Nieva had noticed that Baato was still grieving. She herself had found her cheerfulness again after realising that Taam’s death was only a sign to be grateful for what they had. She tried to cheer Baato up.
“Keep your head up, Baato. It’s a beautiful day! Would you help me with the plants, you are always so good with them”, she chimed.
But Baato was clearly not in the mood.
“Leave me alone!”, he yelled at her and turned away to clean the table.
Nieva felt very awkward and Tahia who had watched the whole encounter could not take anymore of Baato’s moping. As Nieva went outside to tend to her plants alone, she walked up to Baato to set him straight.
“Listen, you! I have enough of you moping around this house putting everyone in misery. Even the Creator has gotten over Taam’s death by now. Do you want to make her miserable again? She is about to have a child!”, she said sharply. Baato looked at her bewildered and didn’t know what to say.
“And you dare talk to Nieva like that when she was only trying to cheer you up?”, Tahia continued. Once she had started there was no stopping her. “Now get back to work. You should think deeply about what you are doing to this tribe and finally man up! Or should I talk to the Creator about this…”
“No…”, Baato answered defiantly.
While he was repairing the sink, the only thing he actually wanted to do was take a lazy nap. But he also thought about Tahia’s words. She was right. He was disrespecting the Creator! He should be helping her instead of making her miserable. Baato also realised that Taam would not have wanted this. He would have wanted the Creator to be cheerful about the child and Baato was not helping this cause here!
After the incident with Tahia, Baato made an effort to be more cheerful and nice around others. He talked to Kahio over breakfast and the young teen was pleasantly surprised that the topic was not Taam.
Early in the morning, Manika could not sleep although it was still pitch dark. She got out of bed and practiced at the punching bag. Being pregnant didn’t keep her from working out. Like her mother she wanted to be strong for the birth. But suddenly she saw a glimmer of glowing green float through the wall beside her and her heart skipped a beat. She had been waiting for this moment for so long. She quickly rushed inside, and there he was.
“Taam, my love, I am so happy to see you again! I’m so sorry for what I did to you, so sorry…”
“Me too, Manika. Don’t be sorry. We are not having this conversation again! The afterlife is not that bad. And I can still be here to see our daughter”, he said as he turned his attention to Manika’s bulging belly.
“She will have a strong and beautiful mother to look up to.”
“Oh, Taam. She will also have a great father, I will remind her everyday. But what if we have a boy?”
Manika still felt doubts despite the fruit of the goddesses she had eaten so many of. What if she had a boy…
“We will love him equally. But have faith. It will surely be a girl”, Taam said and pulled her into a close embrace. Although Manika could not actually touch him she imagined she could feel his warmth or maybe that were just the remains of a memory.
“I love you still. I will never be with any other man”, Manika promised and Taam’s ghost turned bright pink.
“You were the only one for me”, he told her, but they had to say their goodbyes as the sun came up.
Note: I only changed Manika’s hairstyle because her boobs got huge with the pregnancy and this hairstyle seemed to match it better but apparently not *sigh*
Manika felt revitalised from her encounter with Taam. She could not wait for her little girl to come into this world!
As if the Goddess of Nature had heard her thoughts, labor pain began a few hours later.
Also check out: Bloopers – Part 4