Chapter four: Escape
Author's note: It goes by pretty fast but I hope everyone is enjoying this or at least having a laugh. I'm terrible at comedy but I think the slightest things are comical so let me know how I' doing.
Still a few months to go; I can walk but I get tired and my feet hurt. I can't believe I'm already there, that point where your feet swell and your back aches and you just can't get comfortable. Winter has come again; it must come early here on Gaea. Now I know what this place is called. Now I know for real that it's not earth and that the blue moon in the sky wasn't just a hallucination.
I like the cold when I'm pregnant it off sets the heat of another body huddled inside me. I feel hot all the time now. I feel so tired. I miss Aki? She'll be seven in a few months; I missed the end of five and most of six. Does she remember me? I fear she has forgotten me, and Amano and out apartment. Perhaps I have just become a dream she has at night, lost and forgotten that woman who quells her fears in the thunder storm. I want to hold her, I need to hear her. I think the baby needs to hear her too. I'm making this up, but it feels like an itch.
"Tell me about her", I begged one day. I'm not supposed to talk but I couldn't bear it, and I was keeping up my end of the bargain. The first wife had a compassionate look that flashed quickly by.
"She's a ball of energy. Smart too." I am happy to hear these things, I wonder if she is lying but I don't think so. And then I get the impression that this woman is having visitations with my child and I am jealous. "She likes to sing." I can't help but laugh. She always did I think. I cannot talk but I listen. What I really want to hear is some hope, some evidence that I have not been erased. I want to here the terrible things like that she cries out for me in her sleep, that she needs me and that she wants to go home. I want to wake up tomorrow and have her lying beside me safe.
We part ways. I sneak to Van's room that night.
"I have to get away." I said; I've gotten into this habit of holding my belly when I talk. I feel it's my way of protecting the baby from when I talk aggressively I fear for brain damage. "I know you can help me. Please." I plead. I'm still wearing all my clothes for a change, we're abstaining these days. He paces. I thought he knew I knew. He looks stressed and sad. "Please I can't go on another day…" I'm going to cry, I hate the crying it comes randomly now. He sits with me on the bed, he holds m shoulders. "I'd rather die than live without her…either of them" I look down, I was fond of the child and it didn't even have a name. "Help us." I wanted to say come with us but that might not be part of the deal. I still loved him; I wanted him to come with me. "We don't have to go back to earth, just some where that's not here." I say. He kisses my forehead. I'm hoping that's a good sign. He walks me to the door.
"You take to many risks, be more careful." He shuts the door. I'm confused. I go to my bed. I sleep for a long time. I dream; I don't want to dream, but this time it's a happy dream, it's the future. We are sitting out in the garden the four of us. We are eating sandwiches and Van is playing games with Aki. I'm holding our baby; it's a boy. Wait there's something else; another one on the way. I hate being pregnant, but I'm so happy. This gives me peace. I imagine the flowers and the animals in our garden. It's all so beautiful.
I hear a noise in the night. It's a voice in the ceiling. I wake up terrified. The vent opens and Van drops down into my room. He not alone; there in his arms is my daughter. I want to cry for joy. She's quiet is she asleep? He sees my look.
"Don't worry it'll wear off soon." He tosses some clothes onto my bed. "Hurry put these on." He says as I strip down as fast as I can. He is breathing heavy. I put on the clothes; it feels strange to wear other clothes. He and I sneak out of the blue hall way and to the door I take to the walking path. There is a cart full of hay waiting. Underneath the straw is a secret compartment. I feel my eyes go wide.
"You think I'm going to fit in there?" I ask incredulous. He shakes his head.
"You just feel bigger than you actually are." He pushes me toward the cart and helps me climb in. His hands shove my rear and I try not to resent it. He lifts Aki in to me, now there is no room for him.
"Van." I panic we can't leave without him. He shakes his head his eyes dancing.
"Don't worry about me, I'll come for you. They've set up a system to smuggle you out to the free lands. I'll get away. Don't worry." I agree, I still have that image of us in my garden with our children. He touches my face maybe for the last time. I catch his hand in mine.
"It's a promise, I have my heart set on three kids don't you dare let me down." He grins that eager grin. I feel warm inside. He shuts the compartment. Farewell I think. "I love you" I say through the wood. I don't know if he heard me, I haven't said it in a while. I love you Van
We went through a number of safe houses before we reached the mountains. Every day that went by was hard. Luckily when Aki came around she remembered me like her life had been just a dream until she saw me again. We are happy together. We sit some days in the yard of are small house and watch the sunset waiting for daddy to come home. I hold our little boy; he looks like Van, except he has my green eyes. Months pass and the seasons change. And then like a ghost from the past like a breath on the wind I hear my name, my real name for the first time in a long time someone's calling.