Stay
(First posted January 30, 2003)
Rating: G
Disclaimer:  The characters and vision of Farscape belong to Henson, Co.  I’m only playing with them a little bit
in order to keep us all amused.  
Time Frame/Spoilers:  Terra Firma.  
Beta-Readers:  The goddesses of beta-reading -- Scrubschick and Angel.  I would kiss your toes if you were
here … maybe I’ll just send chocolate instead.

Note to the reader:  This came out of a single word uttered with phenomenal acting by Kent McCord at the
end of ‘Terra Firma’.  


*  *  *  *  *

You walk away from me -- blood of my blood, flesh of my flesh.  We’ve been here before, déjà vu except this
time it’s for real, the aching emptiness too painful to pretend that this is a quirk of the mind.  I watched you walk
away once before -- jaunty, cocky, sure of yourself and your mission -- and you never came back.  This time
you tread with a new pace, one that moves people out of your way with looks of wariness and fear.  Orange
nylon fluttered in the wake of your passing, now black leather enfolds you, shields you, insulates you from any
that would dare touch you.  Where have you gone?  

You came back, but you didn’t.  Someone new lounged on the couch, some stranger with lethal capacity,
hardened responses, secrets, and untold tales.  He wore your jeans and your sneakers, spoke with your voice,
laughed at your memories, but he lacked your easy ways, quick smile and fast humor.  He kept your temper,
your brilliance and your obstinate belief that you’re right, casting off your mother’s gentle influence.  Who is this
person who came back to tell me you didn’t die?  

Popcorn, chocolate, coffee, pizza and beer -- you embrace them as you once embraced me.  You wolf them
down like a man starving, but talk of krawlak, pronga, and sebacean mint stew.  I saw delight for an instant
when you discovered the Cocoa Puffs, the moment of happiness jealously guarded when you looked up to find
me standing there.  There were blue sneakers sprawling lazily beneath your bed, kicked off carelessly to lie
beside black leather boots.  You once cradled a football in the crook of your arm, now there is a weapon
grafted in place, close to hand.  A woman reaches out; you pull away, hidden inside.  When did the rattlers give
way to a cold lack of remorse?  

I held you squawling and bawling in my arms, our firstborn, our child … my son.  You screamed your arrival to
the world, shaking your fists at it, letting it know you had arrived.  Now you stand silently for hours, watching,
waiting, your thoughts veiled and mysterious, locked away from all but a few.  You give me the headlines, the
banner ads, the lead-ins, the sound bites, holding back everything else.  You don’t speak of love or friendship,
compassion or caring.  

The others, your friends … your family.  They follow you with their eyes, looking for guidance in this alien place,
but they search for something else.  They watch you -- waiting, worrying.  I know that look.  I wear it myself.  
Heartache, love, dependency … loss.  They know better than I that someone has gone missing.

You’ve taken the slinky, the toy, the fun thing.  It sat waiting on the corner of your desk for nearly four years.  
There’s a ring in the dust now, an elusive reminder that you’ve been here and gone.  The photographs remain
undisturbed, the vivid reminders left behind deliberately.  You took the small things, the tactile reminders, the
childhood delights.  I will go home, look at what you didn’t take with you and hear the silence of the house, the
small creaks and whispers that try to convince me that you were never there.      

A bright flame arcs from earth to sky, pushing a small bit of ceramic and steel ahead of it -- a fast steady lift,
guided smoothly by a hand that understands space better than gravity.  No rumble, no roar, no awe-stricken
crowd or herald of trumpets announces that you are leaving.

One hug isn’t enough to keep you with me; the warmth of your body against mine is already gone.  It stole away
faster than you did, swept away on a breeze.  

My son.  

Come back.


                                                                          * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *
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