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Tough to say Goodbye

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When the Commander exited the bathroom and into her room with a toddler, she got worried. She got even more worried when the Commander just gave the young boy to her and collapsed in the green plush chair, next to her hospital bed. She watched as the Commander sighed with his head at an awkward angle.

“So, where’d this little guy come from? You… didn’t kidnap a child, did you?” She said as she entered a staring contest with the toddler violet eyes.

The Commander grunted, “No, he’s one of us.”

“What’s his name?” She asked as she brought the toddler closer to her chest and the little boy sighed, snuggling into her chest.

The Commander cracked one red eye open. “Luca… His mother named him, Luca.”

She snorted, “That’s not a very alien name.”

The Commander rolled his eyes, “It’s not like I could argue with her dying wish.”

She hummed and covered Luca up with one of the knitted blankets she was using. The boy was pale, really pale compared to the Commander’s dark skin. His marking were also very different. He had four pointed stripes on each ear that came to a point on his cheeks and his eyebrows were small dots of  black coarse hair. On the backs of his little hands were two open semi-circles that were stacked on top of each other and his middle fingers were striped with the same dark ink as the Commander’s markings.

It’s going to be hard to tell the hospital staff that a child had face tattoos and get away with it.

She tucked the little boy to her chest and leaned back onto the bed, feeling Luca breath in and out on the exposed skin of her neck. The toddler grabbed onto her hospital gown and drooled against the cloth on her shoulder as he sleepily blinked up at her. He yawned and snuggled into her body. She touched his cool, pale skin.

“So, he’s cold-blooded, just like you?” She asked, not moving her gaze from Luca as she spoke.

The Commander hummed and changed his position in the chair, trying to get comfortable as he frowned. Barely opening one of his ruby red eyes, the Commander watched as she rested her head on top of Luca’s soft hair and closing her eyes. He sighed and got up from his chair because he was not going to get any sleep that way, anyway.

“You know, you remind me of his mother.” The Commander said as he watched her rub soothing circles into the toddler’s back.

She snorted into Luca’s white hair, “I’ll take that as a compliment.”

“You should,” the Commander continued. “She was a beautiful woman.”

She smiled sadly as she cuddled with the toddler resting on her chest. She made sure all of the IV tubes were on the other side of the plastic railing and the remote that controlled her bed on the tray table by her bed. The monitors behind her beeped slowly and in time with her oxygen machine as the rise and fall of her chest lulled the space child to sleep.

When she spoke, her voice was fragile and her eyes grieved, “I’ll choose to believe you.”