Back by popular demand—and writer's block in other projects—I decided to pursue this again. I need some more inspiration for it though…I've been searching this site called Elfwood for some nice drawings. I found a few, but it's not enough. Got any soundtrack suggestions? Haha, sorry, okay, here's this chapter and I'm going to try to write more now!
As I predicted, whenever I asked Anubis any question regarding where he came from, he diverted my attention elsewhere. If I asked him anything about himself, he would reply shallowly, and then ask me about myself.
"I thought you knew everything there was to know," I had pointed out.
He only shrugged. "Well maybe I want to hear it from you."
The day went on like that, question after question avoided and ignored with me telling my life story. Either Anubis was actually interested in what I had to say, or he was extremely good at pretending. By the end of our time together, I had grown to know close to nothing else about him, whereas he knew pretty much everything about me.
"So was this the first step into figuring out my disease?" I asked before I went home.
He rolled his eyes. "You don't have a disease. And yes, it was. Prepare for much more, because I'm not even close to being finished yet."
I figured that was fair enough and took the walk back to my house alone. We had another meeting time for the next day, this time at his apartment. I was supposed to be there at seven, which was a disgusting time to be awake. But if he asked, I'd do it.
There were four other cars lined up outside the house, and all the lights were on inside. I was confused at first, but then recognized some of the cars, especially the one with the license plate that read "Digger". Dad and his buddies must be celebrating.
It was quiet outside, but as soon as I stepped in, I could have barely heard myself speak. They were all sitting in the living room watching a soccer game and drinking beers. I didn't bother stopping to say hi, and went straight into the kitchen where mom was taking a chicken out of the oven.
"Having fun?" I asked over the noise.
"Hey, I didn't hear you come in," she said as she put the chicken on the counter.
"What's the occasion?"
I could see her shoulders go up and down as she sighed. "Successful first day, I guess. Get a plate, I'll serve us up so we don't go to bed hungry."
I took down two plates from the cabinet and waited as she loaded them up. I was a little interested in what the team had found in a day, but I decided to ask later. I mentioned it now, they'd be talking all night.
"How was your day?" mom asked as I reached for a soda from the fridge.
"Fine," I replied. "I was in the eastern section, just checking things out."
"With that guy, Anubis?"
I laughed aloud—too loud—out of surprise. "No, I never even met him."
"Honey, please. I saw you two around town a few days ago. I don't care, just as long as dad doesn't hear about it for a while."
I guess I couldn't really deny it. Instead, I didn't say anything as I took my plate and went straight for my room. It was good she wasn't fully against it, and even better that she suggested dad not know right away. It wasn't the fact that he was against me hanging around a guy, just the idea that it was Anubis, someone full tilt against excavations.
I sat at my desk and ate my dinner while I checked my email. There was a message from my friend back in the states, Kayla, and she asked me to call as soon as I read it. I checked the phone line, finding it to be free, surprisingly. Katie must have been doing something constructive.
I dialed the long distance number, waiting as it rang a few times. I was just about to give up when Kayla answered.
"Hey, long time no talk," I said after she answered.
"Sandra? It took you long enough!" she replied, laughing. "Egypt's got you that wrapped up?"
"It's just been really busy, that's all," I said as the guys in the living room started yelling at the TV.
"You can hear it? It's my dad and his team, they started digging today," I replied, sitting on my bed as far from the door as I could. "How is it up there?"
"As good as it can be for the summer," she replied. "It's pretty boring without you though."
"It's pretty boring here, too," I sighed. "I don't know the city well yet, or the language, so it's kind of complicated."
"Made any friends yet?"
Anubis immediately came to mind. "Sort of, just one guy."
"Oh, a guy, huh? I didn't know you were working so fast," Kayla laughed.
I rolled my eyes. "It's nothing like that—I've only known him for about a week or something."
"Right. What's his name?"
I faltered on that one. I wasn't about to tell her his name was Anubis--that was just asking for jokes. "It's Mark."
"Mark? And how old is Mark?"
Again, I paused. "I don't know, actually. Older—like twenty or so."
"Wow, a bit of a grave robber, are we?" she said.
I laughed at the irony in that statement and moved on from 'Mark' to other things we needed to catch up on. She had a summer job at a restaurant and was making some extra cash babysitting. I explained my lame situation, being jobless since I didn't know the language well enough. Dad kept telling me to go to the university for a job, but so far I'd refused.
After a good while of talking about little things, I brought up something I'd been wondering about for a while. I approached the idea carefully, not wanting to sound too curious.
"Hey, do you remember going to the psychic when we were kids?" I asked, fiddling with the ends of my hair.
"Yeah! God, I haven't thought about that in a long time," Kayla said. "Funny how you ended up in Egypt anyway."
"I know," I said, vaguely listening. My mind was back in that musty room, smelling of thick incense and mothballs.
"Did you meet him yet?" Kayla asked, laughing. "Did you meet Anubis yet?"
I swallowed hard, laughing fakely. "Nope, not yet." What a lie.
The phone bill was probably huge, so I told Kayla I'd let her go and talk to her later. Plus, I was tired, and Kayla could go on and on if you let her. We said good bye and I hung up the phone, not surprised that it chimed quietly, indicating that someone else had picked up the line; most likely, Katie.
I lay back against my bed, staring at the empty ceiling. I made a mental note to go find glow-in-the-dark stars as soon as I was free the next day. Maybe it would help being away from home; culture shock was only just starting to go into a crisis if I thought about it too much.
My eyes closed, I thought back to the day Kayla and I walked into that shop. It could have all been fake with all those dried herbs everywhere, the smoky air and the velvet curtains. I couldn't remember the woman's name, but she read Kayla's future, saying mostly positive things. I don't remember what, exactly. But I remember when I sat down across from her and she stared at both of my palms, becoming increasingly interested. After that she insisted on using numerology, followed by runes, until she just put her hands on my temples and went silent for a few minutes.
"You'll meet him some day," she had said, eyes still closed.
"Who?" I'd asked, glancing at Kayla. I wanted to leave, the whole thing seemed ridiculous.
"It was not he that saved you five years ago," she went on. Her words made me go stiff, and I was suddenly listening very hard. "The voices do not belong to him."
My mouth had gone very dry by then, and I felt a little sick. I could see the woman's eyes quivering under the lids.
"You are prone to death, a rare gift, but a puzzling one. He will find you someday—Anubis will find you."
At twelve, of course I believed her after that. Anyone would. She knew things I had never told her, or Kayla. Naturally she had to be telling the truth.
And here I was, lying in bed in Cairo with a date with Anubis the next day. Well not a date per say, but the psychic spoke the truth.
Outside, I could hear the cars rushing around, horns blaring now and then. At least we weren't in a completely remote area, and the desert was pretty close. This would all just take some getting used to.
With dad and the team still hollering at the game, I rolled over and turned off the light, deciding to try to get to sleep early.