Chapter 22: A Space Oddity

If you had any problems with my last update not being cheerful enough, you may want to steer clear of this one, because things are about to get downright unhappy.

Doing the Daddy Thing

Before I delve into that, though, I’m glad to report that Boone is doing well, as is his mother, even if she is even more distant lately than she has been. I worry that if she gets any more withdrawn she’s going to turn inside-out. When she’s not at work she spends most of her time hidden away in the bedroom either reading or sleeping, with the occasional foray out of her cave to take care of one or both of the kids.

When she’s with the kids, everything seems fine. She feeds them, cleans up after them, helps Byrd with her homework, and has been teaching Boone how to talk. She plays and laughs with them, and by all visible measures, she seems totally OK when interacting with either of them. From this, I’ve been able to draw two possible conclusions: either she’s putting on a brave front for the sake of the kids, or whatever has her upset is all about me.

She does homework here because we still have no table

Since she hasn’t been willing to talk about what’s wrong, my brain has been more than willing to provide endless nightmare scenarios that could explain her behavior. What follows is a short list of some of my personal favorites:

  1. Nalani is terminally ill. A cancer or some other horrible, incurable disease has taken root, and she only has a short time to live. Unable to cope with the grief and guilt of leaving her young family behind when she dies, she has instead withheld her affection to make her passing easier for those who care about her.
  2. Nalani has finally realized she hates me. The very sight of me sickens her, so she withdraws from me in an attempt to stave off the nausea that comes with having to look a my stupid little face. If it weren’t for the kids, she’d be on her way to the beach to jump into the surf and swim away, never to be seen or heard from again.
  3. Nalani isn’t Nalani at all, but has been replaced with an alien life form that has assumed her shape, but isn’t fully capable of emulating her personality. She looks and sounds like Nalani, but complex interactions and emotional displays are beyond this creature’s ability to understand. I am left with this Nalani-like husk that has no emotions, and therefore, no love for me. No, worse than that, it is probably waiting until next time I fall asleep so one of its fellow aliens can take over my body and join me to the unfeeling hive mind as well.

That last one would totally explain the reaction all those men had when we were at the hospital for Boone’s birth.

Join Us…

Maybe they were able to sense that this wasn’t Nalani at all, but an evil, soulless creature sent to Earth to steal our bodies until there were enough of them to rise up and enslave the rest of us pathetic humans, leaving us no choice to but do the bidding of the alien masters who had stealthily conquered our planet while we slept. Maybe the babies are the means of taking over a human body — the new alien life could bind itself to one of us, somehow, turning us into zombie puppets. Boone may not look like a facehugger, but he’s got a pretty decent grip. Perhaps the only thing that has kept me from being assimilated is the little bit of Nalani that still lives within her that’s reluctant to put an end to me, and she has somehow convinced the Boone alien to spare me.

Go ahead and laugh, but there aren’t many other reasonable explanations. I can’t think of a single reason why a bunch of men would be so stressed out at the idea of Nalani coming into the hospital to give birth to a baby, while she would simultaneously become so troubled, and so distant and avoidant toward me.

No, wait. I can think of one possible reason, but it can’t be that. No way. She wouldn’t do that.

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