Chapter 2 (cont'd)
Jamie couldn’t remember falling asleep, but he must have. With a start he realised he was hanging half off the side of his bed, his alarm clock drilling into his skull. He had difficulty seeing it through his heavy, bleary eyes but with a wild flail, he smacked it shut. It took a good few minutes before he finally remembered the night before. After getting ready for school, Jamie stepped towards the door. He half expected to see some monster waiting outside, but when he opened the door, their was nothing there. He thought nothing of it till he stepped out and onto a large wet patch that dampened the floor. He knelt down and felt the water, it was like ice to the touch. Had it been raining the night before or something?
And there were other things. Since he was sure it had been his mum outside his room sleepwalking, just like the night before, he thought if she’d been that wet and freezing... well he figured she’d be all stuffed up and full of a cold. She seemed perfectly fine though. Then his mind thought back on the intense cold he’d felt, even under the sheets, then being unable to hear whatever it was move after he’d made a noise. Something was happening he just couldn’t understand.
There wasn’t much time to hang around though. Today was revision day before his end of year history test tomorrow and he sure wanted to pass. Jamie loved history. Most people called him weird for it, called him a geek, but he really enjoyed learning about all the stuff people had done for thousands of years, the repetition of events, the rise and fall of whole empires that were totally awesome. It was like a puzzle, where you kept reaching the same point before scratching it all away and starting again, trying to find the perfect result. Most of all he adored ancient history, a lot of it because of the myths but also thinking about the kind of technology they had, the similarities between people then and now.
“What does the year 2012 mean in the Mayan Calendar?” Mrs. Miller asked, “Jamie?” He knew she’d pick him. He always did well in his tests, but he never told anybody that, in fact he even knew the answer, but he hated being called a nerd and hearing everyone whisper about him in the class, it was most embarrassing.
“Dunno,” Jamie shrugged. Mrs. Miller shook her head and sighed.
“The Mayans calendar ended in our year 2012, this has sparked a lot of debate in the academic fields, even used by authors and directors to sell books and films. Now, opinion varies but generally, Scientists dismiss it, Cults and Religious bodies call it a transition of humans in some way, changing their ways, hopefully for the better. Some believe the world will end, though this is widely disbelieved.”
Jamie was kind of surprised. Here was his history teacher talking about this year, and he wasn’t the only one to think it. From the back of the class he heard somebody say, “What’s the point in telling us this? History blows—“
An almighty snap made them all jump. Jamie turned to see Dan, a burly footballer, with eyes wide, he realised what he was doing and sank back in his seat, hoping to look uncaring again. But his eyes showed the fear that he’d been seen. Jamie had to smile, before Dan glared at him and he whipped his head back around.
Mrs. Miller held the ruler in her hand and slapped it against her other. She continued, her voice sounding a little strained.
“What this shows us about history is that it still continues to shape our present. This is just one direct example of how patterns in our history allow us to determine even our futures. The rise and fall of civilisations, although different in their coming about, all follow those similar patterns. I’m telling you this because it will be in the exam tomorrow, so make sure to look out for these links in the questions, but also because it will help you in your own lives.” Mrs. Miller looked at me and held me there for a moment before turning towards the board. She finished the lesson with a list of Greek gods, Zeus, Hera, Aphrodite, Ares, Hermes and then wrote their Roman equivalents, Jupiter, Juno, Venus, Mars, Mercury. Then she pointed out all the Greek and Roman inspired art and architecture within modern culture. The whole lesson turned into one of those moments where you think your head might explode, like you’ve had an epiphany and the world just couldn’t understand this moment like you can.
I walked out the class at the end of the school day in fever pitch excitement, buzzing my mind in the ears of Mark and Jenny. They acknowledged and even accepted Jamie’s passion for history, but they definitely did not share in it. They told him to shut up and spent the rest of the way home together in near silence.
Finally the two separated from him as they did every day. As usual Jamie took the shortcut through the field that led into an alleyway. As he walked down the alley, he thought he heard a noise.