Whispers of Goodbye part 5
Eve felt the water touching her chin. She held to the rocks as tight as she could but she knew she was losing the battle. Sinking under the waves, she could feel her lungs tighten and tried not to let any air escape. Beginning to lose hetr sense of direction, confusion from the air she was not getting, she pushed herself towards what should have been the surface. Instead, she found herself staring at the ocean floor. Scared and unsure which direction was right, she felt the last of her air eascape in a huge bubble. She lay on the ocean floor, staring up, watching the bubbles float quickly to the surface. As her world began to go dark, she could see Mikey, his little face smiling down at her as he stretched his arms out to her.
"It's o.k., Mommy, just take my hand and hold on."
Eve reached out to Mikey, as if it were something she did every day. His little hand felt warm in hers and she clung tight to him not wanting him to go away. She thought perhaps these were the things one saw when they were almost dead. Eve didn't care why Mikey was with her right now... she only cared that he was. She held on as Mikey led her through the coral reef, passing through under-water caves and over top of crevasses that seemed to be bottomless. She wondered why she had not passed out yet, why she was even alive. Surely her mind was deprived of oxygen and she was only imagining where she was.
After what seemed like forever, they came to another cave. This one was different though. She watched as Mikey went upward towards a light. The Sun perhaps or an air pocket, she wasn't sure. She followed him until her head broke the surface. Gasping and choking, Eve struggled to inhale air into her lungs. Mikey stood by, silently, watching her as if he had no doubt she would breathe soon. Vomiting the last of the water from her lungs, Eve reached out and pulled Mikey to her. She cried huge tears as she felt him hug her back. His body was warm, as was hers, and nearly dry already. She soaked in the rays of the Sun that peeked through an opening in the cavern.
"You are alright, Mommy. You can breathe down here."
She stared at him, still unsure if she were dead or alive, or just in some sort of suspended animation. "Mikey, where are we? Where did you take Mommy? What is this place?"
"I don't know Mommy. It is where we have been for a long time, I think."
"We??? Who is we, Mikey?" Eve watched as more children came from behind walls of coral. Most of them were Mikey's age, though some a bit younger and some older. It was then that she realized Mikey was not a baby anymore. He was seven, just as he should have been. She looked up and recognized one of the girls.
"Yes Mommy, there are others here. You know who Lauren is. She has been my friend here all along."
"I don't understand. How do you eat and sleep? Why didn't we drown coming here?"
"Our friends keep us safe. All we have to do is let them do some tests to us when they need to. It does'nt hurt too long and they are nice to us."
"Friends??? What friends, Mikey?"
"The ones that told us we could bring you down here with us."
"Aliens... is that what they are!"
"No ma'am," Lauren answered, "they are just like us, only grown-ups. They are trying to make it so we can live under water if we ever need to. They put something inside of us and we can swim and breathe like a fish."
"Lauren, your mother misses you so much. She thinks you are dead. I need to take you back to her so she can hold you and love you."
"We can't go back there. The things inside of us make it so. If we go all the way up, we will die. We can only be at the surface for a tiny time and then we have to come back here. I see my mommy crying when she is at the beach. Sometimes I follow my Daddy around, under water of course, where he can't see me. I miss them a lot, my mom and dad."
"We have to find a way to get you back to the surface. There must be a way to do that."
Mikey came over to her and put his finger to his lips. "Sh-h-h-h-h-h-h, Mommy, if they hear you saying that, they will make you go away. I don't want you to leave. They are just doing work for the government, they said. One day, maybe we can all go up there again. I would like that."
Samuel searched the waters frantically. He was not going to lose Eve the way he lost Mikey. He would search until he found her or it killed him. Either way, he would never stop looking. He swam down as far as he dared. His eye caught a glimpsed of something moving through the coral. If they were near a place that had seals, he would have sworn that he had just seen one. It was there and gone quickly. He swam towards where he had last seen what-ever it was. As he came around a huge coral wall, he almost let all of his air escape his lungs. This was no seal he had seen. Just beyond the reef, swimming away from him as if it never saw him, was a boy. A boy without a tank for air, yet swimming as if he were breathing under water. Samuel ducked behind the wall, not wanting to be seen. He needed air soon. He decided he would surface and get air and Morg. He came up right next to the boat.
"What the hell is wrong with you?!?!? I thought you were dead, damn you!"
"Morg, you need to listen to me. Get two tanks and give me one. You need to see what I just saw down there."
Morgan stared at Samuel as if he had lost his mind. "You are seeing things from no oxygen, Sammy. Come up out of the water and dry off. We will look for Eve in the morning. I promise we won't even leave this cove. Just get out and..."
"Damn you Morg, I am telling you, I saw something down there. Something you will never believe unless you see it yourself. Please Morg, I am asking you to trust me here."
Morgan put on a tank and lowered one to Samuel. He wondered if he too had lost his mind. Both of them sunk beneath the waves. The water was warm and inviting...