The New Beginning

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
What if the religion is a lie? What if we can prove it? What if they take all the power?

Submitted: July 06, 2016

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Submitted: July 06, 2016

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The New Beginning

I was waiting for my dad sitting at the “libertà” café. Lately he was working until sunset and he didn’t want me to stay home alone, so I just waited at the café. It wasn’t a problem for me, in fact, I loved it. Those were the only times he let me go to there, the only place who served hot chocolate, which was perfect to get warm in the cold winter that Rome suffers in March. That Monday was especially cold; I was able to see through the window the drops of rain and the steam that ran away from the Vatican’s guards’ mouths.  The clouds had hidden the sun and the flowers were missing somewhere. Vivaldi’s music was playing in the background, which, usually, helps me to study, but that day I just wasn’t able to pay attention. The next day I was going to have the final exam of my “sinful believes” class. This semester we were learning fake gods and heroes that people used to believed before the New Beginning. There were so many and so crazy, I just didn’t understood how people could believe that existed a person with three retractable claws in each hand or someone ugly like Doomsday, and they had more than one book! They even had movies! I really needed to study but I couldn’t take my eyes away from those guards, they were doing big movements with its arms, as if they were fighting.

“Hi, sweetie!” I jumped in the chair. I didn’t see him coming. Everyone stared at me I became uncomfortable. “I am ready, you want to go home?”

“Hi, dad. Yes, let’s go home” he seemed so tired. In the last week the wrinkles on his face had multiple and his eye bags were simply purple. He was merely forty four, but he looked old. He paid the lady in the counter and we started walking under the moon that now was stalking Rome.  “What’s going on at work? Why you have to stay so late? Is everything all right?”

He smiled. “So, tomorrow is your eighteen birthday. How do you feel?” I knew he was not going to answer.

“Normal, I think. How do you feel?” I fell over my own feet.

“Old” he laughed. “Did you invite your friends to celebrate? I’m going to do pizzas.”

I pursed my nose as if I had smelled deer poop. He laughed again.

“Come on, Vicky. I will be working late again and I don’t want you to spend your birthday sitting at the café again. It won’t be so terrible if you talk with the girls in your class just once.” I didn’t like the girls in my class. We used to get along but after my mom die I started to feel a little bit different, of course I wasn’t able to talk to anybody about how I felt, not even my dad, so I just tended to told him “they laugh a lot, too loud, it’s annoying. I prefer staying at the café; if you don’t want me to feel alone I will let you buy me a chocolate cake”. He nodded; and a dog barked. The rest of the walk home was silence.

The truth was that my classmates were too believers, I know that’s what everyone is supposed to be, but after my mom’s death, I only had one question in my mind: if god is all good and almighty, why he took her so fast? Why all my friends had someone to pick them up after school and made them braids?  Why me? I couldn’t stand to sit there with them talking about the bible, while they stared at me and I became uncomfortable. I was angry, I still am, but, of course, now I see things a little bit different.

When I woke up the next day the blue walls were the first thing I saw. It was a day like all the others, but now, I was one year older. I select my every day uniform for school, a light brown trousers and a white t-shirt, after I was all dressed up I put on my snickers and head myself to the bathroom. I washed my teeth and combed my brown, long hair.  I looked myself in the mirror. My brown big eyes were staring at me as if they were boring, tired of the same routine. They never let us wear makeup, except for big occasions, like parties and weddings. I have never used, thought, it was hard to get and my father never could afford it. I finished combing my hair in a ponytail and started my way to the kitchen.

The room smelled like eggs. In the table there were a plate full of them, a bowl full of cereal and a cup full with coffee. However, my dad wasn’t there.

“Dad!” I screamed. “Dad!”

“Hey, sweetie! Out here!” his voice came from the outside. Confused, I picked up my jacket that was in the coach, opened the front door and the light exposed me. The rain of the day before was now gone and instead the sun was shining so bright as if he knew it was my birthday. And there he was, my dad was standing next to a huge blue car. My mother’s old car. I didn’t know it still existed. I thought my dad had gotten rid of it after she left. I started running trough it and I fell over my own feet. My dad laughed.

“Where…? Why…? What?!” I mumbled. The car was trying to be a metallic blue, it had no selling (I was hoping you could put it back if you wanted) and it looked like it had a thousand years. There was a huge crash next to the right front door and flower’s stickers, that I assumed, my dad put trying to cover the lack of painting in some parts of the car. In the back of it the plate was saying: 230, approved by the Vatican. In the front, a plate that I have done when I was little: ‘A heart M’ it meant Abby, my mother’s name, and me.

“I could never get rid of it so I just kept it parked next to our old house. I prefer to walk but I thought you would like it. I already have got the permission, it is really hard to get one, but as I work there they finally allowed me”. He smiled “Happy birthday!”

“wow!” I didn’t know what to answer. “Does it work?” he nodded “how?”.

“Well, when I told Zuko that a I wanted to fix a 2015 ford mustang convertible he said that it was easiest to get a dragon ride to school than a ride with this car. But he did it, I mean, it goes pretty slow and the air conditioning doesn’t work properly, and is not really pretty, but it runs the necessary.”

“Zuko? My old friend Zuko?” he nodded “How do you find him? Is he fixing old cars now?” it was strange. Zuko was my best friend in school until one day he just quit going, he disappeared. I have always tried to find him but not even their dads knew where they were. He just left. “Why you didn’t tell me?” why he didn’t tell me? He knew how much I suffered.

“John, his dad, works with me and told me that he came back home like six months ago now” I felt kind of angry. “Apparently he stole his car and started running away. It was an old car also, so he learned how to fix it. When I told John what I wanted to gifted you he said that his son could help and, well, he explained this to me. I didn’t tell you because I didn’t know you were still missing him, plus, I would have ruined the surprise”.

“Why did he left? Why he came back?” I wanted to see him; I wanted to jump in the car and ride to his house.  “Why he didn’t come back to school?”

“I don’t know honey. Who cares? I just pray for his family.” He laughed. It wasn’t funny. “Come on! Try the car!”. I jumped in the car. The leather seats were like new and I felt like home. I remembered when my mom used to drive me to school and we sang with all our voice the Kayne West songs, Late Registration was the only album my mom had after the New beginning, her mother had gifted her for her fifth teen birthday, it was the only thing she could hid from the Vatican’s Search. The keys were already in the switch and I turned on the motor. I had always watched my mom driving so I knew what I had to do. I pressed the pedal and the car started to walk. It walked, wow, it was so old!

“Zuko did a great job! Come on, drive me to work” my dad said. I pressed the accelerator and the car moved faster. “I am going to leave soon from work today, after school go the café, I will meet you there, ok?” I nodded.

The ride to the Vatican wasn’t more than fifteen minutes. While I was driving, everyone stared at me and I became uncomfortable, but I tried to ignore the looks. I left my dad there and started my way back home, to eat my breakfast and grab my bag to go to school. Or at least I intended to do that. Instead I drove to Zuko’s house. I didn’t know why. But my feet leaded me there.

I was sitting in my 2015 mustang with no selling, my eyes were almost close because of the sun hitting on my face and the blue house was staring at me, asking if I was brave enough to knock the door or too coward to just leave without an answer. I got out of the car and walked through the house, when my hand touched the wood the door opened.

Zuko. He was there, after all this years, he was there. His face was different, he didn’t look like the fifteen boy I knew who played cards with me. His brown hair was shorter and he had a little bit of beard, a black t-shirt, despite the cold, and in his hand he had a bag full of, what seemed, trash. He looked surprised.

“Vick” said in a sigh “I told your father not to tell you”. I didn’t know what to say. And, suddenly, I started giving him small punches in the stomach making his bag felt.

“How could you did that to me?!” I screamed “you left! Without saying a thing! You were the only friend I had!” I kept punching him while he used his hands in shield-shape.

“Vick, stop”

“Don’t say me Vick!” he grabbed my hands and leaded me to the couch. I kept quiet.

“I’ m sorry, ok? I didn’t know what to tell you” he looked into my eyes, he was kind of pretty, his eyes were a dark blue I never notice. I looked away and crossed my arms. “Vick, I just feel that I cannot tell you what is happening…”

“Why!? Am I dumb?” I interrupted him. “You think I am dumb?!” I screamed and then I realized maybe someone was home “are your parents here?” I asked almost whispering, he laughed and moved his head no.

“Vicky, I don’t think you are dumb I just…” He just what?! “I don’t know, is dangerous.”

“Where have you been?” he didn’t answer. “I shouldn’t have come. I’m sorry, I won’t bother you again. It is obvious you don’t want me around, I am so over this”. I stood up and head myself to the door.

“I drove to the Limit.” I stopped and turned around. He stood himself too, he was so much taller and big, his arms looked like he had been working out, but where? In the Limit? That was impossible.

“Why? How?” she said, he stared at me, as if he were wondering whether to tell me or not.

“It’s a long story” he finally sighed. I didn’t look away this time. “Let’s eat something, have you had breakfast?” he smiled at me and I felt weak.

We walked through the kitchen, I sat in a chair and he served me a glass full of milk and a plate with chocolate cookies. I frowned, chocolate cookies were really hard to get. He sat next to me.

“Happy birthday” he said. I must have looked confused because he added “I remember. Besides, your dad couldn’t stop calling me to ask when Rex was going to be ready”

“Rex?”

“Oh, yeah. I named your car Rex, because he is old and strong like a tyrannosaurus rex, but he doesn’t like to be call by his full name, so I just say him Rex” I laughed.

“Ok, I like it, Rex it is” I missed him, somehow the atmosphere was lighter now. We looked each other in the eyes for a few minutes. I grabbed a cookie.

“Do you remember what we talked about when we were kids?” he cut the silence.

“Emm, yeah, about school, we played a lot, right? Why?” That question took me by surprise.

“Well, no. We played a lot, yes, but you were always talking” I frown again. “Not in the bad way” he added, “you were always asking questions remember?” I shake my head no. “Why God killed my mom? Why he killed all the people but the ones in Italy? Why we cannot read old books? Why I cannot wear pink like the people in the past did?” he stopped for a moment and I remembered myself asking those things. “What we know, what we have been taught is that the world, except for the Vatican and the people from Italy, stopped believing in God, in the authenticity of the church as an institution, right?” I nodded “So, they created the Third World War, trying to get the power of the clergy making the world an awful place to live. The rest of the story is well known, Jesus low to the Earth and destroyed all places where people had sinned, creating a new era called, as you know, The New Beginning.”

“Where are you going with this? I already read the bibles” I said confused. 

“People, now, believe. Believe because of fear or because they don’t know better or, not even better, they just don’t know any different. No one ask anything, no one puts anything in doubt. But you did. Every day with you opened my head a little bit further. I was always trying to give you the answers but I wasn’t able, I used to spend all day trying to figure them out, but I never could.” He stopped for a moment, searching for the words that he was going to say next. “One day, after being with you all the afternoon I came home and I had a huge fight with my dad. I don’t remember why we were fighting about now, but I locked myself in the room because I didn’t want to see him. I was so mad that I needed to do something to stop thinking about him, so I grabbed a book that was in my shelf. It wasn’t very interesting, it talked about the flowers and vegetation you can find in China, a country that was destroyed before the New Beginning, in comparison with the flowers and vegetation in United States. Anyway, I read it all, from the first page to the last, just to think of something else and suddenly something called my attention. The print date was in the year 2019, in United States. I don’t recall why that seemed weird but it did; I started reading all the books I had in my room until I found what I was looking for, and was in the bible, right there. It said that in 2017, when the Third World War exploded, all countries were in misery, nations were just a shadow of what were before. So, I asked myself, if places were already destroyed, how China and United States in 2019 were so gorgeous? Why United States, in the middle of the war, expended money just to write about flowers?” he looked at me and my skin crawled. “I spent all the night wondering and thinking about all the questions that you always asked to me until I found the solution, I found the answer that, at some point I already knew, but I was afraid to accept.” He stopped, asking with his eyes if I was ready for the statement he was going to say next. “There is life out there Vicky, the Third World War never existed, the clergy is deceiving us, we are in the 2075.”  And a dog barked.

I started laughing.

“What? Are you crazy?” I stood up and fell over my own feet. He stood up too.

“Are you going to say me that this idea never crosses your mind? Not even once?” he said.

I stared at him. Now that he says it I realized that, maybe yes, sometimes that idea appeared in mind to be automatic reject. I walked from one corner of the room to the other.

“Well… Yes, maybe, no, it’s impossible.” I said biting my nails.

“After that endless night” he continued “I went out of my room before my dad woke up to go to work. I filled the car with clothes, food and books and I left. I wanted to be sure before talking to anybody. I spent five days driving until I got to the Limit. There is no way to cross it, so I started to drive along with it. It is protected by hundreds of guards and, sometimes, they almost caught me. I was going to give up when one day, out of nowhere, a door opened letting me see the other side.” With every word he said something inside of me was broken. Everything I knew was a lie. I didn’t know anything anymore. One part of me wanted to leave that house and run to my father’s arms and cry. Or wake up; make all of this a bad dream. Other part of me, conversely, wanted to run to the car and drive to the limit myself. “On the other side there were huge planes and ships. People everywhere, coming in and coming out. All of them in green uniforms. I stayed there watching for hours, astonished. And then, the door closed. I kept hidden for days, and then weeks, and then months, waiting for the door to open again, until, one year later, exactly, it did.” At this point of the story he had me completely in. I was absolutely expectant and curious of what was going to happen next.

“Did you went to the other side?” I asked when the pause was longer of what I could take. He shacked no.

“I couldn’t.” he whispered. “Some part of me knew that if I left Rome that day, I would have never come back. So I watched until the door closed again, went back to my car and drive home.” He silenced. I didn’t know what to say. I felt fear and adrenaline, all at the same time. I sat in the chair again.

“Are you planning to go back, right?” I asked and immediately we both looked each other, as if he knew what I was thinking. His eyes opened so much that I thought they were going to fall.

“Oh, no” he said standing up, having the same reaction I had minutes ago. “No, no, no, no. Don’t even think about it. No, no, no.”

“You think,” I started, “that you were going to tell me all this, and I was going to let you left again by yourself as if nothing had happen?” he cover his face with his hands.

“I knew!  I shouldn’t have told you!” he screamed.

“What is the problem? I am sure you don’t want to spend so much time alone again!” his face was bemused, as if I just told him I wanted to become a galactic defender.

“No, Victoria. I’m sorry. You are not coming.” He said so severe that he made me recall of a father. It didn’t work though.

“I am going to tell your dad you are planning to leave again, then. I am sure you won’t be able to go to the Limit by foot, right?” I pissed him off. For a moment I thought he was going to punched me in the face, instead he started walking to the back of the house, I followed him. He opened a door in the back and leaded me to a dark and empty alley, the sun that was present a few moments ago was now hidden again, as if he felt that there was no reason to be happy anymore, as if Zuko had token his innocence too, leaving him so embarrassed that the only option he had left was to leave the clouds there, crying for him.

We walked for a couple of minutes until he stood up in front of a door, put a key inside the lock and opened it. The room smelled like eggs and was dark, as if the sun rays had never touch anything in there.  And suddenly, the light exposed me. Some huge lamps were now giving life to the little space we were in. The walls were cover by hundred of pictures; pictures of things I never seen before. Pictures of big buildings, amazing constructions; hundreds of persons, with faces similar as the one in Rome, and faces different with thin eyes or darker skin; cars of all the colors of the rainbow; foods, from the ones I eat everyday like pasta, to meat in a kind of oval bread cover in, what looked like, salsa; big and colorful signs that read words I never listened, like McDonalds, Bloomingdales or USA; all kind of flowers and threes, some really tall with almost no leaves, and some that were so green that I didn’t understand where they came from. In a table, he had a computer, like the ones they had in the Vatican, but no one else can have. The floor was almost impossible to see because of all the books he had scattered there. And in a corner, he had a table with a map as big as whale with crumble eggs and bread on it.

“We used to keep the car in here, but my dad sold it when I came back” he said “he thinks I use this place to study to get back to school.” He smiled at me and I felt week.

“How…? Where…?” I tried to ask, but the words didn’t want to leave the security of my mouth.

“In the way to the Limit, I met a lot of people, people that is doubting too.” I fell over my own feet.

“What?!” I asked.

“People is trying to find answers in books, so I have exchange a lot of them, ones I already read for new ones.” He looked the pictures he had in the wall. “I am learning about the world outside. That, ” he said pointing out a picture “is a food that is called Sushi, it’s something like fish with rice. And that,” he said pointing a yellow car “is cab, the use it as a public transport” I looked him confused. “I am not going to lie to you Vicky, one of the reasons I came back was because of you” that took me by surprise. “I couldn’t stand the idea of not seeing you again, but when I came back I didn’t know how to get back to you to left again. It is dangerous out there…”

“I don’t care. I want to go with you” I interrupted him “we can go with my car. We can leave now!” He choked.

“Have you lost your mind? No way” he started to walk from one place of the room to another, while he crossed his fingers through his hair. He missed me? He said that. Why? Because we are friends, right. He was mumbling something, but I didn’t listen. He looked pretty angry. Everything he said was true? I wasn’t going to stay seated, in this little perfect world, while someone else discovered the truth for me. I wanted to know, I wanted to find out myself.  

“I’m sorry; I am so over this” I walked until we were face to face “I won’t be able to live one day more in this lie. You discover the truth and left right away. I am doing that too. If you don’t want come with me I don’t care.” I did care; I was hoping he just stopped putting excuses. But he didn’t. He said ok, and he left me there, alone. And a dog barked.

I made my way down the dark and empty alley again. I walked to the front door and waited, to see if he came back. But he didn’t. I left and got inside the car. Did I mean what I said? Was I going to leave? Was I going to left my dad? Yes. I did, and I was. I was going to go back home, grab clothes, food and all the books I could find. And I was going to leave.

And then, the opposite door opened and someone sat in the seat next to me.

“Only a fool trips on what is behind them,” Zuko said “and I am not going lo left you behind again”. He smiled at me and I felt secured. I put the keys on the switch and the engine started.

 

 


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