"Will it take them long?"
She feels warm, wrapped in your arms as everything around you grows colder. The submarine runs out of electricity, leaving the lights to fade on the unusual sight of you – two ladies lost at sea, in desperate need of a working clock.
You guess it’s been half an hour since they left, maybe more. Knowing for sure would not make a difference anyway. When you are in trouble, time always slows down.
"I don’t think so," you whisper. "They only left a few minutes ago. Don’t worry – it will take them the time it needs to take."
In other rooms, lamps are dying in rows, and cold currents make the furniture clash against the walls. You hear loud noises as steam blows up pipes, deep down in the control rooms.
You cannot be silent now. Kamila has always been strong enough to live through everything – she is so much stronger than you are, you always knew. Still, you feel the need to remind her, and mostly yourself. Everything is under control, everything will be fine.
When nothing else is left, hope must not die.
"Remember what Sissel said. They promised. They will return eventually."
"To save us, right?"
"To save us."
You have nothing but the red light from the panels to see her face. She does not seem to be 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, over and over again, you can read the pain of your whole world.
"I am not afraid, Lynne," she mutters, somewhere in your shoulder. "As long as they are fine, and Dad is there too, there is no point in worrying."
You stare at the darkened room for long, holding back your tears not to upset her. It is true – you are exhausted, time is endlessly slowing down, and death holds its icy fingers right against your cheeks. Yet, in spite of it all, 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. Sunken in complete darkness, you wrap her in a tight hug.
"Good girl," you answer, your voice choked and deep. "I’m not either."
Warm tears touch the floor. Just as she falls asleep, you close your eyes, at peace.
Nothingness swallows you.