Sunday, June 19, 2011

Chapter 15 - Micah

I woke up still feeling groggy. The sun already reached through the red and black curtains that hung over the only window in the bedroom. I buried my face in the soft pillow before shoving myself into an upright position on the edge of the bed. I got up and wandered into the kitchen, thinking of Eve and Olivia. I wondered if they were safe. Jarvis mentioned Isoli closed the city right after I got out. Had Eve made it out in time? Did Olivia still have her cover? I peered into the refrigerator looking for something to eat.
A soft knock on the front door stole my attention. I closed the fridge and moved like a zombie to the front door. Last night was the best night of sleep I’d had my whole life. My body still longed to be back under the covers so I opened door in only the shorts I’d put on last night.
Zoe stood facing me. My eyes made there way up her nicely shaped legs. She had on heels again and a blue skirt that stopped a few inches above the knee. She wore another white collared shirt, but this one had subtle blue stripes.
“Umm...” She teased her blond hair and shifted her weight to the other foot. Her voice pulled my eyes up to her face. She was biting her pouty, lower lip. Her vibrant eyes flirted with my still foggy brain. “I made breakfast if you want to come over.”
“Oh, yeah,” I stumbled. “That’d be great.” I started to walk out the door before her giggle stopped me.
“I’m completely okay with it, but you might want to put some clothes on first.”
“Oh... yeah... I’ll be over in a minute then.” I blushed more than I wanted to. Being caught without my shirt on didn’t bother me. Hard labor had kept me in excellent shape. But the fact that she had me so mesmerized I forgot to get dressed--that was embarrassing.
“Okay. I’ll leave the door open.”
I closed the door and walked to the bedroom to look for a t-shirt. I pulled a plain white one from the second drawer of the dresser in the corner of the room. I grabbed some slippers from the closet and was at Zoe’s door, probably too soon.
“That was fast,” Zoe called from the kitchen.
“I was hungry.”
“Come sit down. It’s ready.”
Before I entered the kitchen, breakfast smells accosted me. Bacon, eggs, hash-browns, and pancakes. Eve. I’d forgotten about her when Zoe knocked on my door, but the smell of the pancakes brought her back to the front of my mind.
She probably didn’t make it out of Phoenix last night. If she had someone would’ve told me.
I started inhaling my breakfast. I wanted to hurry and get to Jarvis or Senator Castle to see if they had any news.
“Are you okay?” Zoe asked. She was still pouring milk and hadn’t even started on her plate yet.
“Yeah,” I lied. “I guess it’s just been a while since I had a decent meal.”
Zoe smiled. I relaxed. I finished the rest of my breakfast and picked up my dishes.
“Leave those there. I’ll take care of them.”
“At least let me put them in the sink.” I continued to the sink and put the dishes down. Zoe followed me in with her half finished breakfast. I turned around too fast and bumped into her. The top of her head just reached my mouth. My teeth sunk into my lower lip as dishes clattered to the ground and milk ran down my shirt and shorts. Zoe stumbled, and I grabbed her waist to keep her from falling.
“I’m so sorry!” Zoe grabbed a towel and began wiping down my shirt and legs.
“It’s okay. I have to go change anyway.”
“I’m such a clutz. Oh, and now your lip is bleeding. Let me get some ice.”
“Really, I’ll be okay. It’s barely bleeding.”
Zoe had already grabbed a piece of ice from the freezer and put it on my lower lip. Her free hand rested on my chest as she held the ice cube to my lip. I stared at her grey-blue eyes. She smiled again and looked away.
“I wanted to thank you.”
“What for?”
“For being brave. For not giving up. Before you started fighting, everyone just accepted how things were. Even those of us that didn’t like it wanted to make a difference, couldn’t change things. We had the will, but not the man power.”
“I’m just a kid. I was only looking out for myself and my sister.”
“That’s not true. You helped thousands of people in the slums find hope. In a way you’re their hero.” She leaned in closer and removed the ice cube from my lips. “You’re kind of my hero too.” She smiled shyly without showing her teeth and inched her lips closer to mine. I closed my eyes and moved to kiss her.
A knocking on the door startled us both, and Zoe jumped back and walked towards the living room. “Wait here, I’ll hurry back.” Her grin betrayed her intentions. I smiled back.
I heard her walk across the carpet and open the door.
“Hi, Zoe. The Senator sent me too look for Micah. I knocked on his door but no one answered. Do you know where he is?”
My heart jumped as I heard the voice on the other side of the wall. The voice was like a good song at the end of a long day. Olivia! I immediately forgot about my encounter with Zoe. I walked out of the kitchen, trying not to hurry. I didn’t want Olivia to know how excited I was to hear her voice.
“Yes, he’s--”
“Micah?” I entered the room just as Zoe presumably started to tell Olivia I was in her apartment.
Olivia stepped into the house and stood next to Zoe. Olivia smiled. Her bright green eyes and white teeth contrasted her dark olive skin. She had on a black skirt that went just past her knees, drawing my attention to her calves and then up her perfectly shaped body. Suddenly I realized how uncomfortable the situation was. I stopped in the middle of the room.
“Hi.” I awkwardly help up my hand in a sort of wave.
“Hi.” Olivia grinned and rose her eyebrows into an arch. She had realized how uncomfortable I felt but she seemed to enjoy it. “Am I interrupting something?”
“No,” I shot, almost too fast.
“I just made Micah some breakfast. There's still some left. Are you hungry?”
“No thanks, I already ate. Micah, there’s a meeting in two hours in the bunker below the Senator’s office. The Senator wants to meet with you before that.”
“Okay sure, just let me go back to my room and change. Bye, Zoe, I’m sure I’ll see you around.” I smiled and started to walk past Zoe and Olivia to get out the door. Zoe grabbed my wrist and tugged.  I turned around and before I could say a thing, she kissed me on the cheek.
“Goodbye, Micah. Have fun.” She smiled teasingly and glanced at Olivia before leaving to the kitchen.
I started down the stairs and back to my apartment.
“You can come in and wait. I’ll only be a second.”
“I’ll just wait out here. It’s a nice day.” She didn’t even look at me. She stared out toward the sun that was just a couple hours from being at its highest point. I left the door open and walked back to my room. I already felt guilty. No doubt Olivia liked me. I knew it when she first spoke to me in the prison. She was so soft and caring. Once I realized her intentions, I liked her too. Zoe was pretty. She had everything when it came to looks but Olivia was beautiful. Everything about her was perfect. Light seemed to radiate from her.
I looked through the closet for a few minutes but came up empty. Just a suit, slacks, a button up white shirt a few ties, and a pair of nice wing-tipped black dress shoes. I closed the closet, sure I wouldn’t have to use any of them. I moved over to the dresser and pulled out a pair of jeans and a white t-shirt. I finished dressing, walked outside and closed my front door. Olivia turned abruptly and forced a smile. A small tear snuck out the corner of her eye. My heart sank, and I felt worse than before.
“That wasn’t what you think.”
“You don’t have to explain anything to me.”
“Really, she---”
“I’m supposed to do a check up on you before the meeting. I have some ointment for your back.”
“Listen, Olivia, I’m sorry. Zoe is very aggressive. We’re not dating or anything. I only met her last night.”
“Looks like things moved pretty quickly then.”
“No, they--”
“The hospital is just around the corner. I’ll treat your wounds, then you have a meeting with Senator Castle.”
We walked the next block or so to the hospital in silence. I couldn’t read Olivia. It seemed as though she had liked me before but I had probably ruined it in one day. I started to feel angry. Who was Olivia to judge me for eating breakfast that I was invited to? I didn’t do anything wrong. Why was she being so emotional about it?
We finally reached the inside of the hospital where Olivia directed me to an open room.
“You can take off your shirt and lie down on the padded table. I’ll be back in just a second.”
She left the room. I followed her instructions and waited face down on the table. After a moment she returned and closed the door.
“This will sting at first, but it will speed up the healing process.”
I felt her fingers massage my back as she rubbed the cream into my tattered skin. I winced as the cream seeped into my wounds.
“Sorry.” She continued moving her hands over my back.
I decided to skip anymore chit-chat, “After Darien broke me out he said he had to go back to rescue Eve. Do you know if they made it out okay?”
“Isoli ordered the wall up around Phoenix, shut down the gates and all air travel right after you got out. Darien and Eve were stuck in the city. We have word that Tanner picked them up. As far as we know they’re hiding in the city until they can find a way out.”
That was good news. At least she was still alive.
“How did you get out then?”
“I have every other weekend off. I left the city a few hours before you escaped.”
I relaxed as the stinging in my back subsided and the cream brought relief instead of pain.
“Micah, I found out something else that you should know.”
I heard urgency in her voice and turned on my side and looked at her eyes. Her look was serious.
“Isoli isn’t just after you because you’re a rebel. He’s after your genes.”
“Your dad was a famous scientist. Your mom was a world class sprinter. Your genetic makeup is as close to perfect as I’ve seen. He wants to use your genes to create a super-race. With you in his possession He could fake your execution and use your genes without the public knowing.”
I remained silent, unsure of what to say. Olivia finally broke the silence.
“You’re all done now. Let the ointment dry for a few minutes and then go over to the Senator’s office.”
“Thanks.” I paused, still unsure of what to say. I buried my face back into the pillow on the padded table. I felt bad about what happened before but it didn’t feel like the right time to apologize, “I’m sorry about earlier.” She was already out of the room. Why was she being so stubborn? I tried to explain things, but she just wouldn’t listen. I decided to let it rest. I didn’t need Olivia in order to be happy. Zoe could fill my time until we went to war, and who knew if I’d be around after that anyway.
I slipped my shirt on and walked to the Senator’s office. Zoe greeted me inside. Her flirtatious smile was still on her face as she directed me into Senator Castle’s office. I closed the door and sat down across from his large desk.
“Good morning Micah, I want to offer you a deal.”

1 comment:

  1. This kind of threw me. I didn't catch the vibes that Olivia flirted with Micah. I thought she wanted to help him because of who he represented--but, okay! I'd think there would be a big age difference between them, considering how long Olivia had to go to school, unless she was sped through because of her bar code. (I assume she has one in the medical field) But Zoe could be closer to Micah's age, I'd guess. Beside a few spelling errors and a "there" instead of a "their", the chapter gave us some important information, like why Micah's so important and why his parents were taken. Good job!