“Please Wake up. Please, wake up. Please Wake up Please wake up. Thank You!” The Intercom blared. I was still in Zach’s arms,
“Well, that outta be a nice thing to wake up to every morning,” He said with clear sarcasm. He put the box that was covering the microphone onto the floor. Then, he meet my eyes. I understood – if we blocked the microphone for too long, they might get suspicious,
“Well, I guess I will have to make up for it by doing this,” I leaned over I kissed him. It was the first time I had actually kissed him,
“I’d love to sit in bed like this,” he started with his eyebrows raised, “but I would prefer not hearing that monotone lady again,” I got up and walked with heavy feet to the doorstep. There were two meals – one for me and one for Zach. There was also a letter on Zach’s meal that would probably tell him what his job was. Somehow, I was jealous. I wasn’t really looking forward to staying by myself in this house, but I knew that in about 6 months I would be taking care of – of Dakota,
“I’ll go ahead and heat them up, okay?” Zach said. He grabbed the boxes from in front of me and gave me a warm smile
“Okay, I’ll brew some tea, how do you like it?”
“Doesn’t really matter, I like a tad of sugar and some milk – but put it in first,” He said.
“Yeah, It doesn’t sound like it matters at all,” I said nudging him.
“Fine, I like my tea how I like my tea.”
“Well, just be glad I like my tea like that too,” I said nudging him back, “Do you want to open that letter?” Then, he put our breakfasts in the oven and opened the envelope. I watched his expression carefully. He looked a little excited at first and then a saw a flicker of fear in those dark blue eyes,
“I – I’m a miner.” He ran his fingers through his hair. Being a miner is the most dangerous job. Usually, the government made some older and younger people do it for about 6 months,
“9 months.” his expression was completely blank. My father had to mine for 7 months and well, I just hope he’s in heaven. I had only know Zach for two days, and I found that my eyes were watery – no one should have to do this. Especially at only 17! Being a miner for more than 7 months was a death sentence, and Zach had to serve for 9. Then he hugged me tight, and I hugged him. We almost had it perfect – too perfect. Our lives looked like they would be happy and long. He kissed me very briskly and got our meals out of oven,
“Let’s eat,” His voice was thick, but he put a smile on his face. We ate slowly. I cannot imagine what was going on in his head,
“Do you want to go ahead and enter the baby’s name?” I asked
“Sure,” he said, “I cannot wait to have a little baby in the house. We continued to eat quietly,
“Well, I guess I’m gonna go to work,” He said. I could tell he was trying to put a normal mask on, and honestly, I probably would have done the same thing. I wondered what he was thinking,
“Well, I’ll see you in a couple of hours, and don’t worry about putting the meals outside,” I said to him,
“No, it’s really not a trouble. Are you done?”
“Yeah I think so.” Zach took my plate from me, got his own and put them on the doorstep on his way out. The house was very quiet. I decided to go to the nursery. I again admired the beautiful colour of the room. The creamy purple made the room seem more open and airy. In fact, it made me think of our high school field trip. We had been learning about ancient Rome. The atriums were kind of like this nursery. I sounded silly, but true. The Romans put very little furniture in their atriums and used light and welcoming colours. Maybe the architects had thought of that, but I doubted it.
My day went like this until about 5. Then I heard a knock n the door. Who could it have been? I opened the door by just the door, and it was Zach. Is was a cold, rainy fall afternoon,
‘Zach! You don’t have to not have to knock on our own door.” He had on some dark khaki pants and a shirt. No jacket,
“The driver dropped me off at the end of the street and I wasn’t sure if this was our house.”
“Well go ahead and get inside, I think I just put up a jumper of your’s,”
“Thanks Anna,” He didn’t look well, not well at all. His face was pale and his eyes seemed weary. I pursed my lips and jogged to our bedroom. Sure enough, a knitted grey jumper was hanging in the closet. I went into the den to find him kind of sitting up,
“Here put this on,” He put it on, and I put a blanket over him,
“Thank you, Anna,” Suddenly, I felt like we were both about 30 years old, but we were only 17,
“I think there is some tea in the kitchen. That’ll warm you up,” I went into the kitchen, and sure enough there was a little bit of tea left. I went back to the living room to give it to him,
“Anna, will it be like this every day?”
“No, It’ll get better,” I said even though I didn’t know myself,
“I don’t know. I just don’t know if – if I or we can do this,”
“How about this,” I said sitting down next to him, “Lay down on the couch, and I am going to tell you a story. It is about a very old holiday. They called it was called Christmas. People all around the world celebrated it, but my story takes place in a place that has had many names, America, The States, and United States of America are just a few. On Christmas Eve, A man named Santa went all around the world and he had a list, well to of ‘em. The two lists combined had the names of all the little boys and girls combined. One list was for the naughty, and one was for the nice. The nice kids got presents. They got books, clothes and so much more. And this Santa made everyone happy, and made everyone more giving. Christm-“ I looked over and he was fast asleep. I kissed him on the cheek, and he smiled. Maybe he escaped to his dreams. I hope they were good dreams.