(///vivid.gladiators.beams – Maternity Unit, West Middlesex Hospital)
I’m almost there. The pressure’s intensifying, I’m starting to move. Those familiar sensations once again.
I think it’s going to be a good one this time round. They sound sensitive, caring. They’re already playing me music and reading me stories. And getting my new big sister really excited. She can’t wait for a little sister. I know I’m going to be a girl this time. I made sure to check.
My first life is still really vivid. One of many gladiators. The physicality of the bouts, the constant injuries, the simultaneous feeling of pride and fear at the moment of my death.
They get hazier after that, one merges into another really – death in battle or working the fields till I dropped. Periods as a woman doing chores all day or dying in childbirth more times than I care to remember. And being stillborn on so many occasions. Those were the worst.
A few lives broke the pattern – the circus performer on high beams was thrilling, the ground-breaking surgeon in Victorian London saved lives, and I’ve been a painter a couple of times, but I always seemed to be hungry.
It’s a shame the memories fade so fast as the new life takes hold, and I have to be here again to remember it all. I need to make sure the subconscious part of me clings on to something – be strong, be determined, get excited if I see a trapeze. That sort of thing.
This is it now. I’m moving faster. The light’s appearing. New Mum and Dad, I’m coming!
Until next time.