The scream ripped through the silent sky in the middle of the night. It came from a big house by the lake. It belonged to a rich man, an obvious fact, as the estate that the house was in, was one of the largest of Oxfordshire. For hours and hours now she had been in labour. Since the twilight the beautiful woman had been struggling with the baby that so much longed to be inside her.
Her face, covered with sweat of the force she was making, looked anxiously around the room, waiting to see him by her side at any moment. Restlessly, she kept pushing and screaming trying to get the little baby out of her, by her side, her beloved golden monkey looked at her, giving her the strength to keep on.
"C'mon!" said one of the nurses that was helping her "just one more strong and final push!"
The last scream was so strong that Marisa felt all the air going out of her lungs. Suddenly, she could feel the baby getting out of her and a crying sound mixed with the rest of her scream. It was all done. She rested her head on the top of the pillows while one nurse cut the umbilical cord and other cleaned the newborn baby.
Despite all her force and her determination, the woman was simply exhausted. She could never tell how much time she spent there, waiting to know her recently born child. Closing her eyes, she could think in one thing, and one thing only, the father of the child, the man that made her feel something she had never imagined she could feel.
"Here she is. A healthy baby girl" said the nurse giving the small baby to Marisa.
Holding her small and helpless child, Marisa's heart beat faster than it was already beating. Her loving eyes looked at the child in her hands. She was the most beautiful thing Marisa had ever laid eyes upon, for her, that baby was even more beautiful than herself.
At the moment she held her daughter, the baby stopped crying, impressed by the gorgeous figure of her mother. The same blue eyes that shined at the elder also shined at the younger and both just stared at each other, frozen at that moment, there was no world anymore, there was just the petite girl in her arms. Marisa looked at the blond hair of her child admiring it, in love with the image of that little thing that looked so much like the only man she had ever really loved.
Out of nothing, something was happening on the baby and she had taken no notice! She continued to stare at the mother with that adorable and innocent smile. It was like the air that they breathed was gathering around the left chest of the baby and from there a small figure was forming. The golden monkey leaned forward to see what it was, for his human was so enchanted that would never notice what was happening. A baby animal appeared on the girl's chest. It opened the eyes slowly, like waking up just after a long and relaxed sleep, and looked at the monkey. At that moment Asriel got in.
"Let me see her! Oh, she's the prettiest little thing!" He said looking at his lover. His daemon, a snow leopard was evidently happy and recently freed form a great anxiety, she was running up and down the room, as for celebrate.
"She is so petite! So… adorable!" said Marisa, with the voice so full of emotion that the child's father thought that for the first time ever, a person would see the beautiful, yet proud, woman cry.
"What will her name be?" He asked.
"Lyra… " Marisa said and completed after seeing the interrogation in Asriel's face "Her name will be Lyra. It comes from the Latin word lyre that was considered to evoke images of gentle music and harmony… It just… suits her." she sighed smiling.
"Lyra it is then. A special name for a special girl" stated the man
"My Lyra Belacqua. Yes, it sounds good." Marisa would never admit to Asriel, but just by looking at her daughter's eyes she already felt peaceful, like the world was that room only and that the centre of it was the little baby that smiled as if she understood what her parents were talking about and looked at her daemon.
"Pantalaimon" said the golden monkey to her and Marisa repeated to Asriel looking at her daughter's daemon, now on her neck.
Asriel kissed her, that warm kiss that had always made her go crazy and led to that moment.
"Both names are equally beautiful." He said.
Mother and father admired their daughter for another moment, none of them was in any condition to think about their actual lives and how many problems could that little baby bring to them both. Their happiness transcended any boundaries that existed not only in the world, but in the universe, in every universe that had once existed or still would.
In that short moment of joy, they were a family. There was no problem they couldn't solve; there was no problem they couldn't go through, together. Not only Marisa, but Asriel also knew that was the right thing to do, for it just felt right. They looked deep into each other's eyes before sharing a passionate kiss, a kiss that both would later remember as the best of their lives.
"We couldn't want nothing better than this little girl!" said he, delight in every atom of his body. One more look and he left, to go find Thorold, his manservant. After so many hours, Marisa ought to be hungry.
And she just stared at her daughter, who was nearly falling asleep in her arms, with the name Lyra Belacqua in the back of her mind. Her sweet smile soon began to fade, only then noticing the unfortunate but genuine facts. The girl had her eyes, alright, but had her father's hair and face.
It sure would be great to have a family with Asriel, but she still had a husband in London, she still had a life there. And what Asriel would give her? Just love and money? She wanted more. She wanted power, the kind of power that she could have with Edward, but never would with Asriel. She couldn't stay there and she couldn't go back with that child. She needed to invent some excuse, something that her husband would never question her about… The baby had been born dead, yes, it was perfect.
But… How could she leave that adorable baby girl? It was simple: she could not.