And I pass through a tunnel. The darkness grips me with a sudden fear. But it wasn’t for long. I reach the other end which is still darker. I am now confined to a body. But my lady angel tells me that I have freedom for ten more months to navigate in and out of the womb.
In the first few days, I watch the new, quiet family from near a lamp shade in their room. None seem to recognize my presence. A little girl, at times gives me a glance when she is in the room though she doesn’t seem to be interested in knowing me more.
The lady who seems to be ever-irritated carries a junk of thoughts in her head. Before I can follow one of her thoughts, ten more get jumbled into it, so I refrain from venturing into her mind. Sometimes, when she begins screaming, I quickly get into her tummy to feel safe. The man is addicted to his laptop for most part of the day. His head is pre-occupied with meetings and power point presentations, not a good place to dwell in, you see. The care-taker girl does dual roles of taking care of the little girl, in the presence of the lady and the man at home, and being a fantasy girl friend to her beloved over the phone when they are away.
The lady is at the hospital today. The doctor confirms my presence in her. She seems to be relieved because she wants to get rid of her duty of begetting the second child before her next promotion is up. She immediately texts the man and he replies with a smiley.
It is four months since I slid into the tunnel and my angel tells me to feel the connection with my mother, father and sister instead of considering them as lady, man and the little girl. And I slowly begin to feel the connection.
For the first time, mom places her hand on the tummy and she is over-joyed at the little kick I gave her while turning around. She immediately calls out to my sister, Emma who barges her ear into her belly button to hear me again. And for the first time, I feel the excitement in them towards my being.
Dad returns from work. Emma gives him a hug and excitedly announces the gifts she received for her third birthday. She is specifically fond of the animal puzzle and asks him if they can solve it together. He is no mood for a play and plainly refuses it. Sadly, Emma walks to her mom who is busy drying the clothes from the washing machine onto the hangers, constantly muttering to herself how burdened she is all the time with house chores. Emma understands her mood and sadly walks into the room.
For the first time, Emma twinkled at me today. She sends me a non-verbal request to play with her puzzle. I giver her directions and she animatedly fixes all the 24 pieces. She drags dad to show him the solved puzzle. Though he is a little surprised at first, he gives a gentle pat on her back and slides into his thought processes about tomorrow’s meeting.
Annie, the care-taker girl comes out of her bath. She literally pours the cooked food on to Emma’s plate and informs her to have her dinner. Emma is engrossed in watching Dora and the food lies at the table, as always. When she hears mom’s car in the parking lot, Annie hurriedly throws the plate contents into the dustbin. For another day, Emma goes to bed without food.
It’s a weekend. Emma is happy that she will be taken out. It is exciting to go to the toy shops with mom, dad and Emma. Emma gets five new board books and a Barbie play set. Mom buys some new sets of infant stuff for me. For some reason, I feel moved today. She is constantly nagged with loads of work at home and office. For most of the time, she feels guilty in not spending time with Emma and she isn’t happy with Annie either. But they have home loan and car loan EMIs for which she cannot dare to quit her job. Amidst her stressed lifestyle, she plans for my arrival, during weekends. I think she loves me.
Good news! Annie is away for vacation and our grandparents will be with us for a week. For the first time, in the last seven months since my crossing over, Emma, mom and dad have good food. The love, care and warmth I feel from them is unexplainable. I wish they stay here forever but mom wouldn’t like her mother-in-law meddling with her family life for long.
Emma opens one of her new books on sea animals. She takes a sad look at her parents as they don’t seem to take their eyes off from their laptops. She suddenly spots me looking at her and runs to her room in joy. We discuss the sea creatures, we relate the Octopus and Sea horse pictures to the cartoon we watched earlier that day and we she falls asleep with the book on her chest.
As I watch Mom, dad and Emma sleeping, I think of how my future life at this home will be. Perhaps, I will yearn for my parents’ attention as Emma does now. Perhaps, Emma will replace their absence. Perhaps, I will remain unfed by Annie. It’s almost nine months now. My lady angel warns me not to stay out of the womb for long from now on. For one last time, I share my sadness to my angel:
“Am I going to be alright here?”
She gives me a warm touch. “That’s why you are summoned here. Soon after your birth, a huge catastrophe in the family will make your mother leave her job. In sometime, when things get settled, she will be the best mother ever to both of you. This is the first step in your lifetime towards creating peace. I will go now and you shall soon be joined by another one like me.”
We are at the hospital. The last voices I faintly hear are “Baby boy”, “3 Kilos”, “Congratulations”.
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