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(* means I have either added something or replaced something. If I do replace something I will keep the original and make an alternative version.)
My eyes are heavy as I try to open them. Hands holding a towel are patting my sweaty forehead. I try to speak but not even a croak comes out, the words are stuck deep in my throat.
“Please wake up sweetie, we need you. I need you, baby.” A tear lands on my cheek as her voice wavers. “I can’t lose another child…” It seems like she wants to say more but stops.
Her footsteps seem to echo as each foot lands on the floor, with a door closing I am left alone. Without wanting to my eyes shoot open then my body slowly sits up. My head aches as my eyes adjust to the brightly illuminated room.
Looking down at my legs I can see that I’m on a table. My legs feel tingly and numb as I try to stand, it feels like trying to walk after a long time of not walking. One foot after the other I gain my balance and start feeling normal-ish. Something is not quite right but I can’t put words to it.
Memories not of my own invade my mind flooding my thoughts making it hard to concentrate on what happened to me. Closing my eyes, I steady my breath and try my hardest to focus on the last thing that happened to me.
The, the, the cliff! I was at the cliff jumping then something happened to me. That light, the pain, almost drowning in the water it all comes back. Then a thought crosses my mind, I died I felt myself die. How the hell am I here?
Just as I finish my thought, the door handle starts rattling. Instinctively, I bolt to hide behind the table I was laying on.
Familiar footsteps walk to the table and my heartbeat quickens. “Onikella?”
I know this voice, the voice that I heard before everything went silent. It’s my mother. Warily I stand up facing her. She opens her arms inviting me to embrace her with a hug. Holding me tight we stay here wrapped in this moment.
Still hugging I hear her whisper under her breath. “It worked.”
Not completely understanding what she means I squeeze her a little before pulling away. She looks at me with a look of pure joy and relief.
“Mom, what happened?” I ask looking into her eyes for an answer, but she looks away not focusing on my eyes.
“Honey, let’s talk about it later.” Mother says pushing away the question I just asked.
A wave of sudden anger boils in me but it is not my anger it’s something, someone else’s. I nod and follow her. The floor is made of marble tiles that are cool and the room is big with many shelves containing containers of all sizes. Walking past the door, we enter a tunnel with windows separating us from being outside.
We continue walking for a while then come to spiraled stairs that you can either go up or down with two poles in the middle. The climb up the stairs is tiring, as we pass different levels I recognize certain levels and some I do not. Mother walks off on a level gesturing me to sit.
“Wait here, I’m going to go find your father then we can talk.”
I sit down and wait as she walks to one of the many rooms on this level. Closing my eyes, I relax and try to figure out what’s wrong with me or rather what is making me not feel like myself. A voice of a woman speaks, who are you?
I open my eyes to look around to find that no one is there, that voice came from my head. I could ask the same question, I think trying to prove that it’s nothing, but none of this, whatever this is, is real.
A heartfelt laugh comes from my head, this time I am sure. You cannot be serious, of course this is real. Someone woke me from my resting space to be put into you. So, please answer the question. Who are you?
Fear floods into me. Why are you here in my head? Who put you into me?
The voice takes a few seconds to respond. I am not sure why I am here or who put me into you.
Raking a hand through my auburn hair I silently freak out. Well, I’m Onikella. Who are you?
The voice responds quickly. I am Nemora, daughter of Ollemai the female warrior.
Her response reminds me of the story of female warriors, mother used to tell me it all the time. If she is who I remember she is, this cannot be good.
Nemora…you shouldn’t even be here or exist now. You died 60 years ago in the fight for Talkemil.
No! I-I never got to live to see if the battle was won or if-if my mother came back!
The sorrow in her voice makes my eyes tear up and my heartache with her pain. Why is this happening to me? How is she in my head when she should be dead?
Mother and Father come to me sharing worried glances at each other.
Father speaks first. “Onikella, you were in a terrible accident at the cliff 2 days ago. I found you on the shore after it was getting late with horrific marks on your body.” His face shows worry and stress but he continues. “It looked like you had been attacked, there was blood everywhere around you. I picked you up and ran back to the Center to see if your mother could do anything.” His voice breaks as tears stream down his cheeks.
Mother continues for father. “Once your father came back we-we had to do something, anything to help you. I got the journal your grandmother and grandfather gave to me, to see if there was anything that could help. I came across a page on resurrection specifically soul healing.” Tears start to flow down her cheeks as well and my eyes burn from the sting of tears. “So, I performed the ritual using the last of the Lani bean magic, hoping it would save you and it did.”