I like it though. And I think you should listen to Atlantis while you read it... but you don't have to. :]
January 4, 2011
I didn’t know there was anything wrong with the way we lived until I walked hand in hand with my mother through the city one day. It was empty, like it always is, and somewhere the whirr of the oxygen machines could be heard.
I was all right, kicking a pebble along, until I looked up at my mother. Tears stood in her dark eyes.
“What’s wrong, mama?” I asked, pulling on her hand.
She looked down at me, smiling, and stroked my head. My dark braid matched her own.
“Nothing, love,” she reassured me.
“Something’s wrong, mama.” I wasn’t easily fooled. “What’s the matter?”
She knelt beside me. “I was just remembering, a very long time ago, when a lot of people lived here.”
“Like me and you?” I asked.
“And your daddy, yes,” she told me. She looked off down the street, where tan sandy pillars stood. She looked like she was seeing something else, with that faraway look in her eyes. “A lot of people where here,” she repeated.
I didn’t like the look in her eyes. I tugged on her hand again, so she looked to me. “What happened, mama?” I asked.
Her smile was sad and sympathetic. “They left, love.”
“All of them?” I looked up, where behind the glass wall dark water danced. Occasionally a light beam would pierce through the infinite ocean above, making it appear less oppressive. Occasionally schools of fish would dart by, their bellies flashing in our artificial light before they danced away. All the sea creatures knew this place was foreign, and avoided it.
“All of them but me and your daddy. And then you came along.” She tweaked my nose.
“And then daddy left, right?”
She looked incredibly sad, and I wished I could take it back. “Yes, and then daddy left.”
“Where did he go?”
“I’ve told you before,” she reminded me gently. “He went away. He was very sick, and he went somewhere to get better.”
“Why didn’t we go with him?” I asked, tilting my head. I’d asked all the questions before.
“Because we didn’t know where he was going.”
“Why didn’t he tell us?”
“He didn’t know either, love.”
“Oh.” I looked at the tan sandy pillars. I asked a question I hadn’t ever asked before. “Where did all of the other people go?”
“They went back to where they came from.”
“Why didn’t they take us with them?” I asked, perplexed.
She sighed. “Your daddy did something that they didn’t like very much, so they left us here when they went.”
“That wasn’t nice,” I said, pouting.
“Well, they thought he needed to be punished, just like you when you do something wrong.”
“Did Daddy do something wrong?” I implored, my eyes widening.
“No, my sweet.” She stood and took my hand again. We kept walking through the abandoned city streets.
“Didn’t they know that?”
“I told them,” she reassured me. “I told them, but it’s too late now.”
I was silent for a minute, and then I perked up. “Well, since Daddy is gone now, will they come and get us?”
She shook her head, the same sad smile making her beautiful features so tragic.
“Why not?” I gasped.
“They don’t know that we’re down here.” Her voice wavered. “They don’t know that we exist.”
She turned her head, so that I couldn’t see the tears that were threatening to spill out on her cheeks.
I still did.
That was the day that I first tried to understand: our people had forsaken us. They left us for paradise above, forgetting all about the city they left below the waters.
That was years ago. Since then, my mother caught the same illness my father had died of when I was a small child. I’m in my twenties now. I never knew what my father did that was so awful our friends and family left us to die here in solitude.
Every day I walk the city streets, alone, hoping that somehow, someone might hear my silent cries for rescue. But it’s like my mother said: no one knows we exist down here. They’ve forgotten us for their perfection.
There’s nothing for me to do but wait.
There’s nothing for me to wait for.