The Last Morning

It’s strange to wake up in the morning and know that it’s the last time you’ll ever do that.

Bianca White slid her slender legs out from under the cover and slipped her feet into the waiting slippers. Not one to wait for dreams to fall away she pulled herself upright with the muscles of stomach and stood. The neighbours could wait until she’d had her shower before they were treated to a sight of her heavenly body. It was a particular thrill she’d looked forward to for all the later years of her teenage life: the one where she swished the curtains aside at precisely seven-thirty am and nonchalantly flashed Mr and Mrs Morris across the road. For their part, they always managed to look shocked and yet still conspired to be there, half-hidden by the net-curtains of their downstairs window.

There was enough light for Bianca to make a right and bunny-slipper her way through her tastefully-decorated bedroom to the en-suite. She felt that she could do it with her eyes closed and sometimes, just for the heck of it, she did. Every now and again she spent the first hour of her mornings with her eyes tremblingly closed. Peeing was easy: you don’t need eyes to do that. Similarly, popping on her fluffy dressing-gown was a piece of pumpkin-pie. Trickier was getting down the stairs, but so long as she held onto the bannister then she was alright. Naturally, tea was easier than coffee if it was proper coffee you were after, but instant was good enough for Bianca’s unsophisticated taste-buds and so that’s what she sipped as she sat at the kitchen table this morning, waiting for that certain feeling to come over her; the one that told her to head back to the loo.

The appointment was at ten am and so she had loads of time to potter around the house after she’d dressed. She even had time to think about calling her mom and dad. She could just imagine the conversation.

‘Hi, Mom, it’s me: Bee.’ She’d been Bee ever since she’d known herself. Seemed that no-one could manage to push on to the end of her name and so that’s what she was stuck with. Still, one syllable out of three wasn’t too bad for them-as-what-lived-on-council-estates and she didn’t really mind. Not really really. And that was nothing to do with why she’d moved away as soon as she’d been able to. As soon as her money starting coming though.

‘I’ll put your father on.’ Her mother hadn’t talked to her since Bianca had announced her decision six months before. Mrs White senior was old-school. She just didn’t believe in that sort of thing. And she’d made herself abundantly clear the last time they spoke, if you can call an out-and-out slanging-match talking. Still, at least her old dad understood. Or at least he said he did. Bianca had her doubts. Where she was going was not something many people could get their heads around.

‘Hello, Flower, how’s it going, Precious.’ He never could get why she laughed when he called her that. Probably thought she liked it. Probably never even knew what a Gollum was, much less a Hobbit. Still, he was nice enough despite his lack of connection to the real world of fiction.

‘Hi, Dad. Good thanks.’

Then there’d be a silence that both of them knew how to break, but neither of them could. He would know that today was the date. His wife would have reminded him; would have told him to tell her not to do it; would have made his life the misery that hers already was. They didn’t have any other children left. Bianca was the last one. So, no; she wouldn’t call. She just couldn’t.

By the time ten came around Bianca was ready. In her short life she’d experienced enough memories to fill a dozen novels and it was these that she sifted through as she stood in the lift waiting for the doors to open at precisely five minutes to ten. Her mother had always taught her to be punctual and she saw no reason to change now.

He was waiting for her as the lift doors slid silently open, a smile on his, just-slightly-too-handsome face. ‘Hello, Bianca.’

‘Hello, Doc.’

They walked to his office. Bianca knew the way and was not shy about leading. Not ashamed of her body and they way her ass swayed as she walked in front of the doctor. He, for his part, knew what she was doing. A little bit of teasing never hurt, especially where she was going.

‘So, you know I have to ask you one more time, Bianca,’ the doctor said after they had settled down in his office. ‘Do you still want to go through with this?’

A simple question but with so much depth to it. Bianca was sure of what she would do, but she played the game for the doc. She closed her eyes and reviewed her life here. Eighteen years of love from her parents. Six months of consideration when her independence began and her window opened. And now – a future to choose. Either the smooth path her parent took, or the jump her siblings made. One was certain, the other was a gamble. Both fulfilling in their own way, but once she had chosen, there was no chance of backing out.

She opened her eyes and sealed her fate with a word: ‘Outside.’

The doctor nodded. His memory spanned many thousands of these decision. In or out. Each option carefully considered as Bianca’s had been. He had made the same choice himself many years before and so knew something of the maelstrom of feelings behind Bianca’s calm eyes and untroubled forehead.

‘Right, let’s get you set up then.’ He smiled at his words. There was nothing to set up. Nothing to do in fact. No comfortable couch for her to lie on. No special clothing. No drugs or mechanisms on this side. Not even a button to press. The system knew that the decision had been taken and set invisible wheels in motion. They had a bare seconds to exchange a smile and then she was gone. He sighed, but not sadly, and sent what passed for a prayer to follow Bianca along her path.

She didn’t wake when the first breath of warmth touched her naked, two-thousand and eight year old skin as the hatch lifted. She didn’t stir as they pulled the tube from her throat with a slippery jerk. Her eye rolled slightly behind her closed eyelids when they injected the stimulant that caused her to suck in her first breath in almost two thousand years. but when he called her name, her eyes sprang open and she knew where she was. Outside.

It took a while to warm her. But they were kind and let her take her time. Each of the welcomers knew what she was experiencing. They had set off at the same time as she had. The others had been here many years and many generations. But the newly awakened always began in the company of those they knew. It was easier that way.

It was only after she’d dressed, in plainer clothes than she’d known on the inside, and they’d led her out of the hibernation-chamber, though the corridors and down the ramp that she was able to look back on the vast wreck of the seed-ship that had kept her alive for the past thousands of years. Waiting patiently for her to be ready. To take her place.

‘She never fly again,’ she murmured. And those around her knew the strange mixture of regret and joy she was feeling. She felt their hands touch her. Comforting her as you would a scared animal. She straightened her shoulders and turned then to face the angry-seeming red horizon before her.

A brave life awaited her and with it, a chance to help this new world live up to their best dreams this time.

13 thoughts on “The Last Morning

  1. Certainly some ideas travel on waves not of water, perhaps of sound. I smiled reading this beautiful text of yours because ten days ago I gave life to the alter ego of this page of yours (but I am on summer break and will publish it in September). Ciao!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a beautiful story! Thanks for sharing that, Donna.
    There are very few things wrong with the translation. One is the word “attended”, which is a bit ambiguous. Do you mean that you loved there or you worked there? Or perhaps you meant to be ambiguous? ๐Ÿ™‚
    Another strange translation is “took on” as in “they took on two turkeys and three cats”. It’s good English, but a weird slang phrase that leads me to wonder if it’s accurate.
    But, yeah – great story. Very illustrative of your nervousness around snakes. ๐Ÿ
    Good luck with the translation on your blog. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Like

  3. Pingback: Aw Gosh | Robert C Day

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