Ten years since Esther. The bedroom, moonlit, casting an ominous blue pall over her face. “What have we done?” I said it. My words were like salve. She calmed.
“I love you, Jesus, I love you.” Ellie behind me, her nakedness, warm breath, soft fingertips up and down my arm. Elise stirred, whimpered in the bassinet in the corner of the room.
“Sh. I love you, too, Eliot. We love each other. That’s all. How could that be a crime? Please, tell me. I think you want to leave me. I think you’re tired of me. I don’t know anymore. I can’t even trust anyone, not even my husband.”
“You don’t get it. You don’t get it do you? What we just did? We made love the way we were supposed to in a normal world. But, Ellie, in case you haven't noticed, we don’t live in a normal world. They can see us right now.”
I was manic, gesturing wildly: “We can’t see them. But they’re in the corner and outside the window and on the ceiling and in the fucking walls! Believe me. They are here and they just saw us. Yes, they saw me on top of you. They saw our naked bodies! They saw it all! So now they’re going to seize you and our baby. I don’t know where. I won’t know when.”
I was sobbing now. The truth was unimaginable for her, for me. It stuck like sharp pins in my chest. But I had to confront it. She stared at me, blankly. Her eyes were black dots like a child’s doll, round and devoid of expression, programmed. Her complexion was ghostly, ashen, her aura a flimsy veil of misty coral—morose, displaced.
“You’re lying All of this is just a ploy. You don’t want me anymore. Just say it damn you. Just tell me the truth for once. Don’t do this to me, Eliot. Don’t do this to your baby. It makes no sense, no sense at all. You’re a viper—a monster, to do this to your wife and baby.”
She didn’t get it. She never would get it until she was seized and her baby was taken away. And then it would be too late. She lived in a perpetual dream zone. A place inaccessible to me. I couldn't reach her. Maybe they were tainting the food or water supply. Maybe we were all being poisoned.
“Ellie it is a crime. You know it. I know it. In our world, our passion is a crime.”
A siren sounded outside. Ellie froze. The air became stitled, unbreathable.