And She Was

In a universe where time moves a bit slower than the others, a girl detective is being born. Songs are slower here, time takes longer, the smallest things lengthen and stretch by the tiniest of increments, almost unmeasurable.

The girl detective is being born, and she isn’t a girl detective yet, or even a girl, a mere baby detective, hasn’t yet seen the world with her own eyes, hasn’t yet breathed her own breaths, spoken her own voice. She is being born and knowing that there are universes and universes, and girl detectives in them all, and someday she will be a girl detective too, wear her hair like the rest, long and straight. And someday she will carry an honorary deputy’s badge in her purse, shine thumb-rubbed to dullness. Someday she will take the badge out of her purse, only in her door-closed bedroom, only alone, only when no one is looking, hold it in her hand, think this is real, this is mine, think I am real, this is all real.

The baby detective knows she will someday solve crimes, someday eat ice cream out of glass bowls that a maid will take away for the washing. She knows she will never have to get her hands dirty on her own chores, knows that her mother will play sad songs on a turntable at night, knows her father will be gone so long, business trip, business trip, business trip, call from overseas, his merry voice, how are my girls? The baby detective knows her mother will always flinch a bit at that, my girls, knows she will never quite understand why.

She knows someday she will join the school choir, will consider piercing her ears, will consider holding hands with Thomas from chemistry class as they walk home from school, leaves turning for autumn, scent of winter on the air, she’ll consider, when their hands brush, letting him take hold of hers the way she knows he will want to, the way he will stand at the iron gate of her house until her heavy front door closes behind her, watching, watching. She knows she will consider; never let him do it.

The baby detective knows that this universe is like all the others, but slower, that she is like all the other girl detectives, but slower. She knows that there are long black cars and long black cars. She knows that she will never be fast enough, will never catch the full license plate, 3AgL, but maybe it is a 9?, she knows that she will try to run, will try to fight, that the hands the grab her will be so large they can grip her slight shoulders and lift her off the ground. She knows she will kick, kick, shout, and the trunk lid will close on her and there will be darkness, darkness, darkness.

The baby detective is being born into one of the universes, is being born knowing, and yet still, when she is pulled out into the world that she has never seen, it is new, it is unknown, and the baby detective opens her mouth, and wails, and forgets.  

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