Melissa: Bedtime in Fomin


Dear Ken,

The Nagala family house is quite old, so the rooms are quite small and the floors squeak. I think squeaky floors are kind of exciting; like a secret between friends before Christmas when you’re nine years old. I squeaked my way down the hallway from the kitchen back to the guest room in my nightgown and bathrobe. Twenty-seven hour days are hard to get used to, so I had gotten up in the middle of the night for a glass of harng. Maybe it would soothe me to sleep.

I pressed the bedroom door behind me until the latch clicked and sat down in the armchair next to the writing desk. I put the harng on the table and turned the chair so I could see out the window.

It is a cool breezy spring night. The air is heavy with moisture and the perfume of spring flowers, but it’s cool enough to give you a chill now and then. I sipped my harng as I enjoyed the nocturnal vista. The clouds raced in thin streaks in front of the moons; like a veil across three faces. It’s a three-Moon night; traditionally a time of good luck and tranquility. At least for me it’s true! I sipped my harng again, and my thoughts drifted back to another time, so long ago and light years away.

All my life on Earth, people had been cruel to me because of my birth defect. In high school it was so bad that I was driven to deep depression and thoughts of suicide! I used to escape into the world of science fiction. I fantasized about traveling to other planets and meeting people who could love and accept me. I used to sip cocoa by my bedroom window late at night when I couldn’t sleep. I used to watch the clouds pull themselves across the Moon like a veil across a face, and indulge in my fantasies—just as I’m doing right now.

Another sip to soothe my lips,
Another thought my pain to blot;
A Moonlit night so cool and bright,
Will bring me comfort and delight.

I still remember that little poem!

Now I have my life-long wish. I am on another world where people love and accept me. You probably expect me to tell you how happy it makes me feel and what ecstasies I experience—but that would be a lie. Living on Homeland is like having enough to drink after a lifetime of thirst. Homeland is like a sigh in the evening after a wonderful day. Whether Halakan or Thorgelfayne, I always have the feeling that I am in the right place with the right people and that everything is normal. I can’t tell you how wonderful that feels.

In my childhood fantasy, on cool and breezy nights like this, a flying saucer would land just outside my window and let down a ramp. A tall, beautiful woman dressed in a sheer white gown would walk down the ramp towards me. She was radiantly beautiful and had long blond hair swept by the breeze. She walked gracefully, until I could see her face: a lump would grow in my throat and tears would come to my eyes as I saw that her left eye looked just like mine!

“Come to me, my child,” she would say, “I was very worried about you when we lost you. Come to your true mother, and I will take you home!”

As I got older, the woman became a handsome man; and now he has become Harshan, and the whole dream has come true.

So I’m sitting in this chair, watching the wispy clouds pull across the moons and remembering my childhood dreams. What a sentimental slob I am! I abruptly set my glass down on the writing desk, and reached for a handkerchief.

There was a gentle tapping at the door. With a start, I stood up and adjusted my bathrobe, tying the belt around my waist. I cracked the door slightly. “Who is it?” I whispered.

“It’s just me, Harshan,” came the response. I opened the door wide. “I heard you in the kitchen, and when I walked past your door I thought I heard you crying.” His eyes softened as he saw my face. “I see you have been,” he said tenderly.

I daubed both eyes with my handkerchief, “I was just reminiscing by the window, and I guess I just got overly emotional.”

“You know I must leave tomorrow evening.”

“I know what you are getting at,” I nodded, “We’ll have to choose our name in the morning!”

We chatted for just a little while at the door, and then he went back to his room. I still couldn’t sleep. So that’s why the letter.

Your friend as always,

Melissa.