"Can you feel it?" Wikka beamed. Her small eyes were full of life and the smile plastered on her face enhanced the delicate beauty of her brown face. "Here." She said, directing Fani's right hand to her swollen stomach. "What about now?" She asked, her eyes not leaving Fani.
"I feel it now. He sure is a kicker." Fani chuckled. Then he gently took Wikka's hand in his. Wikka's hands were almost like a child's when compared to Fani's strong and massive palm.
"He? It could be a she, you know?" Wikka said. She knew exactly how this conversation was going to turn out; they had been having it for the past seven months.
The first time he learned she was with child, Fani had been so overwhelmed with joy that he simply broke down in tears. The two had been trying to have a child since they got married nine years ago. Fani was only twenty-one then. As the years passed by, and no child showed up in spite of the assurance from doctors that they were healthy, he feared this was their lot in life. In their seventh year of marriage, Fani gave up on the idea of ever being a father.
He could remember all those years when some of his friends had advised him to marry another woman. A woman who could perhaps give him a child. But that idea sounded unthinkable to him. Fani could never imagine himself being with anyone other than Wikka. He had been in love with this woman ever since he was nine. At least, that was what it felt like to him at that young age. Wikka was only seven and could not care less. It took him another five years for Wikka to notice him. That innocent friendship soon blossomed into something deeper and more passionate as the years went by.
Once Fani completed his apprenticeship as a carpenter, he finally married her. Unfortunately, the two could not have any children. Perhaps, the one who was more affected by their childlessness was Wikka. There were times when Fani would hear her crying all night when she thought Fani was asleep. But he never was.
The thought of his wife's sadness was more painful to him than the actual childlessness. And so as a good husband, he never brought that issue up. To take her mind off things, Fani showed more devotion and love for his wife. He knew it would not completely take away Wikka's pain, however, it made things a little more bearable.
But all that changed seven months ago. At first, it was slight dizziness and nausea. Then she began to feel even more tired than she used to. Even after all that, Wikka ignored it. After all, she had known for a while that she was working too hard as usual; working behind her sewing machine was one of the few solace she had. But the day she fainted while she was making dinner was the wake up call. Fani quickly rushed her to the only hospital in the town. That was when Doctor Avor broke the news to the couple that Wikka was pregnant.
When they first heard the news, their minds found it impossible to comprehend what they had heard. In fact, Doctor Avor had to repeatedly call them from their trance to gain their attention. To be honest, he understood their reaction. He was the same doctor who had examined them all those years ago when they were so desperate to have a child.
As though he had not heard it right, Fani asked again while Doctor Avor repeated everything he had said. "She's been pregnant for two weeks." He continued.
Was it joy, elation, euphoria, bliss? Whatever it was revealed in the tears that broke free within. The two were happily married for a long time. However, that day, was perhaps the beginning of the happiest moments in their lives. A few weeks later when the pregnancy bump began to show was when Wikka truly believed she was pregnant.
Fani, who was so overwhelmed by the thought of having his first child, began to make preparations, putting his fine skills in carpentry to the utmost use. When Fani was not looking, Wikka would also sit behind her sewing machine making baby clothes. Her husband was always so worried that she worked too much, thus, to keep him from worrying, she usually had as much rest as she needed. In the evenings, when they had nothing else to do, they would both be seated in their living room, guessing the gender of their baby and trying out names. Fani's favourite moment was when he would kneel before his wife and speak words of love and affirmation to her baby bump.
Earlier in their marriage, Fani had always wanted a son. But now, he was simply grateful that his wife was even pregnant. The gender no longer mattered to him anymore. Still, as an inside joke, he would humorously refer to their unborn child as a 'he' while Wikka point it out to him that it could be a 'she'. Of course, she knew her husband's humour very well, and therefore played along.
"She would still be called Ovandarrak." Fani laughed, clearly amused at his own joke. His wife chuckled. "The bearer of happiness." He had truly loved that name, as it expressed exactly how they felt about their good luck.
"I'm afraid she would be bullied by other children for having a boy's name. Ovandarran is a lot better, seeing it's a girl's name and all. Don't you think?"
And so, the two had settled on the name Ovandarrak, if their child was a boy and Ovandarran, if it turned out to be a girl.
After seven months, Fani's tradition of speaking to his child was still going strong. And tonight was no exception. He held Wikka's hands in his, then kissed her forehead.
"We should go get some sleep." He said. Wikka nodded as Fani helped her to her feet.
"It's still raining." She said while looking through the transparent windows. "Let me get the light."
She walked to the wall close to a window. The light switch was on the wall. Just as she was about to turn the light off, the ear-splitting sound of thunder tore through the air. It sounded as though a hundred bombs had been detonated at once and a slight tremble rocked the house. But the trembling was only split second as though it had not even happened at all.
Even though the tremor lasted less than a second, it was strong enough to make Wikka lose her footing. But just as she was about to crash on the ground, while heavily pregnant, her husband sped towards her with incredible speed and caught her in his strong muscular arms. A streak of orange light hovered around his entire body. Wikka smiled at her husband.
The previously brown part of Fani's eyes had transformed into a deep orange colour identical to the streaks of light hovering around him. When he was sure the tremor was not coming anymore, the orange light finally disappeared and his eyes returned to their original colour. "That was some thunder. Are you alright?"
Wikka nodded absentmindedly. Her attention was fixated on something else outside their house. "Fani, I think there's someone out there." Wikka whispered.
"What do you mean? Where?"
Wikka pointed towards Fani's workshop. Their house was not too big, however it was located on a relatively bigger piece of land. Like most old houses in Coast Town, there was no lack of land. Or perhaps, the people in the town were too few. With a population of about two thousand, Coast Town was the smallest town, in terms of both population and land size, in the district and perhaps, the entire Southern Cape Province.
Even though Fani's workshop stood on the same land as the house, it was still a few meters away. It was at that very location that Wikka was currently pointing. It was still dark outside. That, plus the fact that it had been raining heavily for several hours, meant that everyone in Coast Town was certainly indoors. Thus, the fact that Wikka said she had seen someone was very puzzling to him.
"I can't sense anyone." Fani said. He strained his eyes to look in the dark, however it was no use either. "Maybe it was nothing."
Wikka was sure she had seen a faint blue light in the distance, however, she did not argue. Maybe it was nothing after all. The thought that that was probably blue essence felt like a big joke to her. There was not a single person in Coast Town with blue essence. Even in the entire Second Dimension, it was said that blue essence was the most powerful and rarest of all. Why would one suddenly be here in Coast Town? Shouldn't they be in the capital city instead where they could achieve more fame and power? Clearly her eyes were playing one big joke on her.
But just as she had convinced herself that she had imagined everything, she saw the faint streak of light again. This time it was fainter than the first, but she knew it was no imagination. "Fani." She said suddenly. "Over there. Look at that light."
Fani looked in the direction her wife was pointing. This time around, he saw what she was talking about. A faint ray of a purplish-blue colour emitted from within the workshop. Fani's eyes squinted with precaution. He didn't remember putting anything in his shop that could give off such a light.
"Stay here. I'll go and find out who's there."
"Fani..." Wikka called out suddenly, grabbing on to her husband's arm. "Be careful."
Fani smiled cheerfully, showing the two beautiful dimples on his rugged handsome face. "I will."