Just Another Day
“I’ve been walking around out here for four hours and they are nowhere. Are you even sure there were people out here?”
“Yes, I’m sure! We don’t send people million dollar grants to do just what they please!”
“Could have fooled me. Look, there’s nobody here. Either they ditched the research and ran off with your money or…I don’t know. They just aren’t here.”
He huffed angrily. The Science of Natural Wonder Corporation doesn’t take kindly to being ripped off. Thirty million dollars had been funneled into research of the old temple they stood in front of, and yet nothing looked like it had been touched in the last few months.
The man in front of him did nothing to help his mood. His total lack of concern about this injustice was driving him up the wall, and that was not good for his heart.
“Where can I find information about their whereabouts?”
“Try the police?” The man said lazily, chewing on a wood chip.
“I think I will. Good day sir.” His last words were gritted through clenched teeth as he turned back towards the jeep that was resting in the shade, and inevitably, covered in the insects that inhabited the jungle.
“See you around, Harrick.” The man called after him.
“Mr. Harrick.” He hissed to himself as he climbed into the jeep, business suit and all, and turned the ignition. Once he got started down the bumpy road, he pulled out his phone and swiftly dialed the number. When the call was picked up, he said, “They aren’t here. Doesn’t look like its been touched for months. What? Yes, I’ll hold.”
He checked his watch and inwardly cursed. He would be late for a meeting.
A loud clanging noise brought me back abruptly. Mom must be cooking again.
It was six o’clock in the evening and I’d fallen asleep. Again. These days I really couldn’t be bothered with staying awake. Dad was always running off, doing whatever he could for the Society of nothing and Whoop-de-doo. Mom rushed around in her frenzied keeper-of-the-house mode and couldn’t be bothered to do anything but fit in her niche.
Really they weren’t so bad. A little eccentric sometimes, but alright. Lots of kids are off a whole lot worse, so I suppose I don’t have any room to complain. I bet my problem is that I don’t have a hobby, or that my hobby is sleeping.
I rolled off the bed and smacked my knees on the floor. I held in a curse, which I knew my mother would hear if I uttered. The woman could be all the way down the block and she’d hear if I whispered it.
I got up and dusted myself off. We were staying in this little apartment in an even smaller town just south of the Mexican border, so Dad could do his thing. Judging by how late it was, he was going to be home after dinner, he and Mom would get into a fight about how he’s not appreciating her change into womanhood, and how things were better when she was working.
Mom has some strange ideas about womanhood. See, I always thought that if you were a girl, you inevitably have womanhood. Apparently, this is not so. Womanhood is a clean home and loving relationship with a husband, a wonderful daughter that is in everyway worshipping her mother, and the perfect life.
Oops. Missed three out of three.
I smoothed out my blue shorts and then my yellow socks. My purple tank was a little too messy to smooth.
They clashed horribly, but they were my only clothes suited for the climate I was in. It was hot and sticky in the middle of January and all I’d packed were long pants and shirts. Oh well. Mom would get over it. I’m sure these clothes wouldn’t shock her as much as the key lime green pants and the black and gold barred shirt I wore one day to school.
That was a dare, I swear.
I passed the mirror as I went to look out of my barred window. All of the windows in the places I lived were barred. I turned back to look at my reflection.
I looked like a mess. And that was an understatement. My dark, scraggly hair was sticking up on one side of my head, while the other lay plastered down with sweat. Where I had fallen asleep on my arm there was a red mark across my cheek. My brown eyes were bloodshot from just having woken up, and where there was not a red mark my skin was a pasty white. I’m not much of a sun person, or a tanning person. No freckles or any other thing blemished my skin. I almost wished they would, then I’d have color.
At sixteen I’m old enough to make my own decisions, but not to live on my own. But I’m also mistaken for being thirteen most of the time, because I’m nowhere near as tall as I should be, according to my Mom. I’m a little under five feet, and a little stocky, but not particularly.
I picked up the brush and patted down my sticking up hair. I can never seem to get my tangles out.
“Helena! Get down here now, your father will be home soon!” Mom called from across the narrow hall that held the doors to our rooms. I put down the brush and shuffled out of my room and down the hall.
“You look dreadful, did you fall asleep in your clothes again? I don’t know what the doctor’s thinking, nothing wrong with you, then why do you always fall asleep?” She yammered on.
Mom is always upbeat and happy (unless her womanhood is threatened.) and always pestering. She loves me to pieces, and I just can’t seem to get away from her sometimes.
Apart from looking like a Stepford wife most of the time, Mom is very pretty. She’s horrible at cooking, but she’s pretty.
I sat down at our much too big table and looked at the plate of food that had been set in front of me.
“Now, wait till your father gets here.” She rushed off to go put something one, probably to touch up her makeup or something. The food looked good. To the untrained eye it might be considered eatable.
She came in a couple minutes later and sat down across from me. Dad sat at the head of the table.
“So what do you feel about starting school in Kansas, honey?”
“There’s no place like home.” I said dully. I still wasn’t entirely awake.
“Oh, you have your father’s sense of humor.”
Heaven forbid. Sometimes I think that man didn’t have a funny bone in him.
The clock clicked monotone on its shelf. Soon it was ten after. Fifteen. Thirty. Forty.
“I guess he won’t be on time tonight, dear, eat your dinner.” Mom sighed as she dug her fork into her food.
I didn’t say anything and began eating. The food looked good, smelled alright, and tasted like mush. Oh well. At least she meant well. I think.
I ate about half a plate and then set my fork down. I didn’t want to eat too much, I might have the unfortunate result of seeing it later.
“But you haven’t eaten everything on your plate, darling.”
“It’s very filling. It was great though.” I offered, hoping she’d take it.
“Well, then alright. Don’t go to sleep though, darling, I worry you aren’t staying awake enough.”
“Okay mom.” I walked back to my room. I combed out the rest of my hair and picked up a book to read.
Of course, I managed to get about six pages read of said book before I tossed it on the edge of the bed and went to sleep.
At first there was nothing. Just darkness, silence, and the meandering temple of the long forgotten civilization.
Then It broke away, It slid down the broken steps and hid Itself in the tall grass. There It waited.
It was nothing, really. Except It was an idea. It was a state of mind. It could be everything. But right now…
It was nothing.
Others followed It. They awoke to find one of the seals broken, and rushed to escape. They didn’t like being nothing. It was an unfulfilling life.
It watched as they scattered off to the four winds. But It stayed.