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The others were getting restless. Something was up. Was it that time again?
They were huddled together, moving along with the waves. She felt them close to her, but it didn’t stop her from feeling lonely. It wasn’t that she didn’t like them. They were all nice enough. Never any complaints, no secrets, no backbiting. All very supportive of each other. But they only talked about one thing--how happy they were together. As if it was such a bad thing to leave.
Of course she couldn’t say so. Her place was here, with them. At least until the invisible orders came. The order that would choose one of them. It was a moment they all dreaded. It was the only way to keep count in this eternity of darkness that surrounded them. Once a month, like clockwork. And when the order came through late, they would all get upset. As if they couldn’t bear not to know who would have to face the executioner this time. Dina hoped it would be her this time. She whispered a silent prayer. To go where no one had gone before. There had to be something. This couldn’t be all there was to life. It wouldn’t make sense.
And then it hit her. She couldn’t really describe it, but she knew this is what the others were all fearing. As if a part of her she never knew existed was touched for the very first time. What was this? It was like she was waking up from an eternity of sleep. She wanted to scream, but she didn’t. The others wouldn’t understand. She wanted to tell them that everything was going to be alright--that it wasn’t all for nothing. But she felt herself already changed, no longer a part of them.
The distance between herself and the others was increasing. Slowly. She was no longer connected. She was moving. Floating. Pulled by some invisible force. It was completely dark, but she was going somewhere. Passing a wall, feeling all kinds of hard spots.
The others were long gone, but she didn’t really care. Something was happening. A new place was waiting for her, she could feel it in every fibre of her being. Things were falling into place. Even though she couldn’t put her finger on it yet, she was going to find the meaning behind all this. Soon, very soon.
Slowly, she moved through a thin space that was just big enough for her. How long would it take to reach... Ah, she shuddered. Something was happening. Was this it? The moment she was waiting for? The waves were getting more intense. And without the others to hold on to, she was glad for the narrow space that kept her in place.
Then the movement stopped. She felt a new surge of energy. This was it. She wasn’t sure how much longer she could wait. For… it. What was happening to her? She felt as if an explosion was waiting to happen.
There he was. At first it was just a bit of a smell, just a slight difference that she would otherwise not have picked up on. But her senses were working overtime. He was coming straight at her, even though she could sense it was taking him a lot of effort. There were many, but she only had eyes for the one. He wasn’t even the one closest to her.
Even though she had waited for this moment all her life, she felt it increasingly difficult to be patient. Not now she felt so close to her goal. It was not about the place she was going. It was about him. She would never have to be alone. But this last step was killing her. What if he didn’t like her? What if someone else got there first?
She shuddered but wasn’t sure why. Was she really ready to give up her own life? What was going to happen to her? And what about him? Did he really like her for who she was, for her potential? Or was he just coming to her because that was what he was supposed to do?
She thought about the other cells that had gone before her. Had they felt the same way? She wasn’t sure. She had always thought that she was happy, but that wasn’t true. She had never truly been happy before. This was it--this was everything she had been dreaming of.
When he finally reached her, she was ready for him. He entered her, and immediately she took him in. She closed the gates, making sure nobody else would disturb them. They entered what they could have described as the process of fecundation. But they didn’t bother with fancy names. They simply called it love.
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