I dived far. The waters blue edge swirled around my body. It was soothing on my skin. I kept diving deeper. My eyes were open, the water didn’t sting. My fever was gone. I felt my body healing, the bruises and cuts getting closed up. I kept diving. My oxygen was gone, I was holding my last breathe, my chest seized up, it felt like I was in a iron vice wrapped around my ribs. But, I felt free. Let this be it then, after all these years, me dying in this somber pool overlooked by the strange little blonde girl with the hour-glass eyes. I dove deeper.
My lungs burned. I dove, forced my legs to kick. They didn’t want to, my mind screamed for me to get back up, but I knew, it was too late, I had gone further down then I had the air to make it back up. Suicide by drowning, I had never heard of that before.
“chirp-That’s because no one is dumb enough to do it.-chirp,”
“Chirpy! You made it!” I said in my mind.
“chirp-Well, I knew it would come to this eventually. After all this time, and all the ghost and whispers, now you’re finally hallucinating about your ole pal Chirpster. Stick a fork in yah kid, you are done.-chirp.”
“Those are you last words to me? No s2age advice about crossing to the other side?”
“Sweetheart, he’s a robot, what would he have to tell you?” Lora.
“So you are alive?”
“You are dead?”
The final vessel of blood in my heart burst. I knew deep down that she was gone, but to hear her say it.
“Death is just the beginning lover. You’ll see.”
I kept diving. How, I still couldn’t tell you. The voices in my head were strong, but there was an intuition telling me to just keep going.
“You left us.”
Bella-Is. My wife.
“We were never legally separated or divorced.”
“I’m in a space ship, ten light years away with your daughters. I’d say that counts as a divorce.”
“You left me, remember?”
“You were mad. The nightmares at night, screaming into your pillows? The terrors you gave the girls? The violence.”
“I never hit you.”
“Not physically. But emotionally, verbally, yes you did.”
That stung. That stings. She always did know how to twist the knife.
“Zildjan, remember that night? With Gabe?”
I don’t want to talk about that.
“Why? Because you can still hear him? Dying, screaming for help?”
He betrayed us, our unit, we were like family.
“God. That is your problem, you never knew who your family really was. The X-terminators were never your family. We were your family. When you killed Gabe, you lost something, maybe everything.”
I didn’t kill him. He was a sympathizer, a Black Tartari, helping those who would do us harm. He betrayed his brothers in arms by double dealing behind our backs, through the Phagans in the Argos.
“Wow, so many excuses. You tied him up, four corners style, and you gutted him in the public common, and watched as the others took turns holding the ropes, keeping him up-right on his knees as his intestines drip-dried around him in a puddle of his own blood.”
It wasn’t me.
“You picked up his blood and poured it over his head. To drown him in it.”
He had to understand that was how he made us all feel. Helpless, foolish, weak.
“Then you and your commandoes torched him, to ashes.”
“You couldn’t sleep after that. You were never the same.”
And you could never understand. What we did, we did for the common good. For you. For the girls, for all of them.
“Then why stay Zildjan? When it was time to leave, you could have come with us. You knew we couldn’t stay, not on that planet. Not with the girls.”
That planet, as you call it, is our home. You don’t know what is out there, in space.
“I do. I do know what is out there, it’s what we all want but can never have if we stayed on Earth.”
Yeah? And what’s that?
“A future, for our kids.”
Drowning is an odd sensation, peaceful yet violent. Life is funny that way too. A tiny bubble escaped my lungs. My last breath.