You will be first. I have seen it. by Bobbi King

Only a glimpse, more mood than action, but so clear as to be easily discerned in every detail. You're lying there as I sit beside you, holding your hand, a hand covered in loose skin, soft with age but strong in grip. I am leaning towards you and I can feel the knuckles of our intertwined fingers pressed into the flesh of my breasts. Your hair is still long, but more fine and whiter than the sheets you lay upon. Your eyes are bright, set amidst a facial field of fine, tight lines. They still sparkle with the youth of spirit you possess. They also glisten with the moisture of unshed sorrow.

You're lying there on what most would term you deathbed, but we know better. Soon you will be returned to the womb, this time cryonic instead of amniotic. You are afraid, but not of what one might expect. You know what approaches is but a long sleep. You know that you will reawaken, reborn to a mother of science and technology. You know this, trust it. You have Faith.

And yet you are afraid. Afraid that when you open your eyes, I will not be there. You are afraid because you know that I have not signed the papers that would liken my fate to yours.

"Come with me," you plead. I run my withered fingers across your forehead and stroke your hair. "I'll be there." I can feel the dampness of my own eyes as I make this promise to you. Oh how I will miss you until I see you again. What great journeys we will have on our separate roads!

You, of your science and logic, will become part of the first generation of cryonauts. My way is the old way, the way of spirit and emotion. While you will preserve your current garment of flesh, I will cast mine off, returning to the earth as ash to seek new flesh, new life. Just as you know your path, so I know mine. Though we travel differently, we shall achieve the same destination. And you will know it when you feel light fingers on your shoulder and turn to the words "I know you?" You will look into my eyes and know that it is me, even before I realize it.

You will be first. I have seen it.