Two Lives And A Soul #23 By Ojay Aito
Dr Reuben wasn’t a man given to starting his day with a preface, at least not before his colleagues. In the lab, he would simply start off from where his last activity was paused. Lately, he had been more preoccupied than distracted, as he rather put it, with admin work, given the fact that his boss, Head of DiVivo was retiring in a matter of days, and Dr. Reuben assumed he should be next in the line to take the venerated position. Fifty seven more days, to be exact. Anyone could have easily mentioned that it was only two months away, but to Dr. Lucman Reuben, it was a countdown.
If only anyone had the effrontery to ask him, he would have unmasked the boyish thoughts under this tough half Jewish half Lebanese skin, and told them it was fifty seven days, eighteen hours, forty-four minutes… and thirty two… one… thirty seconds to the end of Prof. Usu’s tenure, and then the beginning of his.
The last part of his thought made his heart squirm, hitting somewhat irregularly on his sternum. He hated the fact that he still had some doubts in his mind, whether he would be the professor’s successor. In the real sense, it wasn’t much of a doubt in his own abilities to function as a leader, of course he had been doing that for almost a decade now, although on a lower scale in this research A-PIT department – as much as it was in the succession plan which the professor could erratically modify.
He had somehow confronted the prof on this matter, which consequentially turned out to be a desperate move on his part. Something he immediately regretted because of the feedback he got. The reaction from his would-soon-be former boss was one of a malevolent yet sterile nod, synced with the drumming of his fingers on the mahogany desk, creating a suitable backtrack for ambience. Prof. Usu saw his last duty as Head of DiVivo more as a priestly ritual than a political devolve. He wasn’t a man that went by the books. One of his cerebral dictums was that ‘if it’s in a book, then it’s leavened with human error.’ On the matter of his successor, he had made it plain that it was his sole choice to make.
The only reason he was god on this matter was that he was married to the Chairman, Wande DiVivo.
So for the past two months, Dr. Reuben had tried to prove to all who monitored him that his competency wasn’t only topnotch within the glass walls of his laboratories, but was also impeccable when he came to admin affairs.
Within the past four months, he had become doubly interested in politics and admin, attending every single stakeholder DiVivo meeting with the AU, RAUr, DArSA, and other relevant organizations, and contributing every ounce of this wherewithal to the agendas that promised the growth of the research and science institute.
On top of all that, he didn’t relegate the day to day running of his lab solely to his team heads. He made sure to take decisions that didn’t only push the agenda of advancement in ultra-technology but also enforced the introduction of family values into the workplace.
It didn’t matter that most people in his inner circle saw it as a charade, he continued to preach what he preached, and hoped that at the long run, they might just see him in a different light, and accept him as a man striving for perfection.
“The stem cells have been extracted; the brination of last week arrivals would have reached completion, and Vokes should have the results of renalfugation of SET II also ready for examination. I should be out in three hours, then off to HQ.” He spoke to himself as the elevator took him up to the sixtieth floor. His aide-de-camp who stood, suitcase on her lap, knew better than to respond to any of his mutterings. It had taken her an entire month to know when she was addressed. It wasn’t in a change of tone, nor was it in the body language. It was nothing different from his muttering. She had just come to know when he was addressing her.
Dr. Reuben remembered when he first walked into the morgue of the lab as an assistant scientist almost twenty years ago. That was even at a different location. Days of humble beginnings, was what they called it. He had been moved directly from ASC when his boss there was replaced. He was one of the few loyalist to the Russian-Nigerian, Akmintov Adekunle, who headed what used to be the biggest laboratory in the West African Region. His good deed had brought in a handful of dividends, but only a handful. There was more that could come if the hand could be wringed just a little. That sort of thing was only possible if there was something extra he was bringing to the table. There was always something. These were ingredients that demanded one remained relevant. Of course, Dr. Reuben had remained indispensable to Akmintov. Maybe that was when he knew he could play well this game of politics. Loyalty was a key virtue, but power was the genuine pursuit. That was the end goal of everyone in the game.
Remember to add that to my manifesto. His eyes were focused on the cleavage of his heavyset PA. Rather than speak to her his thoughts, he traced down the line in the middle of her chest until he could see no more, thanks to the boundary of the chemise under her tensed suit.
The third person in the elevator wasn’t a scientist. He was just visiting, so far guided by his own mission, and not distracted by the scientist’s mumblings. It was to Dr. Reuben’s utmost delight that things were simply working out in his favour and it had been on an all-high for a stretch of two weeks now. No, this wasn’t going to end.
Dr. Islo stood one arm akimbo, as she peered down one of the lab cocoons, feigning concentration. She had to be too focused; the boss was supposed to ‘jump’ on her thought or examination pattern and not stop it. That was how it was done. Bambo and Cynthia were the biggest pros in multitasking. They could be having a nonsensical conversation about how bushy the ‘southern’ area of a human specimen was, and yet be observing the stealthiest changes in their experimental procedures caused by the increase or decrease of pH values.
“What have we here?” Dr. Rueben announced, as he turned into the lab area his most eccentric female scientist was working at. “A lab rat spoilt and pampered at the weekend by her overindulging fiancé?”
If only Dr Reuben looked beyond the work glasses, Dr. Islo thought, he would have noticed more of a nonchalant, indifferent persona of an overbearing lady rather than the pampered face of a relaxed spoilt brat. She didn’t respond in any way to the attempt at obsequiousness by her boss.
“And I don’t think someone had enough of something at the weekend.” Dr. Reuben was speaking to the visitor who had come into the lab with him. It was evident Dr. Islo was determined not to be on the same wavelength as her somewhat erratic boss was. This was work, and the weekend could be gone forever, for all she cared.
Sorry, Dr. Boss, I can’t be swindled by your unwarranted joviality this morning. We have work that must meet your deadline.
“What we have got here is more work.” Dr. Islo halfmindedly gave in to the distraction from her boss. “Then no doubt much more work and responsibilities when eventually our boss becomes the boss. Everyone’s boss.” She knew she wasn’t one given to either accepting or giving flattery, but right now she could sure do anything to assuage the dilemma of the ‘risen’ lab specimen, as it certainly came to mind. So far, the boss was in a good mood, perhaps it was safe to keep him that way.
If she played her script well, she might never really have to divulge as much information as to be dimmed inconsequential.
“Ethel? Wouldn’t you even bulge a sec and look away from those dead bodies?”
Ethel? Dr. Reuben hardly ever called her by her first name? Her fingers involuntarily held tighter to the pipette in her gloved hand. She turned with a frown, staring at her boss at once.
The frown first deepened, then was immediately replaced with a bland expression. Then a curious one followed, all in the space of a microsecond.
“Thomas?” Her throat immediately got bruised by her inconspicuous Adam Apple. “Thomas, what are you doing here?” Her knees knocked uncontrollably against her own desire, hopefully concealed by her white overall. No. Her white coat was just hip long, accentuating her thighs.
Thomas didn’t say another word. Instead, he walked towards her with the sobriety of an apologetic lover.
Dr. Islo. No. Ethel’s gaze crossed from her sandy haired boss, to her over six feet tall, almost lanky fiancé.
She didn’t know how to respond, as Thomas walked slowly towards her, his lips pressed together. What was going on here? Thomas hadn’t been to this lab this year. What must have demanded that, and why had it been early on a Monday morning?
She remembered the last words they spoke to each other. They weren’t words that endeared any lady, or reassured of a pleasant future, rather, they were words with impact in the exact opposite. Thinking of it at that moment, she realized she had locked all those feelings away in some emotional bank that didn’t come with her to work.
Apparent it did.
Because as Thomas stood before her, she felt her heart twinge with pain she thought she had bottled away. Her eyes were instantly pooled up in an stream of repressed tears.
“I’m sorry for last week. And every other day I hurt you.”
No, this wasn’t the right place for her to let down her emotions. This was where she was boss, second to Dr. Reuben. This no place for such mushiness and frivolities. It bore her heart to look up at him, at least to see in his eyes, if he was really sorry for what happened at his parent’s place. And what happened before. And how he had managed to pile up the guilt of her being an absentee lover who devoted more time to her work than to their relationship, and anything else for that matter.
Was this for real?
Thomas, pulled out of nowhere a small, healthy bouquet of flowers, and extended it to his fiancée. He was truly sorry.
At the sight of that, Ethel’s heart melted. She didn’t care if this was the right place to show this kind of affection, or not. She didn’t care if it would become news around DiVivo before the end of work day. Nothing mattered at this moment other than Thomas being here, and showing this public display of affection.
“I knew all this show of work was just a façade.” Dr. Reuben was saying, although the words certainly fell on deaf ears. Well, safe for the legis, who just stood at the other end of the lab, sponging in all the images, and storing them away in their data bank.
All present, humans plus robots, watched as the two lovers embraced each other and shared a passionate moment of deep kissing.
When it was over, it was evident that work wasn’t going to resume just right away. Even if Thomas left now, Dr. Reuben was sure the butterflies locked up in his assistant’s belly were enough fuel for excitement the whole day.
Dr. Reuben cleared his throat more than once. “It’s time to get back to work, lovers.”
It was as if the comment was interpreted to Ethel and Thomas as ‘ride on, lovers, you have the whole day’.
Ethel placed her head on Thomas’ chest, and wondered the last time this happened. It felt so good. The thought of how melancholy her weekend had been crossed her mind, but was easily swept away by this present exhibition of thoughtfulness from her lover.
After all, he is human. Just as I am… I love him. He loves me too… that’s all that matters.
She wasn’t wearing her engagement ring, and at some point, Thomas noticed it. A show of apology shimmered over her face, but Thomas already was on to something else. He easily discarded that.
“Never mind, I’ve got something better here.” He said, as he slowly brought out from his jacket a tiny case. He opened it ever so dramatically, as Ethel fought to keep her breath.
It was a tiny emerald stone perfectly cut into a heart shape that sat elegantly on the tip of a gold ring. This no doubt, took Ethel’s breath away.
“Peace… peace.” Ethel was quickly losing her voice. At either side of the lab, her boss and the legis all showed perfect expression of surprise and stupor mixed together.
Thomas put the ring in her finger, and Ethel was drowned in an ocean of lush greenness. Her eyes both shone green with excitement.
Dr. Reuben, although swamped in the excitement, was thinking if this wasn’t going to after all, take a toll on work here. Thomas hadn’t told him he was going to propose the second time. He had said he just wanted to show up at work, and make things right. In fact, when he had called him yesterday in his den, Dr. Reuben thought Thomas sounded his usual nonchalant persona. Had he expected this, he sure wouldn’t have agreed this happened during work period. That’s was if he could anyway.
“I love you too, Thomas.” Ethel was screaming in excitement in response to everything Thomas did this morning. This was sure going to be a Monday to remember. It didn’t matter what any weekend proved to be, as long as there was going to be a Monday, then all her worries were ever going to be a mirage.
“I want to have breakfast with you, darling.” Thomas let go of the words on his lips. He waited for that to sink in. The response was one of immediate stillness. Quietness to the point of hearing the waving on a razor blade in the air.
The response from Ethel was priceless. “What!” She instinctively looked behind Thomas at Dr. Reuben.
Thomas also turned to look at his fiancee’s boss. The man he knew very well. In fact more than most people in this entire facility.
“Ahm- ah, argh…” Ethel’s voice buffered. She simply gave up trying to say how impossible that suggestion was.
If only she knew it wasn’t a suggestion.
“What do you say, Dr. Reuben?” Thomas had the certain effrontery and calmness, that would have been questioned on another day by Ethel. Who dared pull her boss out of his lab schedules? No one she had ever seen or heard of.
There is an easy explanation, I think. This desire to be accepted by all has made my boss accept almost anything. He must think this will help promote his good nature as a boss to the others who work with him. And even as far as having a deep influence at the way he was perceived by all and sundry around this research institute… But he is going to say a no to this, right? I would rather say no too, owing to the fact that we have a big case in our hands I’m yet to tell you of… Dead man. We have an issue with one of our specimens.
“Okay.” One unexpected word from Dr. Reuben.
Ethel arched her neck forward. She was sure she didn’t hear him well. What does okay mean?
“O- what?” Ethel coughed out.
“Okay, you can go. Take the entire day off.” Dr. Reuben tossed his hands in the air.
Dr. Islo could read from his mood that her boss was rather not happy with his own decision, but couldn’t explain the disparity.
“You heard him. We can take the day off.” Thomas already had his hand around her waist. “I’m famished. Like I starved myself of food since the last time I saw you.”
“Okay?” Dr. Islo reaffirmed.
“It’s fine. Really. Go ahead.” Dr. Reuben wasn’t really keeping eye contact like he usually did.
“We have a major issue in our hands, Dr. Reuben.”
“I’m sure it’s nothing that can’t wait till tomorrow.” Thomas said.
“He’s right,” Dr. Reuben ruefully agreed. “Just see this as a long roller-coaster weekend. Now is time for you to enjoy the moment. You deserve it.”
“Okay then, let me pick up my pamphlet so I can be in contact with you just in case you need me, sir.”
“The only person who will need you today, my darling, is your darling Thomas.” Dr. Reuben let out a riveted laughter, surprised by his own superficial word play.
“But I still have to go with my gadgets.”
“Sure, darling.” Thomas seemed all prepared for this breakfast of a life time.
As Dr. Islo picked up her bag from the desk, she noticed the sunken expression of her legis. They were unusually playful and comical in cases like this, but now, they simply paved way for her.
She could easily guess what the matter was, but she promised to explain things later in the day. She must also promise herself not to share her ill feelings about her relationship with her legis, or anyone again. It was apparent Abati and Isaaci still held an understandable grudge against Thomas, from all she had confided in them. Now that Thomas was turning a new leaf, it was hard for them to see.
In all these, it was now clear, she wasn’t entirely right. She wasn’t totally the self-acclaimed lab rat. Instead, she was just one young beautiful scientist eager to be loved.
Her feet hardly touched the sterile tile as she ran off the department in the arms of her lover.
“There goes our Monday.” Abati said.
“What would Dead Man have for breakfast?” Isaaci whispered at his fellow legi.
Abati turned his neck stoically, and faced his lab-mate. “Ahan. I remember. I once warned you about this.”
They both turned to see Dr. Reuben match towards them. They stood at attention.
“So, what have you both been up too? All week-end?” Dr. Reuben intentionally broke his words into understandable syllables.
“We were getting ready for work with Dr. Islo. Only that now, the week-end has been extended.” Abati mimicked Dr. Reuben.
“You didn’t answer my question, con.”
Abati and Isaaci adjusted to the insult. “Okay, the fun is over. This is the real Dr. Reuben,” Isaaci whispered for the second time to Abati.
“We didn’t do much last weekend. Just faffed around mostly. Most part of the lab was in hibernation. So there wasn’t really anything to do.”
“Apart from having a gaming binge, right?” Dr. Reuben blew their cover.
The two legis looked at one another. Although they hadn’t done anything wrong, they felt they had been caught. They had surely posted the result of the gaming on the exposed tray for all to see. Now it would be impossible to have a good explanation on the Dead Man situation.
As if Dr. Reuben read their thoughts, he tabbed on the nearest console key, and sent his commands for the dashboard of the activities of the lab for the last weekend, while scanning for footages from the surveillance cameras. Apparently, it seemed the recording had been superimposed. Someone surely had some explanation to do.
The two lab robots watched from both his flanks, somewhat dumbfounded at the intervention they knew must have been made by only one person: Dr. Islo.
“Actually, it’s true. We gamed through the weekend. There wasn’t any real work to do.” Abati spoke up, and hoped his colleague had something sensible to add to the excuse.
“So, we just gamed through. Sir.”
That was all Issaci could add? Abati shook his head. They still hadn’t agreed to tell Dr. Reuben about the case of the Dead Man. Actually, they thought it was Dr. Islo’s prerogative to explain the circumstances of the lab specimen that came alive.
“Hmm,” Dr. Reuben adjusted on the stool, viewing the result of his search. “These seem to be too much activity just from the two of you.” It wasn’t the first time his junior colleagues would sneak into the facility on the weekend since the beginning of the mandatory off-work policy for researchers and professionals in similar work environment. One thing he was certain of was the whereabouts of Dr. Ethel Islo at the weekend, but for the others, he tried to gamble on who must have made it through to the lab without prior authorization. He shook his head at the bane of the security lapse that was so obvious in the institute. This would be a case for him to put forward.
The two legis watched as their boss navigated through the dashboard, not sure exactly what he was looking for. Anyways he was about to find out for himself, and that might just hold dire consequences.
Dr. Reuben pulled out the last file that contained the raw data of activities at the weekend. As the information scrolled up the screen, the A-PIT Head watched closely. So did the legis.
“You were saying, Abati.” Dr. Reuben waited for a further explanation that was in congruent with the information on the data archive.
What scrolled up the screen surprised both the legis, who had been uncanny and thoughtless about the consequences of allowing the weekend data get to the exposed tray. It had been doctored. And the only person they owed that to was Dr. Islo. That must have been what she spent the first minutes doing while she talked with the Dead Man earlier in the morning.
“What Abati is trying to say, sir.” Issaci cleared his throat of nothing in particular. He was buying time, and it seemed Dr. Reuben had so much of it to lavish. “Is that we have finally devised a technique on the game. We can beat anybody when the gaming period begins.”
Dr. Reuben didn’t seem to be buying whatever the two robots said. But what showed on the dashboard didn’t reveal anything different. He would need to decrypt some of the encrypted data on the left side of the dashboard. He would await Dr. Islo to do that.
He thought of calling Supports instead, since Dr. Islo wouldn’t be back to the lab today. He noticed the two legis were making side talks, and felt it would be good bursting their bubbles. He would find out exactly what happened here in the lab.
Just as he punched on the Supports line, his watch alerted him with a message. A holocast was coming into his line. He had to attend to it in private. He eyed the two robots, and stepped off from the screen as it flickered off.
“Tell whoever comes in next to see me. Clear?”
The two legis breathed lighter as again. At last they were left alone. Just the two of them.
“Oga, how far. E be like sey these people no well.”
“Na we them wan give high blood pressure. Them go run down.”
“Shhh, don’t be a con. Your voice is too loud.”
“I no send their father o.”
“Guy you don mad.”
“See who talk sey I mad.”
They both laughed at the most secret of information only the two of them shared.
I stared perhaps for the thousandth time at my reflection in the mirror. Sure I was more familiar with my appearance than I first was at the hospital. I felt heavier in my Sam skin. I realized I performed a few things merely out of reflex. Like the flexing of my muscles, and the cracking of my joints. There were also a few variations I was sure I didn’t exhibit as Eli. Like the perfect rolling of the tongue, and the ability to shut one eye while the other eye was wide open. These changes could have freaked me out, but instead, I embraced the physiological and morphological changes I saw in this present body. These were certainly some of my grandson’s traits rather than actions caused by sheer exuberances and nervousness.
This room looked like some sort of empty den. My guess was that most of the scientists here had, or still have some private place they stay in when they had to stay longer hours at work. Maybe for the entire week. This invariably was Dr. Islo’s.
The entire square of the room smelt of the female scientist. It was bare, apart from a long sofa and light collapsible metal desk. No accompanying chair. I wondered when she ever had to work here- or even live here, how she did manage using the very low sofa and the imposing high metal desk that required a proper office chair.
I tried it. I mean, what else was there to do. I dragged the table halfway across the room and tried to see if I could use it effectively while seated on the sofa. A perfect picture was the image of Jack in the icy water, with Rose just barely overboard. Soon my arms would drain of blood and my neck would break.
I stood and walked around for a while, trying to make sense of all this nonsense. True, one had to be careful what one wished for. I was finally here in my future, and it really made no sense whatsoever. I hadn’t shown up in the family estate or the hospital as it happened the first time. I thought I would have awoken in the luxury room where I had slept off, instead, I had woken up as a lab specimen. A dead man.
I wasn’t sure of what to make of Dr. Islo’s initiative. I tried to weigh her judgment of the situation against what I would have instinctively done. She was right. In fact, it was a timely intervention, ‘cause had I been first introduced to any other scientist, say Dr. Reuben, this narrative of my life in the future might just as well have ended. Well, maybe not exactly.
I thought of what Dr. Islo had said earlier about the circumstances about my death. I remember I had asked Abati and Isaaci, but they were either plain secretive, or incapacitated to appropriately provide answers. Something about their intelligence bothered me. It was above that of the ordinary man. What would happen if there was a case of compromise in this world of half machine, half human?
If I was to really live in this present world, how would I handle the myriad of information and changes in technology? It all became apparent, even as Grandma Anna’s words came to mind, that if my goal here was merely to satisfy my curiosity and escape from my real life, then I was of all men most miserable. I would never catch up. Truth was, I was yet to exist on my own without any help or assistance. It was either I was surrounded by family, or by robots and scientists.
What was the time now? And why was Dr. Islo taking so much of it to come back for me?
I couldn’t say what the exact time of day it was, but I felt the entire morning must have swept by. Apart from the assumed busyness in my mind, something that might have come with my job as guard man from my other life, there was nothing to tell me what time of the day it was. No windows, no change in temperature, no change in sound vibes. No sound at all, except for the ones I made.
I tried not to panic. I assumed a lying position on the sofa, using one hand rest to elevate my head, and the other for my legs. My feet looked strange, the toes were a little too broad, and a little too tender. For the first time I wondered about the places it must have been to. The places Sam must have been.
Where was Dr. Islo?
I placed my feet on the tile, as if my brain worked better when I took a sitting position. I had pondered on too many things, and yet there was a lot more to think about. Wonder about. What if all that Dr. Islo had told me were lies?
I stood up, and began pacing. This had become a vicious cycle of some sort.
For all that mattered, I could just be another control experiment for these scientists. I remembered the movie I recently saw- The Maze Runner. These scientists really didn’t have a moral standing as every other human. It was science above any order. They were like the occult. Yes, wasn’t science an occult truly? Imagine those robots that called themselves Abati and Isaaci. How on earth did they create those things? Perhaps that is what they planned using me for.
Father Lord God. See me, see future.
My doubts and my thoughts started to create in my head genuine panic. I was beginning to speak much more louder. Maybe I was becoming nuts.
I sat down again.
On the other hand, what if all that the lady scientist said were true, and she was just trying to help me come out alive? It could be downright crazy out there.
But what really happened to me the first time? I mean Sam. What happened that resulted to his coma? Everyone, even Suss had hoped that I remember. Maybe that was the answer to all of these mysteries. Maybe it would be the beginning. A can of worms might just be sitting somewhere in the dark.
And finally now, Sam was dead. Officially dead. How did he die? Was someone responsible, or was it just a natural thing?
Naaaa. I don’t think so.
Come to think of it, why had they decided to give his organs up for research work?
One would have thought that the extent scientists were busy researching on human health in the early 2000s, they would have made it possible for man to live forever. Yet, it’s still a far cry. No doubt, unimaginable progress was now evident, but, hey, from the money spent on science, no one should be dying any more joor.
What was the world population now, sef? 50 billion? Naaaaa, haba… It should have reduced to like 1 billion… If World War III had taken place. Or a Tsunami that affected half the world.
There was no way to find out anything here. This room was as void as zero.
Lord, please. Where is Dr. Islo?
I was frustrated, and what was subtly happening was that I was running mad. I could feel my brain shift in my head. I stared at the wall opposite, a stern gaze at nothing. Who knows, someone might have been monitoring me all the while. The entire wall might just be one huge viewing screen.
I will try keep my sanity, or maybe feign insanity. Was I not already oscillating both extremes? I wasn’t even sure which would draw their sympathy. What if I just told them altogether that I wasn’t who they thought I was?
Hey someone come get me out of here. I’m not who the heck you think I am.
Nothing happened. Not a change in temperature. Not a crack in sound. Nothing. I sat on the floor. Then I lay flat on my belly. I guess I should just sleep, perhaps I would pass out, and get back to my past. My original life.
Was that possible without one of those mysterious clocks…
The words from the grandma’s book slowly burnt the tip of my lips. Was I remembering them? Would they come in handy?
I sat up. Maybe I should lie down instead. I did. I placed my head on my left ear, flattened out on the tile. It was cold in an unusual way. Unlike how it felt under my feet.
I pressed harder on the floor. My left ear, that is. I heard… I thought I heard something. No. Maybe I heard something. Or it could be that I was really beginning to hear things.
I was running mad?
I was running mad.
The tawny light from her pamphlet flickered harshly and consistently in the darkened room. She was sure she had turned off the gadget the last time she had shuffled around the room to keep sanity up in her head. The murkiness in the room somehow provided her that much needed solitary feel to heal. However there was no way she could tell the time of day, as the thick curtain blind absorbed every ray of sunlight that would have strayed into her room. The gloom was no longer in the air, it was rather seated in a ghostly attire by her bedside, watching every move she made, keeping tabs with every breath she took towards sanity, and ensuring it made them as writhingly painful as possible.
Suss ignored the call. Although this line was a private one business and media shenanigans couldn’t reach, she was tired of the tone of sympathy everyone tried to append to their voice. Even her family members.
She would reach back as soon as she felt good. If it was Theo, he knew where to find her. She was sure it wasn’t him though.
She closed her eyes to dream again. For another chance to be with her son. Another chance to hold him tight, and if possible never let go.
She held her chest and closed her eyes for another somber escape, reliving the days she held her baby in her arms for the first time. It would worth it, she was sure.