The endless white fields have turned to green. Flower blossoms cover the fruit trees that dot the yard.
As the rays of the sun peek over the edge of forever, Missy sees luminous light coming from inside these living flowers—unlike with the cut flowers way back in her hospital room or the ones she sees in the grocery store. The sun rises a little higher, illuminating the cobwebs in the tall grasses and causing the drips of dew to sparkle like jewels.
She absentmindedly pushes herself back and forth in the porch swing, mesmerized by the scene. A meadowlark sings.
Matt joins her on the porch.
“It’s not so bad here,” she smiles.
“Just have to wait until spring.”
“Yep. But I like winter, too. Just give me a season—I like ’em all.”
She moves from the swing to perch on the railing. “I saw the flowers in the neighbor’s yard. I might want to get something like that going.”
“Missy, you think you’ll be able to go back to work anytime soon? I mean, if yer fully up and running now, can you find some work to do? The insurance money is about to run out.”
“What would I do?”
“Anything. Most people around here—meaning on Earth—have to do something fer a living. You could go back to the feed barn, especially now that Charlie’s gone. The old Missy never liked it there.”
“Now you know why.”
“Why in creation would she have worked there, considering all he did to her?”
Missy had been thinking about that a great deal. “I think she stole from him, to try to make up for what he stole from her, and otherwise made his life miserable there,” she says.
“Yep, sounds like something Missy’d do.”
“Of course it didn’t work…in fact it had the opposite effect, as actions like that tend to do.”
Matt contemplates her words for a couple of minutes. “Well,” he finally says, “you gotta do somethin’. I mean, it’d be one thing if yer raising a family.”
“Maybe I can do that.”
He does a double take. “Missy never could.”
“I’m not Missy. Well, not entirely, anyway.”
“What’re you sayin’?”
She doesn’t answer, just smiles.
“Are you sayin’—” his voice breaks off.
“Yes, I’m saying that,” she says.
Matt looks out at the fields. “I don’t know what to say. I mean, what kind of being will it be?”
“It’ll be human. I’m in a human body. You’re human. Together that makes a human baby.”
“We haven’t done anything since that one time we actually did it.”
“We actually did it more than once, thank you for remembering so well. And it only takes once.”
“But the human body you’re in wasn’t able to make a baby.”
“Well, it can now. Things change.”
“I thought you were just gaining Missy’s old weight back,” he laughs, except not really. “Well, that’s really…great.”
His eyes tell a completely different story from his words. She thought he would’ve been much happier.
Doesn’t every human want to be a parent? Or at least most of them?
“You’re not happy. Didn’t you ever want to be a father?”
“I believe you. A quadrillion starbeings wouldn’t believe you, but I believe you,” she teases.
Matt examines his hands—something he loves to do when he doesn’t want to talk, she’s noticed over the months.
“I’ll take care of him or her,” she tells him. “You can go to Denver every weekend for all I care.”
“Well, I’ll need to get another job, maybe. We’ll see. You been to a doctor?”
“Well, that’s good, anyway.” He wanders off toward the stable.
Back in January she and Matt bought a new car with the insurance money, and he taught her to drive. She instantly picked it up, and he almost as quickly came to regret teaching her…because that meant she could go grocery shopping on her own.
On her first solo grocery-store trek, Missy meandered through the store, not wanting to put any of the food (fake, as she considered it) into her shopping cart. She Googled health-food store on her phone and found one…in the same town that has the siren’s coffee place. As she leaves the fake-food store, she again notices the tabloids shouting their bogus headlines. As before, she’s struck by the odd juxtaposition.
Selling lies with lying food. No wonder so many of them have indigestion.
Later that day Matt walked in to the kitchen to find her sipping a very goopy green…goop. “Missy, what the hell?”
“More like what the heaven. It’s spirulina, along with blueberries, cacao, flax milk, and some other things. Want some?” She took another sip of her delicious delight.
“Uhhhhh, no, that’s alright. Thanks anyway.”
She’d also taken herself to Starbucks and Matt spied the cup. “Why are you drinking goop after drinking yer million-calorie car’mul thing?”
“Why do you say car’mul when it’s spelled caramel? Why do you say Dor’thy when it’s spelled Dorothy and both are pronounced the way they’re spelled? Unlike a lot of this crazy language. Let alone t’al for towel. And not to mention syrup is two syllables, not s’urp. And ornery is or-ne-ry, not on’ry.”
“We’re syllable poor around here,” Matt chuckles. “But answer my question. If yer going to drink a venti cup of sugar, why bother drinking goop?”
“You can have a treat once in a while.” She took a sip of her other delicious delight.
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