“The most terrible poverty is loneliness and the feeling of being unloved.”
― Mother Teresa
Mother and Child
Mother held her nine-week-old son as he nursed. Domi and her assistant set up a small video device the size of a pack of cigarettes. The two nurses waited for the slightest hint of a need for their help.
The two girls had watched the love exchanged between mother and child and knew something remarkable was taking place. The younger one reached over and took her older Dragon Sister’s hand. Her grip let the older sister know how concerned she was.
In another room, the General, his son, and grandson talked in a tight circle near the wall. Technicians finished testing the wireless inputs to all the black boxes, multiplexers, and video monitor. Finished, the professionals stepped back and hurried out of the room.
The Ministress of Science and Knowledge entered the room, nodded to the men, and invited them to watch the event on the screen. The lights lowered, the screen flickered, and the video feed of Lee and child came up. Domi switched the feed to a different spectrum and waveform pattern. The mother and son turned a dark blue-black on the screen.
Lee lifted her son and held him to her shoulder and patted his back as she sang to him. He burped and cooed. Little Dragon enjoyed burping and farting. It seemed he went out of his way to communicate his mischievous nature in that way. Lee laughed and held her son to her face and touched her nose to his.
The video feed in the next room went dark and came back up as Domi was moving to the laptop to see what was wrong. She paused as the display lit up the room in colors of blue, violet, and red. The men stepped back at the shock of light that drilled through their optic nerves.
Domi put her hand to her mouth as her lungs sucked air from shock. She watched wide-eyed as Lee’s image changed to a dark cloud. Little Dragon appeared transparent as patterns and shades of light passed across his face as if time accelerated and the stars crossed the night sky anxious to arrive at some distant destination.
Bright light rimmed the Dragon child’s eyes as mother and son held their gaze. Lee felt her heart bursting with love for her baby as her vision grew dim. Lee fainted as slender wrists with delicate fingers appeared as black onyx with gold-laced veins in the monitor. The young nurse held the child to her as he cried for his mother. Older sister held the mother’s head to her chest and shouted for Domi.
Domi ran to the room, shut off the camera, and told the nurses to take the child to the father and keep everyone together in the viewing room until she called for them. Lee lay in a heap in the recliner, unconscious. Domi shut the door and went back to her Dragon Sister.
“Oh, Lee, my love! You are still too weak. I’ve got to do something. I don’t think I’m enough to keep you going.” Domi tried to reassure Lee, who heard nothing.
Domi sat next to her dear friend and leaned across her, holding her head. She massaged Lee until she came around again. The Empress Mother’s pulse picked up as Domi attended to her.
Lee’s eyes fluttered. Domi held her head and begged her Dragon Sister to return to her.
“Domi, what happened?” Lee asked in a daze.
“It’s okay, love. You passed out from too much exertion today. I think your blood volume is still low, and you are still anemic. It’s going to take time; that’s all.
“Where is Little Dragon?” Lee felt panic when her son wasn’t near her.
“Don’t worry; he’s okay. The nurses took him to his father.” Domi’s eyes searched her Dragon Sister. She looked into Lee’s eyes. The spark of life was there but dim. Too dim.
“I’m going to fix this, sister. I’m going to find a way. Do you mind if I check you?”
“No. I don’t mind; but, give me good news this time.” Lee sounded lethargic and worried.
Domi examined Lee. The herbal balm she used on Lee seemed to heal her scars leaving healthy skin and tissue. The surgeons did a remarkable job too. Domi cleaned Lee and added more balm.
“Please tell me if this hurts and be honest.” Domi rubbed the balm on Lee’s scars and worked it into her skin.
Lee gripped Domi’s arms and held on to her.
“Do you feel any pain or discomfort?”
“No, I just want to feel you near me.” Lee managed a smile.
Domi didn’t mention what everyone saw on the monitor. Whatever it was, the child was growing more demanding for his mother. Domi knew Lee could not regenerate her energy fast enough, and it wasn’t practical for Domi to continue the treatments as often as Lee needed them.
Domi’s mind twisted through labyrinths of data until she was sure what Lee needed. Domi knew she reached a limit to what she could do for Lee. Lee needed more than she could give.
“Do you feel better now?” Domi wanted to make sure Lee was sustaining herself again.
“I’m exhausted. Maybe a nap will do.” Lee answered with a drifting voice as fatigue slipped over her body and into her mind.
Domi made sure her Dragon Sister was comfortable then left the room and headed down the hall to see the White Tiger, Bai Hue. He needed to show his wife how much he loved her and put the coldness of tradition and culture behind him. She knew Hue loved Lee with all his heart. She had to convince him to show it in the most intimate ways if Lee was going to continue to nurture their son. The old Dragons had starved Lee of the love she needed for too long.
The future of the Black Dragons hinged on Domi’s plan. Little Dragon grew more powerful and demanded Lee’s love and attention each day. Domi thought it was time for the father to step up and share some of this mysterious exchange of love’s energy. Lee had healed enough and was ready for him again. She had waited long enough. Domi’s greatest fear was Hue’s rejection of his wife after Little Dragon’s birth was loneliness and heartbreak were draining Lee’s will to live.