I wiped off the brassy surface of a bullet we found, and laughed at the situation. Mike and I were totally different, but mixed together, we made something interesting. A team, just like the brass with its zinc and copper combination.
It had been a few days since the Millennial Park Grave Site, and I’d come to see the value in having Mike around. He pulled me out of my laser-thinking, and that was a good thing.
Before him, 24/7 I would think of what needed to be done, what had happened and what would happen soon. I would get to a point he referred to as zombie-like. He easily brought me out of that mindset, but I never let him forget how important this work was.
“So, lets run through this again.” I paced in front of him as he sat on my parent’s couch.
“Where are your parents?”
I leveled my eyes on him, “Mike.”
“You’ve never shared, and to be honest, this place is like a freakin’ Hilton.”
I tried to hide my frustration with him, prodding where he shouldn’t. “Please focus.”
“Okay, Zombie, but you tell me what happened after we do this.”
I rolled my eyes and sat down beside him, “Look.” I pointed to the pictures I brought out as a last resort. They were of the first places genocide was attempted. “These people were poor.”
He stared at the pictures, and it was obvious he’d never seen them, the media would never show these, not because they were too gory, but because they were true. “Where did you find these?”
“Doesn’t matter.” I tried to take them back but he fought me for them.
“Jesus, I’ve never seen anything like this.” His shoulders slumped forward a little.
I could only imagine he was staring at the child who’s face had been half blown away. That’s all I could see in the picture anyway. Before he switched to the next one, I had to look away.
“Sara, is this what you’ve seen first-hand? Is this what you’ve pulled into your graves?”
My chin quivered before I could stop it, “Yes.”
“That journal, the brass bullet and the map, they lead to something. Or someone.”
I smirked, though nothing was truly funny, “Careful, you’ll turn into a zombie like me.”
“So you took these pictures? Where was this?”
I flipped it around and showed him the writing, “A small town in Florida.”
“Wait, I remember a story on the news of a bombing in a small town in Florida.” He shook his head, “The media said that was an act of terror, the country was so saddened, but-”
“It was an inside job.”
He put the pictures down, “Sara, when I met you, I thought you had lost everything. You were living in the park. But this house, the money you’d need to travel to Florida, especially with no flights allowed?” He shook his head, “These bodies are fresh, this was taken before any news outlet had gotten to the scene. What’s going on for real?”
This was where I could potentially lose Mike. I walked over to the large picture window in the parlor and let the sun hit my face.
“My father worked with the Global Embassy.”
I turned, frustrated that he’d make me say it, could this kid possibly not know who my father was? “Mike, he was the President of the Global Embassy.”
Just as I’d expected, Mike shot up off the couch, turned and walked out.
It wasn’t two seconds later I heard the front door slam. I sighed, not even knowing I was holding my breath. I let myself fall onto the couch. The only way I could think to process the emotions I felt was to focus on the tasks at hand.