Ready to Bur7t
I’m back from the pool party. Pops is huge–but at least the baby wasn’t born while I was gone. I was a little bit worried.
Pops looks about ready to burst.
“Thanks for waiting, Pops!” I told him when I got home. “I’d hate to miss the big event.”
“I just want it over with, son,” he said.
He seems pretty uncomfortable.
“Maybe some dancing will help,” I suggested to him the next morning. It’s what we always do when we wait.
He seemed to feel a little better once we started moving, and we fell into a quiet, lazy rhythm. I was glad we didn’t talk. I have so much to process. Dancing helps with that, too.
It’s odd to think that I completed my gestation without anyone having to experience birthing pains. I guess the bizaabgotojo simply reached into the gestation pod and pulled me out.
I can’t believe I met her birth-daughter. Whisper must have been born through pain, like all natural-born babies.
I hope I didn’t make a mistake in what I told Whisper. I would have liked her not to know about bizoobi and slaves. I’m glad she knows that her mother was a hero, but I don’t want any of us to know the truth of the world we came from.
Somehow, they all seem to know, even if their knowledge only leaves them with questions.
I met so many of my siblings, and each one had so many questions.
Whisper needed to know if she’d been born free. Of course she had. Her experience coming here is so different than mine: She lost wide meadows. She lost her mother, lost her father. She lost belonging to the strong and brave community.
What did I lose? Nothing. I only gained.
I feel guilty–I can’t help it. To free me and the others, Whisper’s mother lost her life. She was our bizaabgotojo–but she was Whisper’s mother.
Nothing is worth another’s life. I would have given up mine, if given the choice, for our bizaabgotjo‘s. I wish I could let Whisper know that.
Then there was Paxilla–such a funny pabyu rabbit–she wanted to know why she didn’t sing, like the rest of us. If you’re not lonely, you don’t need to sing, I told her. I’m not sure she bought it.
Then, my own pagoto. Somehow, we are brothers. I mean, I’m the bagoto to all the pagotogo, but Pabatuotuo, we share a cellular connection. We belong. We’re kin.
He taught me so much. He remembers things, from our origin, I am guessing. Everything surrounding him is filled with mystery for me, except for the feeling of belonging: inna-inna. I feel that in every molecule of every cell.
He has so many questions, and I have so few answers.
I thought back on my conversation with Anakin.
I had felt his presence strongly before he approached. He was reaching out to me.
“Can I ask you something?” he said.
“Of course, Anakin.”
“Do you have to hide away too?”
“Hide? You mean like in a disguise? No. I’m always like this. We live in a friendly community, and we know almost everyone. We don’t leave our neighborhood often, though.”
“My daddy says we have to hide from the people in our neighborhood,” Anakin said, “because it’s too dangerous for us to go out. We have to keep secrets. My little sisters are secrets, but I don’t know why?”
“That must be tough,” I replied. “You can trust your dad, though. I’m sure he’s doing what needs to be done to keep you safe.”
“I don’t like keeping secrets…”
“I don’t either. You know, you and I, we’re gotogo. And you don’t have to keep secrets from your goto. So, you can tell me anything, and it will be safe with me. You can write me or you can inside-talk. Whatever you want.”
“My friend Amber is like us, too,” he continued, “but Dad took us away and says we’ll never see them again coz something happened at out apartment and the bad people are coming to take us away. Who are the bad people and why do they want to take us? Are they going to hurt us?”
I had to take a moment in quiet. I tuned in, as best as I could.
“So,” I began, “there are a lot of scary things in the world. A lot of dangers. And yes, there are people who want to harm others. There are also a lot of really good people, all over the universe, who are brave and kind and who protect themselves and other people. It sounds like your dad is one of these good people, and he’s protecting you kids. I don’t know why anyone would want to take you. There are battles going on, and there are lots of warriors who are fighting the good fight. They fight it with love and with being brave. So even if you feel afraid, you can feel OK at the same time, because of warriors and good people like your dad who are working to keep you safe.”
“My daddy won’t talk about it, but I can see our friend did something to make him angry,” Anakin said. “My friend Amber. I need to keep her safe but she can’t do inside-talk when we are far away. What should I do?”
I felt a shiver when he said Amber’s name. “Amber’s one of us, right? She came over with us. I don’t know about the danger that Amber is in now, but I know that she is free. She wasn’t free before we left. She is one of those that our bizaabgotojo saved. Amber is very brave. It’s OK, Anakin. You will see her again, and when you do, you can tell her everything that you hold in your hearts.”
“I’m really scared.”
“Being brave doesn’t mean that you don’t feel scared. It means that you continue on, even when you feel scared. You’ve got a dad who loves you and who is doing things to keep you safe. You’ll see Amber again–I’m sure of it. And I’m always around. I have to do some training for a while, so I might not be singing as much, but I will always be listening, so you can call me anytime. And you can write, OK, Anakin?”
“You had a good time then, son?” Pops asked. “I was worried it might be too much. Overwhelming, you know, meeting so many at once.”
“It was too much, Pops. Way, way too much. And it was very overwhelming. But it was also what I had to do. I’m a big brother, right, Pops? And big brothers have to be there, ready to answer any questions that come their way!”
Pops told me he thought I might be putting too much pressure on myself.
“Brothers don’t need to know everything,” he said.
I told him I knew that, but we had to try. We had to be available. That’s what brothers are for.
I felt my new little brother stir inside of him. He’s going to be ready to come out soon!
“Oh, he’s got a big question, Pops!” I said. Pops thought I was joking, but I really could feel the little guy inquiring. “He wants to know what his name is.”
“Oh, God!” groaned Pops. “I haven’t even thought of a name!”
I laughed. Pops said he thought Xirra and her people would want to name him. I felt pretty sure that, even if they did, we could name him, too. After all, I’ve got two names.
“I know what we should call him, Pops.” It wasn’t spur of the moment. I’d been thinking of it all along.
“What’s that?” Pops asked.
Of course Pops loved it. It’s the obvious name: Octavius Sevens. Eight sevens: 56 – Judi.
That’s a perfect name.
After Pops went to sleep, I took my calculus book out to the park so I could read under the broad sky. Once that baby arrives, and I think the big day will be tomorrow, who knows when I’ll get another chance to study?
The lesson was on the volume of a cone. “A cross-section of a cone is a circle,” I read.
The volume of the cone is 0∫h A(x)dx = 0∫h π*[ r(h-x)/h]2 dx.
It’s beautiful. I knew then what the first step in my training would be. I had to be able to perceive a cone around me, forming a boundary between my energy–my emotional, physical, intellectual, and spiritual energy–and the rest of the universe. I wouldn’t always need the cone–sometimes, I could let my energy fly. But for those times when I needed to protect myself or others, when I needed to keep my emotions private, that cone would do. It was a first step–a baby step–but it’s time had come, and I was ready.
Author’s Note: Many, many thanks to AllySim for hosting the pool party and featuring it in her story, Alienated! It’s so much work to have guest Sims over–and to co-write with guest writers–and Ally handled this with such warmth, talent, and grace! The photos of Sept and Anakin at the pool party were taken by Ally. Thank you! (She even posted her chapters ahead of schedule because I was so excited to post these chapters! Thank you! Thank you!)
The conversation with Anakin was co-written with Charliimai, who wrote Anakin’s portion. You can catch up with Anakin, his dad, and his friend Amber over at Sapphire and Amber.
Keep following Meggles’ The Xilla Project and Ny’s Whisper to find out Xilla and Whisper’s experiences at the party, which will be featured in upcoming chapters of theirs. We all had a great time. 🙂 Squeegee!