it short, my love for science sprouted the time I was writing about it in our school paper. But it has gotten big enough when someone came and tirelessly talked about the space and its inhabitants, from that time, I was hooked as I can never go a day without any scientific fact to end it right, and that is because of Ale.

He calls me Aer, though my full name is Aerogel. I kept on telling him that I hated my name so much, and I wish to change it to names from Renaissance’s period classics, but not until one day he exposed the scientific meaning of my name while we were lying on the ground looking at Pisces constellation.

“Names have their way of telling us who we are”, he said while pointing to the last star to connect in forming the constellation that we have been sighting.

“What do you mean? I really do not like my name. You know, I wish it to be Nicolas or at least Venice or Cleopatra, you know what I mean?” I told him.

“That’s a scientific name, you know.” He answered.

I listened to him as he explained it to me while I was trying to find one last star to finally connect it with the rest of the stars we have found to complete the picture of Pisces.

“Aerogel is the lightest and least dense solid known to exist, it is typically 50 to 99.5 % air, yet it can hold up to 4,000 times its weight,” he said.

From that time on, I have never been in love with my name.

hebrews 11:16

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