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Monday, December 9, 2013

Metallic Heart II - Chapter 13

 Guided by emotion and not necessarily my thoughts…
I found myself staring into the small dingy jail cell where my biological mother, Frida Tamarind, spent the last few weeks of her life. 
Since the Human Rights movement, the police station and jail cells hadn’t had much use.  In fact, I was pretty sure that my mother was one of the last to occupy the cell where I was standing.
It was the first time I’d been there.  My adoptive mom, Ardis, never allowed me to visit before; not sure if I was emotionally prepared to deal with it.  But I was finally there and my eyes scanned the small space; the dirty, rusty toilet and wooden bench that my mother had to use as a bed…
And suddenly my own problems seemed so small.  It didn’t matter so much that the only reason why I’d been chosen to return to Earth was because my sperm donor wanted to meet me.  In fact, standing there I began to realize that I was being selfish, because my issues were nothing compared to what my mom went through.
My mother made the ultimate sacrifice; she gave her life, so that I would have the opportunity that I’d been given.  The thought that for a moment, I wanted to give up that opportunity almost made me sick to my stomach all over again…
…but it also gave me strength to face whatever it was that I’d face once I was back on Earth.  I could almost imagine my mother…there in her cell, giving me some of her strength. 
If she was able to face the persecution, humiliation and false accusations that she was dealt…I could face Dr.LB.
As I walked toward the door, leaving my mother’s cell, I pictured her smiling at me…
Happy to know that her sacrifice wasn’t in vain…
That she died so that I would have the opportunity to return to Earth…her birthplace.
I returned home and prepared myself for bed, but I couldn’t resist the urge to take yet another look at the Earth; noting that it seemed so different because I knew that I’d soon be placing my feet on it’s surface and filling my lungs with its air.
My mom arrived home soon after me; much later than usual.  Instead of going straight to her computer, she came up to my room.
“Where did you go today?”  She asked, no doubt wondering why I never returned to her office after I ran out.
“I went to the police station…to visit the cell where they kept her,” I answered; knowing that she’d know exactly who I was talking about.
“Are you okay?”  She asked.

I took a moment to survey how I was feeling.  “Yes…I think going there actually helped me, you know?”
“I should have taken you a long time ago.  I guess I avoided it for so long because of my own guilt…I often wonder if there was more that I could have done to save her,” mom said thoughtfully, staring straight ahead, as if she was just reflecting to herself out loud.
Finally she turned to face me,  “But how are you feeling about what I told you…about Dr.  LB being your biological father?”
I let out a long sigh to give myself time to compose an answer.  “I’m not sure I understand…is that the only reason I was chosen?”

“That is the thing Leah…you were not just chosen.  It was always going to be you…as soon as Dr. LB found out about you, he ordered Dr. Su to begin building the PR1.  It is the reason why Dr. Su wanted you to intern at the lab in the first place.”
“So you already knew about it…all of it?”

“Yes Leah.  As soon as Dr. Su took over the labs, he found medical records and lab notes detailing your mother’s insemination.  He was not sure what to make of the information and he consulted with me right away.”
I took some time to think over what mom was telling me; wondering why she and Dr. Su felt the need to keep it all from me. 
But strangely enough, that wasn’t what was bothering me the most about the whole situation. “I’m going to miss you mom,” I said; voicing what really troubled me.
Completely out of her character, mom grabbed me suddenly and pulled me close.  “I am going to miss you too Leah,” she whispered into my ear.
“Do you think I’ll ever come back here?”  I asked.

“I have a strong feeling that you will,” she said; her face full of hope.
My eyes filled with tears and I felt like a vulnerable seven year old again.  “But what if I’m not able to?  What if I never see you again?”
“Do not be sad Leah.  This is your dream…this is what you have wanted.  It is your destiny,” mom reminded me.

All of those nights I spent peeking through my telescope at the Earth; wishing and praying came back to me and I had no doubt that she was right.
“Get some sleep Leah.  You have a lot of work ahead of you these next few weeks,” mom said, before turning to leave.

Even though she was only leaving my room; I could imagine me leaving her for my flight to Earth and I couldn’t stop the tears from flowing.
Although she did not show it like I was, I knew that mom was feeling the same thing.
I forced myself to calm down and I wiped away all of my tears.
Mom was right…I was getting exactly what I’ve wanted.  My dream was coming true…only now I could finally see all of the things that I’d be forced to give up to realize it.



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