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Copyright © 2016 by Cyci Cade. All rights reserved.
I try to arrange my meager belongings in the small tent, a thin layer of sand covers them, covers everything, including my perfect done hair. Living in an archeological camp isn´t in my plans. Actually, it isn´t in the plans of any sixteen-year-old girl. I had to leave a great apartment in London—where I lived with my father—to move to the Valley of the Kings in Egypt to live with my mother, the woman who abandoned me when I was five years old.
When my father got a promotion and we had to move to London, my mother also got a promotion and had to choose between us, her family, and her career. Every day I asked my father why mom preferred mummies instead of us; at that time, I didn´t have any idea what was a mummy. When I figured it out, I was disappointed. How could she choose a dusty, wrapped, decomposed, sticky body instead of me, her daughter? I never understood it.
I sigh. It is past. I found a way to move on and live a happy life with my father until five days ago when he suddenly died. Can you imagine the devastation this event caused in my life? I lost the most important person in my short existence, the only important person. As any relative can take care of me—I am just sixteen years old and I can´t stay alone—the only solution was to encounter my mom in Egypt.
She is archeologist, Dr. Louise Schumer, and lives in a tent in the Valley of the Kings great part of her time. Dr. Schumer and her team discovered a Pharaoh´s tomb, or something like that. It´s a very important discovery, so important that she couldn´t attend my father´s funeral or pick me up at the airport. She sent an assistant to do this job. She is a stranger to me.
I´ve been here for three hours and our conversation was “Did you have a good flight? Are you hungry? This is your tent.” I snort trying to get rid of the sand that covers my entire body. My hair is heavy and greasy, my throat is dry, and my eyes seem… to have a ton of sand inside them.
I hate desert, sand, and my mom. I hate my father too; he couldn´t have left me alone. I hate this damned life! Tears spring to my eyes lubricating them. I hate this stupid tent! I certainly didn´t bring all I need. I bet there isn´t Internet connection here. How will I get in touch with the rest of the world! This is the end of my life! This is!
Which kind of people like mummies? I wonder. I don´t see any purpose in digging up people who lived thousands of years ago. Why waste time with this? It makes no sense. Those decomposed people must remain in their tombs, untouched.
“Adele?” my mom calls.
Her voice annoys me. I had forgotten how it sounded when she used to call me. I had forgotten many things about my mother. How can a judge hand a girl to a mother who abandoned her years ago? It seems so wrong. Maybe I can call a lawyer and suggest that a tutor takes care of me until I reach the age of majority. I´m certain my father has enough money for this.
I refuse to stay here. Oh, I do!
“Adele,” she insists.
I ignore her. There´s nothing she may have to say that I want to hear.
“Adele?” This time, her voice is louder. She is in the tent. “What are you doing? Dinner is ready. We eat outside. Let´s go. My team wants to know you.” She smiles.
It enrages me. What will she say to her team? How will she explain that she has a sixteen-year-old daughter who she abandoned to hunt mummies? It is shameful. I bet she never mentioned my name.
I have so many things stuck in my throat, so many things I want to say to her. However, when I look at her, I can´t form a sentence, an avalanche of bad feelings overwhelms me and… I lose control of my feelings and body. I just want to cry. Therefore, I lower my head and leave the tent in silence.
Smiling, I try to be nice, after all, I can´t blame these people if my father died, I have the worst mother of the world, and I end up in a cemetery. What irony of destiny. My father died, and I moved to a cemetery.
I swallow my food fast, before it gains a layer of sand on the top while my mother tells them about my life. She´s well informed; a person who barely used to call me knows many things about me. She tells them about my school progress, achievements, projects... I wonder who told her all of that.
Soon, a knot forms in my throat and I can´t swallow anything else; I can´t hear another word. In a fluid movement, I get up. “Excuse me.” I march to my tent trying to hold the disobedient tears.
Hearing a stranger talking about my life was very weird. I felt invaded, dishonored, violated. My mother understands it; she violates those tombs everyday without caring about the dead ones. She exposed my life to those people as if I was one of her subjects, her mummies. She doesn´t respect me. And I hate her!