Discovering Reflections

in #sfandf-fiction10 months ago

Perhaps a story of self-discovery (a small fantasy)

This story is about me, just me. It is how most of us start off thinking about our lives. It took me most of my life to learn that I cannot see (read) my own story from within me, only from what is reflected by those who are a part of it, whether a loved one or an enemy. They are the mirrors who either deceive me or show me the truth, even those parts I do not wish to know of, depending on how wisely I have made my choices.

Part of all that is worst about ignorance, is that we think of it as our wisdom.

In brief, this is how I learnt to see parts of myself I had spent my life blind to, and why I am now at a loss to explain to myself who I am and fear any visions offered.

The important part of my life, the shock of allowing my eyes to begin to see, came late in life, but it took me back into my past and only then was I able to see some of my future.

I am in my late fifties. Though I have enjoyed most of the erotic sensations of my body, I have never fallen in love. It therefore was no surprise when a woman called out my name and I did not recognise her. Much younger than me, fairly attractive but no raving beauty, I stared at her as she approached with, I'm certain, my puzzlement evident in my eyes.

She swung around, placing her hand under my arm as she said, “Let's walk while I tell you a secret.” I guess it showed she had sensed an important part of me; I am often unwisely ruled by my sense of curiosity.

She waited until we were out of the mall and standing in some empty spaces among parked cars.

“Six years ago, I was here, walking behind you.” Suddenly her body jerked. She stopped walking, slightly trembling until she calmed down. “I am not as you, I was born with abilities no other people have. I am a mutant.” She waited to see how I would react.

I nodded. “In what ways?”

“They are not important, but I needed to tell you so that you understand what and why I did what I did to you those six years ago.” She looked as if she did not want to tell me, but she forced herself to continue, “I had decided I will never have a family, but then I felt a strong need to have a child. You happened to be walking ahead of me when the need hit me, so I reached out to sense you. You are a bit of a cold fish, not even liking yourself, so I did not like that, but I sensed you are not a bad person…and your body is slightly gifted, having a stronger than usual ability to survive sickness or accidents. I wanted that for my child.

As I walked past you, I sent you an image of myself; I appeared to be your ideal female. As you unlocked the door of your car, you stared at me and your body was stirred by your need for me. As soon as I sensed it was the right time, I reached out and stole a spermatozoon from you. I chose one that will be a female and placed it by my egg, willing them to join. I gave birth to a daughter and she is now about five years old.”

My cynical answer, well, it was me, it is me, it is how I am. “And now you want me to pay for her upbringing.”

She laughed. “No, I want nothing from you, with my powers I have been able to provide for her. As you must have noticed, I suffer from spasms. These are thanks to the differences in my brain which give me my powers. It is as if my body is allergic to my mind.

Alexander, as I grow weaker and my daughter grows stronger, she will be able to pick from my mind the information about how - and who - fathered her. She has your strong sense of curiosity and is bound to search you out. I do not want shock to give you cause to hurt her, so I have come to explain. Accept her and I can promise she will not ask anything of you.” She paused. “I want your promise that you will not try to hold on to her. She is…will be, like me. She needs to be on her own. She must be free - or else she will destroy herself.”

I did not care, so I promised.

I smiled, though I was not in the mood for a smile. Maybe it was just nervousness, for I badly wanted to see into her mind, sense what she is thinking, how she is seeing me. “Despite my fearing who you are and what you could be for me, I have decided I do not wish to keep my promise. I think your mother was wrong. Whatever weaknesses tortured her, I think they are not yours. Will you stay?”

“I’ll think about it. If I decide to return, we’ll find out then if you are right. Goodbye father - and thank you for wanting me.”

I could not speak. I knew I must not speak. Nor should I allow her to sense my desperation. What should I tell her, that, daughter, it is not for your sake, that it is so that you can show me who I am and what I could be if I had been loved and had loved? What if the reflections are not of me, warped by her own blindness to partly who she is?

No, it would be better I die in ignorance. Love should never be allowed to blossom once the cheeks and spirit have withered.