Her: chapter 4
"Is she ready?"
Words. I hear them, but I feel slow, like it takes me time to piece each one together before they form a sentence. I don't know who the voices belong to. I'm never here long enough to know, because they continueously fade in and out as the dark waters take me.
Something inside fears the thought of water flooding my lungs, but the wandering has never been that uncomfortable. It just swirls and divvys, full of bits of light from a past I can't seem to recall. I see faces that hold no significance, gestures that hold no meaning, words that tug at some part of me, unknown.
But there's something deep inside, something that tells me I should break free of the current; pull away; fight it, but if as much time has passed as it feels like, I haven't learned how to let go.
And sometimes, I'm too scared to try.
There is something bright above me. A piece of the sun, swaying on a string, shining in my eyes. The sight of it leaves imprints in the back of my skull. For a moment, I wonder if I'm dead. But 'dead' means something both familiar and foreign to me at the same time, like the meaning of it is wrong. I think I should fear it, but I don't. I feel familiar with it, like our paths have crossed more than once.
Then the sun disappears and the waves roll in once more.
I'm lying on something hard. Something cold. That thought sends a jolt through me, realizing that I can connect that word to what lies beneath my fingertips placed somewhere at my sides. And unlike all the other times I've probably been here before, this time seems different. The air feels somehow cleaner and it smells of antitheptic and paint. I grab onto it as hard as I can, hold tightly to this moment of not being submerged in shadow. Of having a sense of where my feet, arms, and head lie.
"Signs still stable, pique in blood pressure, but nothing too severe," a neutral voice informs me. "Shall I give her an adrenaline boost?"
"That won't be necessary," a female responds from somewhere close by. "She'll come to soon." As it turns out, Girl Voice is right and sometime later, I feel a sensation that prickles slowly through my fingers, breathing life where the trail of it falls down the base of my body and to my toes. I try to locate the mechanism to open my eyes, but then realize that all I have to do is think it and they do. Once again, I'm glaring up at the bit of sun above, but I have a word for it now. It's a bulb.
"Welcome back," that female voice says.
"Welcome back, Beatrice."