I don’t remember before. Just that I was aimless, conjoined with an aching that began to cease as I descended. The moment we crashed into each other, I reached out my hand, engulfed by a wave of familiarity, and at our collision point bloomed a birthmark that never blanched. I was overcome with the scent of something sweet and solar as I entered the epipelagic, forsaking breath and buoyancy. I knew, somehow and all at once, that we were on course towards something significant.
I free-fell through hues of blue and black and marine snow suspended, past shipwrecks wrought with rust and rot, carcasses of cetaceans settled in sediment. I gazed upon creatures, otherworldly, and a consuming darkness, the freeze seeping into my marrow as I sank below the trenches where tectonic plates groaned and grinded.
I uttered the first prayer I could recall.
And then I saw it, yawning, chasmic and weightless in the silence.
I can’t recall the beginning. Just that I was axisless, accompanied by a gnawing that began to fade as I ascended. I tried to grasp onto you in the split-second we rammed into one another, overwhelmed with a sense of kinship, and an immutable bruise blossomed at the site of impact. Your smell, brackish and warm, clinging to me even as I breached the exosphere, abandoning orbit and ozone. I realized, instantly and without reason, that we were bound for the only destination that would ever matter.
I lifted off into a vacuum gulping sound, through bits of spacecraft and satellite debris, past Ursa and Orion and gaping craters on spinning celestial bodies. I glimpsed beings, unearthly, and an omnipotent dark, an iciness thick and unrelenting wrapping itself around me as I rose above galaxies untreaded.
I recited the last psalm I could remember. And then I saw it, amorphous, cosmic and singular in the quiet.
And I thought, home.
Loulwa Soweid (she/her) is a Lebanese-American AUB alumnus and public-health practitioner who is invested in mental health, mycology, and mutual aid. Her written pieces integrate both lived and imagined experiences and both fictitious and non-fictitious events, and are constantly changing as she does; they are always personal and rooted in emotions she hopes readers can relate to.