When Christelle was nineteen, she fell pregnant by a guy with no name. The autumn of 1974 sent its chill air through the half-open window of her room. It was the morning after the night of her very first orgasm, from a faceless male organ that she had brought back from some soulless bar. She had received enormous pleasure from his body, several times over, slow, sensual and deep, and her body still throbbed with pleasure now, at dawn. She could feel long shudders deep in her belly, giving her a feeling of shivery sensual delight, which made her push aside her bowl of porridge untouched. Shortly after, she felt the anonymous seed fertilise her loins.
When Christelle was nineteen, she fell pregnant, and the yoke tightened around her with its cold iron. Trapped in her new state as a chrysalis, torn in two by the embryo, doomed to share her body with a being who was not her. It was then that she knew that she was bound to carry this future life like a squaddie’s kit, while waiting for the universe to finally set it free from her. The growing alien, as she defined it. In autumn she was a frozen mime, but all of a sudden, she would writhe on the cold tile floor, and with her fists squeezed tightly, she beat her stomach, in a frantic waltz.
Christelle learned to accept the weight of nature. Sometimes she caught herself imagining the baby doll face of her creature, envisaging it, as she smiled sadly out her window at the winter days. Now she is twenty, and she carries the product of her past ecstasy more freely now. The fruit growing inside her has brought out how delicately made she is, nothing but a humble caterpillar crawling along the valley of the world, a short-lived creature sanctioned by the cosmos to pass on the baton of life.
The delivery swept away this episode and formed another. The splitting of her flesh into two separate bodies would chain them both even more closely together. A child is a gift from heaven, and a curse forever. It is a responsibility, a heavy load, a yoke. Christelle was twenty, deformed by the effect of a fleeting pleasure, and tormented by the scale of the duty ahead of her. Through her window, the summer lit up the room with piercing light and the sun placed a kiss on the worry furrowing her brow, so many thorns on the path to her imminent motherhood.
The condition of progenitor is a necessary ill, a divine commitment, a sermon which is given to all humanity and which, if broken, leads to damnation to hell on earth, regardless of the circumstances of the conception and irrespective of what came before, no matter the fortune, no matter the means of subsistence. Christelle is twenty, she watches the seasons passing at her window; a heightened sense of time, that’s the only thing she has. The love she has for her foetus has been foisted upon her by biology. Her condition predisposes her, once it is born, to look after it. A child, created inside her own body, to which she has given blood, skin, eyes, flesh, and her curse.
The fruit is too large for her tiny form, and the time has come to release it. The heat is searing. Christelle is twenty, and she howls her pain through the half-open windows. She births what she has made in an infinite tearing asunder. The midwife is moved by the distress that passes through her whole body at the time of the delivery, and the woman cries real tears when she places this firstborn, still bloody, onto her stomach. As per Christelle’s instructions, the twin will go straight to the orphanage.