In Another Life by planet p
Disclaimer I don't own the Pretender or any of its characters.
It is said that all things started in the ocean. And it is said that it is often the end which mirrors the beginning. So, at the beginning of the end, I returned to the ocean. But even this, then, at the end, was only another beginning.
Let me explain. You have only known me for a short period of time, at the end days of my life, but my life did not begin then, at the moment you first saw me, and knew me, a name, a voice, perhaps, no it was long before then, when you did not know me, and I did not know myself nearly as well.
I start a new life, now, as you read. I am born, and taken home from the hospital in the arms and love of my mother and father. You see, now I am new again, and though I do not remember who I was before, or what transpired then, you, now, are the ones who know something I do not, and no longer the other way round.
I am born at a junction, between an end and a beginning, again. The end of a company, and the beginning of a life, not only my own, but many more still. I am born beside the ocean, and I believe that it will be my constant companion, it's ebb and tide a constant lullaby, reminding me of what you already know, but I cannot yet, but, perhaps, will come to one day also believe.
My mother does not stop smiling, when I am born, for many days; even when the days become weeks, she is still smiling. My father, on the other hand, does not smile. I think he is upset, very upset. He's not upset with my mother, he's upset with himself. And though he's not upset at me, he's upset that he has been half of the cause of me. He's not ready for a child, but here I am, and I am always, always screaming, and he likes screaming so very little. He cannot help it, when I start to scream, that he reaches his hands up to cover his ears and block out the screaming, and then pretends that he doesn't hear me, or see me, or know of me in any way. The screaming is too much; it is unbearable to him.
My mother has a million smiles for me, and a million for my father, but he does not see them. He is well, now; as well as he will ever be, he thinks, but he is not the same person anymore, not the person he was when I was first conceived. Now, that person is gone, and he is left in his place, and he does not notice smiles, nor does he care for them, either. Before, when he'd been that other person, he thought, then, that a smile would be like the sun coming out, just for a moment, that it would light up his whole world, and make it warm again, but it's not like that at all, and he is very angry, and so very upset. Why is it not like that? he wonders. He has not won, he thinks, instead, again, he has lost. Not again!
Sometimes, he holds his hands tightly over his ears, and just watches me screaming, and tries to imagine me kindly, without the loud noise. He stares at me for so long, but it never works.
My mother used to work for the company, and the company owned my father. My father is upset with my mother, in a way, for allowing the company to keep him. He tries not to be, because, later, when he became her patient, she always looked after him, but sometimes he is inconsolably angry about all of it, about everything that happened to him in that awful place. Now that the company is gone, my mother has changed her name back to the name she was given at birth. My father does not like it. To his mind, my mother is not that person anymore. To his mind, that person died a long time ago, when my mother was just a child.
My father has a half brother, whom he visits. My uncle is a teacher, and younger than my father. Most of the time, my father doesn't know what to say to him, so they just sit there, saying nothing, or very little, until it is time to go. When my mother comes, she is all talk. She talks a lot to my uncle's father, who also worked for the company. My mother was a psychiatrist at the company, and my uncle's father was also. They can always talk about psychology, if they having nothing else to talk about.
My father had a half sister, too, but she was taken away, and he's not heard from her since. A friend said she'd died, but my father isn't sure. He'd like to think not, but most of the time he concedes defeat. Once, he would have been able to feel something, but now it's stopped working; ever since he changed.
My father sometimes wishes he was not so angry, because it makes him scared. He is scared he will hurt my mother, or me, or someone else he cares about. One night, he is so angry that something happens to him, and he changes, and my mother is so scared, she doesn't even move. She holds on to me, and becomes like rock, like the great boulders of my former life, though she isn't all that big, she's bigger than me, and for once, I don't scream.
My mother stops breathing, and I can feel her heartbeat, racing away from me. My father leaves, then, but my mother has become a stone, and she doesn't remember that she was a person first. When she remembers, she stands with me in her arms, and pretends like nothing has happened, but she doesn't smile, and she leaves the door open, in case my father comes home in the night.
I know she loves him, then, because she doesn't want to believe that he will hurt us, and tonight she loves him more, because, even though he could have, he didn't hurt us, and, to her, she believes it is because he loves us as much as we love him. I'm not sure that I love him, but he's my father, so I suppose maybe I do, just out of principle, out of not knowing any different, and because it's my right, because I shouldn't have to not love him.
I am two years old by this point, and I wonder if everything will be alright in the morning. As I am trying to sleep, I remember that my father's friend is visiting then. My mother doesn't cry when she goes to bed, she doesn't want it to be a bad omen, and I can sleep and dream that everything will end up fine tomorrow. Magic is the night's work, and I am sure my mother is right, I am sure then that, in the morning, everything will be back to normal.
The idea is that Ocee is reborn as a boy named Remus, and that his parents are Faith and Timmy, and that the Center has been shut down. Thanks for reading, despite tremendous lameness.