SO BE IT!
Katherine E. Rabenau
Valerie and Vincent had been born only moments apart in the hospital ward of the St. Sebastian Home for Unwed Mothers. It was not a happy place, housing as it did, the unwanted offspring of girls who were little more than frightened children themselves.
When their mothers had struck up a friendship some months ago, the evolving foetuses had done the same, communicating telepathically their feelings about what went on around them. It hadn't taken them long to question the wisdom of embarking on the strange adventure called life. They had even considered aborting themselves, but found they were already too attached to their young mothers and each other to do so. Although Foetus Valerie was six weeks older, she and Vince had made a pact to be born together, so she had held off as long as she could, fighting the strong, primal pull of the birth canal. Two weeks was all she had been able to manage, and Vince had had to use all his tiny strength to break free four weeks early from the cozy comfort of the womb. But he had managed. This intense determination had made for easy births, and the new babies had eagerly anticipated a tender welcome and the warm embrace of their mothers' arms. What a shock it had been to be greeted by bright lights, stainless steel and strange smelling people in white with no faces, but only fierce eyes. To Vince's consternation, one of them had actually hit him quite soundly on the butt. Valerie had had a similar experience, but that had faded in the face of the worst horror. They were not, as they expected, put into the arms of their mothers, but were dumped unceremoniously into little carts and taken to a strange room full of lonely babies. Two of the strange, faceless women had looked at Val and shaken their heads. "Poor little thing," one had sighed, "Alone already." "This one too?" the other had asked, looking at Vince. "That one too," had come the reply. "The mother's don't want them."
Didn't want them? "Vince, they don't want us! Did you hear? They dragged us into this world only to abandon us. Are we so terrible then? What could be wrong with us? I'm afraid." And she screamed her terror to the universe. Vince, for his part, was very quiet. He was too weak and tired from his birth struggle to help Valerie cry. But he sent his love, and she felt it and was comforted by it.
From time to time nurses came by, cleaned and fed them, and even sometimes held them and spoke to them kindly. It was something, but not much. Not enough. It was not love. Thank God they had each other. They could feel the pain in the other babies around them, could feel their hearts dying. The nurses seemed to think it was food that kept you alive, but they knew it was love, for even with each other's love they were starving. They needed to be touched, held by someone who cared. They needed to be wanted. Anything else was living death. And Valerie was worried about Vincent. He was still sending his love, but he was very quiet, and the nurses acted strange about him. He needed her strength. She could feel it. She could feel him fading, could feel his pain and confusion, and it tore at her heart. She had to get to him, to touch him with her love, to let him know he was wanted, by her, if by noone else. His crib was right next to hers, frustratingly close, but in her helpless state, worlds away. She tried everything she could think of. She waved her arms and feet wildly and screamed to the nurses to help her comfort Vince. They just ignored her or stuck something in her mouth. Then she tried telepathy. She picked one nurse and told her over and over: "Take me to Vince." To no avail. She tried another. They were apparently all quite dense. She was about to despair when she thought of Great Spirit. "Please, Great One, help me. Vincent is dying of loneliness and I can't reach him. Please, just help me touch him, to let him know he's ok. It's not just for him. I need it too. Even if it's just for a moment, won't you have pity on us?"
"SO BE IT," echoed in the quiet nursery, and a great light lifted Valerie from her crib and laid her next to Vincent. Snuggled together, they slept a deep and healing sleep, and when, next morning, the shocked nurse found them and separated them again, they knew that whatever happened, they would be alright.
Some things I'm grateful for today:
- a visit from Shannon
- woodchuck in my back yard
- old fables when I'm really lazy
- silly movies and Netflix
- cat toys
- the smell of white sage
HAVE A GREAT DAY!