"Will it take them long?”
She feels warm, wrapped in your arms as everything around you grows colder. The submarine runs out of electricity and the lights fade on a bizarre sight – two ladies lost at sea, in desperate need of a working clock.
You can guess it's been half an hour since they left, maybe more. Knowing for sure, though, wouldn't make a difference. Time is always slow when you're in trouble.
“I don't think so” you whisper. “They left just a few minutes ago. It takes the time it takes – don't worry”.
In other rooms, the lamps are dying in rows and cold currents make the broken furniture clash against the walls. You hear the noise of steam blowing up pipes, deep down in the control rooms.
You cannot be silent now. Kamila has always been strong enough to live through everything, and surely she is much stronger than you are. Yet you need to tell her, and yourself, that everything is under control and will be fine. When nothing else is left, hope must not die.
“Remember what Sissel said. We promised – they'll return eventually”.
“To save us, right?”
“To save us”.
You have nothing but the red light from the panels to see her face. She doesn't seem in trouble – she is almost asleep, and wears the serene expression children have when they are dead tired. You know for sure– her slumber has been haunted by nightmares all along. Like her father, she just never let anyone know.
“Are you okay?”
She turns to you and lifts her head – in those weary eyes of hers you see all the pain of the world.
“I'm not afraid, Lynne” she mutters somewhere on your shoulder. “As long as they are fine, and Dad is there too, there's no point in worrying”.
You stare at the dark room for long, holding back your tears not to upset her. It's true – you are exhausted, time is endlessly slowing down and death has its fingers on your cheeks; nonetheless, your fear has disappeared.
You just feel lucky to have her in your arms right now.
Silence is all around, in the freezing cold of the ocean. Sunk in complete darkness, you envelope her in a tight hug.
“Good girl” you choke. “I'm not either”.
A warm tear touches the floor. Just as she falls asleep, you close your eyes, at peace.
Nothingness swallows you.