"Breath Namika! Breath! We practiced this! In, out. In, out. In, out-"
"Fujita, shut up!" Namika shouts at her doting husband. "You're not pushing out a baby! I can breath however I want- AAIIIEEEE!"
Fujita hurriedly moves to his pregnant wife's side and tenderly takes her hand. "Namika! Its going to be alright! Just hang in there, it'll be over soon."
"I said shut up!" She roars back.
"Come on now, you're doing great. Just one more big push and it will be over." The doctor's calm voice does very little to sooth either of the parents to be.
"Okay. Okay, one more. I can do one more." Namika inhales deeply and her face scrunches up in painful effort.
"You can do it love. We'll be parents soon! Just one more-"
"AAIIIEEE!" Namika crushes her husband's hand and with her last push a new life is brought into the world.
"How wonderful! It's a baby boy!" The doctor happily tells the new parents.
Then the doctor stills. The room is eerily quiet, the only sounds are coming from Namika's labored breathing.
"Doctor? What's wrong?" Namika asks.
She doesn't get an answer. The doctor is staring intently at the child, moving him around and observing everything she can about him.
"Fujita? Is our baby... is..."
"I... I don't know." Fujita says in a broken voice. "Doctor? Is my son okay?"
The doctor still doesn't respond. She's fascinated by the newborn, there's wonder in her eyes.
"Doctor!" Fujita roars out. "Tell us how our child is! Now!"
"Sorry! I am so sorry! Your child is fine, a healthy baby boy. It's just..." The doctor trails off.
"What?" Namika lividly replies. She's had a very difficult day and the doctor is not helping.
"Oh nothing major. It's just in all of the births I've helped with I've never had a child born that doesn't make a sound. Usually they're screaming and crying, it's a challenging affair the whole thing."
Both of the new parents visibly relax in relief. Their baby is fine.
"Would you like to hold your son?" The doctor asks Namika.
"Of course." Namika eagerly replies. She lovingly takes her son from the doctor. "Hello there little one. Look how cute you are! You're beautiful. Our beautiful baby boy."
"Our beautiful baby boy." Fujita is looking over Namika's shoulder. "We never did decide on a boy's name. You were so confident the baby was going to be a girl!"
Namika let's out a happy laugh. "I suppose my mother's intuition hasn't kicked in yet. I've always been fond of the name Alvarcus."
"Alvarcus? Wasn't that the name of your grandfather?"
"Yes, it was. He was a wonderful man."
"I'm sure our son will live up to his namesake. Alvarcus it is!" Fujita says with a ridiculously happy smile on his face. "Can I hold him now?"
"Five more minutes."
I had loving parents. I had caring friends. I had a decent job. I had a nice car.
I lost it all.
Honestly I don't remember what happened. All I have is sense of falling forever and pure terror. Then splat, followed by endless black. Timeless endless black.
I think I died.
If I did die, then the afterlife wasn't all it was cracked up to be. Nothing to do, nothing to see, and no one to talk to. I truly wondered if I was going to go insane. Lack of input of any kind will do that to you. It's a void, the absence of everything.
Then everything changed, I was pulled from the void.
There was warmth. After not feeling anything for eons I was startled. I was scared. This void wasn't supposed to change. I have been there for so long that the change was... unwelcome. But it did not go away, it never went away.
It wasn't the only change. Eventually I noticed something: I could move. But I was trapped, confined. My strange prison only had a few centimeters of wiggle room. If I strained my ears, sometimes I could catch a fleeting noise.
I was okay with that. After being stuck in whatever the previous place of nothing was I was content. Even this little change was oddly comforting and terrifying at the same time.
Eventually it became too tight, too constricting. All of a sudden the whole universe imploded. I was being crushed! For hours I was being crushed and shoved around in my strange prison. But that too ended.
Suddenly there was light. There was sound. There was everything I lost! Maybe I was in a coma, not dead? That would explain the long time of nothing I experienced. Am I just waking up? I don't know, my eyes aren't working right. They won't open.
Then the world moved. Correction, I moved. I was moved by something. Something big, something loud. It was terrifying, absolutely mind boggling terrifying. I didn't make a noise. Don't move, don't blink, don't scream, don't do anything and maybe the thing moving me will go away.
There was noise, strange noise. It sounded like someone talking at an insane volume but I didn't know the words. Maybe some foreign language? Oh God am I going to die?! I don't want to die!
My panic attack was interrupted by the same noise. More urgent noise. Almost desperate, as if the speaker was under stress. After a pregnant pause the thing holding me captive responded. A rumble shook my body.
How big is the thing holding me? To cause a noise loud enough to make me shake from the sound alone? That is some serious volume. Strangely, no matter how loud the creature spoke or how long it talked for, the sound didn't hurt my ears. There are three distinct rumbles. It is very concerning, there are more creatures than I expected.
Then I was moved again. The thing holding me gave me to one of the others. They held me carefully, almost unsure for a moment, then with confidence. This creature isn't holding me, it's cradling me.
I finally manage to get my eyes open for the first time in forever. My sight is blurry, but what I want to see isn't far away. It's right in front of my face.
What I saw confused me. It wasn't a creature, it wasn't even an alien, it wasn't a freakish monster. Hell it wasn't even strange.
It was a face, a human face. Dark brown hair, pretty blue eyes, and a caring wondrous expression. She, yes she, is shockingly human. After feeling her strangely pleasant rumble a few times, I was handed off to another person.
Once his face came into focus I became very confused. He has dark blue hair. Dark. Blue. Hair. That is not normal. Dye perhaps? Either way it looks nice on him. His black eyes should be concerning, but his whole face shows elation. He is ridiculously happy to see me. His voice rumble was deep, a good strong voice. It makes me want to relax, it makes me feel safe.
Why does his voice make me feel that way? Why am I being passed around by giants? Why do I feel so weak, so small? Why can't I do anything?
What the hell is going on?