Eyes followed Sin as it — he? — floated through a pair of big hospital doors and into a brightly lit space filled with colorful cartoon paintings on the walls and another semi-circle counter in the corner, where another two nurses sat. The chairs around the room were mostly empty — only two men sat in them, both with worried faces.
Sin ignored them and went straight through to another corridor with many rooms lining the length of it. These were decorated with colorful cartoons and many posters about baby health.
Here, Sin said, stopping just outside one of the rooms.
Even from outside, Eyes could hear the sounds of a baby laughing and the sounds of its parents’ gentle cooing.
Who’s in there? he asked.
You are, replied Sin, his expression unchanging.
Hesitant now, Eyes slowly moved towards the door and looked inside to see precisely what he had expected to see.
The room had blue walls and one bed. The hospital curtain around the bed was pushed aside, revealing a blond woman in hospital scrubs who held the laughing child in swaddling cloths. Her husband sat beside her.
“Who’s a cute little baby?” cooed the dark-haired and mustachioed man who leaned over his wife, staring at the baby in her arms. “You are, yes yes, you are.”
The woman giggled and smiled at her husband. They shared a joyful look and a kiss before turning their eyes back to the baby. The baby bounced in the lady’s arms.
Eyes couldn’t help himself. He smiled wanly. He turned to Sin, his expression becoming angry and coolly asked — Are those my parents?
Yes, Sin replied.
I don’t remember them, said Eyes, his voice cold. I don’t remember anything about them. You did that.
He spun around and jabbed a finger in Sin’s chest. Surprisingly, his finger hit something solid.
He glared at the pale man.
You did this to me, Sin. YOU.
Sin said nothing, only choosing to turn his empty gaze from Eyes back to the couple in the room.
“We still haven’t named him,” said the lady suddenly.
Eyes turned around then.
The man looked at the baby and smiled. “I know exactly what to name him.” He picked up the laughing child and stood up, cradling the baby in his muscular arms. He glanced back at his wife who smiled back at him.
“You, my son,” the man touched the baby’s nose, “will be called …”
Eyes did not hear the name. When the name was spoken, there was only a silence that hung in the air like a ghost, blotting out the whole world.
He stood there, confused.
The solid silence melted away a few seconds later when the lady said, “I really like that name.” She reached out with loving arms for her child. When it was back in her arms, she said, “My beautiful baby …”
That same heavy silence when the name was spoken again, like all the sound in the world had been drowned in the deepest depths of the sea, where there was no light, no escape.
The silence was broken when the baby gurgled its laughter again.
Eyes turned back on Sin. What was that? he demanded. Why couldn’t I hear what they said? Why couldn’t I hear my name?
Sin was expressionless as he replied — I’ve told you this before. There is much power in a name. Yours especially. You cannot have it yet.
And all Eyes could do was stare in disbelief at the creature that had taken everything from him.