I held you as you grew in inside my life-giving waters. I dreamed for you before you could dream. Every new sound, smile and movement was recorded upon the tender organ beating within my breast. I am the keeper of your origins and the name on your tongue when your last breath has been taken.
The Brilliant One. He was named thus for the persona he elected. Black wool dress pants with creases so mean they could cut through turbulent air. A long overcoat, crafted from the same materials, scratched and abraded at his neckline and cuffs. These micro irritations served as constant reminders of a fact that very few people knew. He was not the only one.
A Teacher. The best and brightest minds were sent to him for training. He was the man with wild, wiry hair that reached toward his shoulders. He joked that when the brain worked at full capacity, it would produce so much heat that the follicles at the top of one’s head would burn away.
A Mind Like No Other. He had the tools of technology at his disposal but preferred, instead, the scrape and scuff of chalk on board and the compact binder that fit in the palm of his hand. Upon the page of every fresh notebook, he taped a photo of her. The binder and chalkboard went with the persona and recorded information that others raced to comprehend.
He Agreed. When the choice among billions came down to one, he nodded. He understood. He would represent them all. A hold out. For the blink of a cosmic eye, he would continue recording his thoughts and equations.
Beauty and Beast. It was a surprise to observe what the mind does when deprived of all human contact. Guilt clutched at him with cold, bony, claw-like talons. Every day, he stared, as if mesmerized, at that thing of massive beauty that revolved beneath his window. Illuminated and glowing against her blanket of dark emptiness, her silent cries reached him, causing the talons to tighten.
Eyes Closed. The reoccurring dream was a further surprise. When all the thoughts of humanity and the universe were open to him, it was his sister to whom they ever returned. Алина. His twin. They’d lost her when she was 10. Chernobyl had been their childhood home. He knew, without a doubt, that her mind had been greater than his.
Musings. Perhaps the expiration of humanity had occurred on the day of Chernobyl’s disaster. He’d helped put off the inevitable. He was a temporary patch on dam with fatal cracks that ran too deep. No one but him was left to wonder if she might have been the key that could have changed the outcome.