She wasn't male, she was far from the fair, strapping son that Melena had honestly been expecting, but at least mother's intuition had scored itself one point - she was a singing child.

Each morning, Melena would arise to find sharp little Elphaba humming to herself on the front steps, every so often adding words into the mix. Out of polite ritual more than anything else, she would pad outside for a few seconds, shielding her eyes from the early morning sun as she peered down at the strange creature she'd finally started to think of as 'daughter'.

"What're you doing, honey?" she would sometimes ask, trying to be motherly because at least this one wasn't screaming for her attention day in and day out; at least this one had all its limbs, even if they weren't colored as normally as they should have been. Always, the answer was the same, Elphaba never breaking her gaze from the bleak marshes.


The reply made as much sense as anything about Elphaba ever did. Why the teeth? Why the green? Why did she never seem to put on any weight, no matter how much they tried to feed her up? And, most startlingly, how was it that such a dull and unimaginative little thing was able to compose such charming melodies - never the same one twice? She wasn't merely parroting, because no music played in their small hovel to start with. It was surely a gift; a sign from above that something, somewhere, had gone right after all.

Morning after morning, Melena would peer along Elphaba's sightline, shaking her head because there was nothing there to see, let alone watch. Without any further conversation, she would return inside, settling down in the kitchen where Elphaba's little songs would trickle in through the open window. Only when nobody was watching would Elphaba break from the humming and actually sing, even though Melena knew the girl was probably aware of her presence.

With a yawn, she folded her hands across her inflated belly, reclining peacefully. This one, heaven help her, had better be a boy. He would be male, he would be white, and everything that was meant to be there would be, and in its rightful place.

But he wouldn't sing, and strangely, the thought made Melena smile to herself. The son would make her content - but the daughter would make her proud.