Grief

In the Spirit of the Gracious and Compassionate
Creator of the Heavens and the Earth

Lester A. Knibbs aka Doctor Hakeem

The news reports. The wails of yet another black mother, the stunned anger of the black father, and the rage of a community. Another innocent and unarmed young black man has been shot dead by the police.

At the University, there is a different reaction. They could barely understand the complex equations of the brilliant graduate student in astrophysics, let alone the extensive pages of scribbled notes. They were pressed for time. An asteroid of extinction-level proportions was on course to strike Earth. The precise time had been calculated — mercifully, a few years in the future. But there was no stopping it, no destroying it, with the means available — even given the time available. And they had managed to keep this information from the public.

But the young man was brilliant and inspired. His mind was on fire. No other astrophysicist on the entire planet had even come close to his insights. He had loved and worked on physics and astronomy since he was a five-year-old, rambling wildly through his parents’ books, mesmerized by science videos. “Pwanet!” and “gwavity!” were two of his favorite words, his proud parents would say. And then, barely a grown man, he was on the verge of demonstrating how mankind could curve space and divert the asteroid from its deadly Earth-bound trajectory.

And then, in a foolish instant, a young man running to catch the bus home, was shot dead.

Consumed with grief, researchers at the University sat down and cried. “We are doomed. Doomed! Doomed!” “We are all going to die!”

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