Genesis, Part II
“Okay… So I’ll start things off by saying that I am a research agent for your mother’s science lab…” Mr. Rogers stated.
Well I guess I know what he does now.Cid told himself, nodding in response to his father’s statement.
His mother was the next to speak. Sighing, she began her statement. “There was an accident at the Oracle Science Center, where your father and I work. The entire building is in flames…” She stated.
Cid failed to see the significance of the statement, and it showed on his face.
His mother continued, ignoring Cid’s look of confusion. “Sooooo… Your father and I are most likely unemployed now,” she said.
Mr. Rogers scoffed and shook his head. At that moment, Mrs. Rogers had a breakdown.
“I’M TRYING TO TELL HIM, OKAY?!?!?! It’s just too hard!” she screamed hysterically. At that point, Mrs. Rogers began crying, something Cid had never seen her do. She got out of her chair and sprinted to the stairs. Disappearing into the basement, she slammed the door behind her.
Mr. Rogers sighed, “She told me she was ready, Cid. We’ll try again tomorrow,” he stated.
Cid was becoming impatient… “Dad? What’s going on? Why did mom freak out? Mom NEVER freaks out. Now I’m freaking out. How come you aren’t freaking out? How can it be so bad that it is making even mom cry?” he asked desperately
Mr. Rogers shook his head. “This is not my story to tell. I have been against it from the beginning. We only want what is best for you, Cid. You know that, right?” he asked his son.
Cid did understand. It was something that only his mother could tell him. He nodded and stood up to leave.
His father spoke. “We love you, kiddo. We only want what’s best for you,” he said, which was profound because Cid had never heard anything even remotely similar from his father before.
This must be really bad,Cid told himself, trying to think rationally despite the overwhelming surge of emotion he was feeling, but to his father he said “I know, and I understand.” And with that, Cid left to go to his room, while Mr. Rogers went to the basement door to attempt talk to Mrs. Rogers.
Cid entered his room and flopped on his bed. He found himself staring at the wall, lost in his own thoughts. What are they trying to tell me? It’s bad enough that they lost their jobs, but they make it seem like their current unemployment is the GOOD news… What could be worse than that? And how could it be so bad that it made my mother, the “woman who never cries” completely lose her mind?
If the Science Center was on fire, then it’ll be on the news, Cid deduced.
He turned on the television and flipped to the news channel. The screen glowed bright orange as a large burning building on the screen. The blonde reporter at the scene seemed frantic. The adrenaline and excitement was evident in her voice as she spoke.
“This is Kathryn Davis, reporting from the outskirts of Crystal Springs, Illinois! I am at the site of the Oracle Technology building, which is now engulfed in flames! Witnesses say that there was a massive explosion, followed by a second, smaller one. The entire building is engulfed in the inferno, and emergency crews have no methods for putting the fire out. The missing/body count is already at 11 people. All buildings within a mile radius of the building have been successfully evacuated. Back to you, guys,” She stated, giving her account of events.
The shot changes back to the anchors. Cid turned the TV off.
At that moment, his cell phone began to ring… It was Celine.
He answered the phone. “Hello?” he said.
Celine answered with a nervous “Hello?” which Cid found weird because Celine was rarely nervous about anything…
“What’s up?” Cid asked.
“Nun much…” Celine said sheepishly.
“Celine? What is it? Is something wrong?” he asked her.
Celine sighed. “No Cid, nothing’s wrong. I just want to ask you something…” she said, the nervousness gone from her voice.
“Ask away then,” Cid stated.
“I’d rather talk to you in person…” Celine said in response.
“Okay then, lunch?” Cid asked.
“No. I’ll come over tomorrow after school…” Celine stated.
“Hey, did you hear about the Science Center?” Cid asked in a vague attempt at changing the subject.
Celine’s demeanor immediately changed. “Oh… my… gosh! I did! Is your mom alright?” She asked.
Cid chuckled. “Yeah, she’s fine, and so is my dad… Turns out he works there too… Who woulda thunk it?” he said.
“Oh really? Wow that’s wild…” Celine responded animatedly.
Cid could hear a random voice screaming in the background. Followed by Celine screaming “Okay Mom! I’m going to do it now!” in a frustrated voice.
She returned to the phone in a grumpy mood. “Mom says I have to do the dishes, so I have to go now… Talk to you tomorrow?” she asked.
“Definitely!” Cid said with a smile.
Cid hung up the phone and prepared himself for sleep.
Cid didn’t get to talk to either of his parents on the following morning. Both had disappeared from the house before he woke up.
However, the Oracle Technology Center explosion was the talk of the school. As he walked through the hallways, he heard many of his classmates talking about the subject. The more intellectual students were speculating the cause of the attack, while the others were commenting on the “totally awesome green flames” from the first explosion.
Cid felt a heavy hand fall on his shoulder. He turned his head to see Ronnie walking next to him.
“Wassup bro?” Ronnie said. He had an unmistakable grin was spread over his face, as if he was expecting some kind of amazing response to his question.
Cid couldn’t hide his confusion. “I really don’t know, Ronnie. Why don’t you tell me?” he asked in response.
The excitement faded from Ronnie’s face. Cid obviously did not give him the amazing response that he was looking for. “Darn… I was hoping that you might be able to give me the deets on those fireworks last night. My science teacher is having us do a science report on it, for whatever reason, and I figured that you’d be able to tell me since your mother works there,” he said.
“Yeah, I think my mother was trying to tell me about it, but she ended up crying…” Cid stated blankly.
Ronnie seemed dumbfounded. “Wow… I didn’t see your mother as the type of person with the capacity to cry…” he said.
Cid felt his heart sink as the image of his despondent mother, usually so strong and stoic, reappeared in his head. What did they want to tell me?!?!?!He asked himself.
Ronnie’s face returned to its signature smirk. He slapped his hand on Cid’s shoulder. “I have an idea! We are going to Costarini’s after school. I could really use some Italian ice, and I know you could too,” he stated, “And don’t even think about trying to get out of this,” he said before Cid had the chance to protest.
Cid thought about arguing (he really wanted to find out what his parents wanted to tell him), but thought against it. After all, it was impossible to change Ronald McCormick’s mind once he had it set on something.
Sighing in defeat, Cid chuckled. “Okay, you have me beat. We’ll go after school,” he said.
Ronnie let out a celebratory screech and took off down the hallway, shouting something that sounded like an animalistic “I’LL SEE YOU AFTERSCHOOL!!!” back at Cid as he disappeared around the corner.
They met at Costarini’s Italian Ice Parlor a couple of hours later.
“Yah, so mah fostaw muva was saying… YEEEEOUCH!!! BRAINFREEEEEEEEZE!!!!” Ronnie said as he tried to talk and down his Italian Ice in one grandeur motion.
Cid laughed and shook his head.It’s this kind of stuff that makes Ronnie McCormick a great freaking guy to hang out with, he told himself.
Meanwhile, Ronnie had overcome his brain freeze. “Sooooo… I was saying that my foster mother is saying that it’s about time that I get a job. I was thinking about getting one here at this place,” he said.
Cid shot Ronnie an accusing glare.
“NO!!!! IT’S NOT BECAUSE I WANT TO HANG OUT WITH ASHLEY… OKAY?!?!?!” Ronnie screamed in exasperation.
At that moment, a girl appeared at the front counter. She had clearly just arrived to work, as she was setting up her cash register.
Ronnie contorted his face into a confident smirk, rose from his chair, and strolled over to where she was standing.
“Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnd he’s gone,” Cid said as he ate his ice in solitude, while Ronnie was unsuccessfully trying to speak to Ashley.
“Soooooo! Ashley! How are you?” he asked.
Ashley ignored him completely.
“Lovely weather we’re having, don’tcha think?” Ronnie asked her.
Ashley turned to check the amount of ice in the machines.
“Can I buy you some ice?” Ronnie asked, desperate for a response.
Ashley turned to give him a confused glare, and then left to the back room that said “EMPLOYEES ONLY”.
Cid chuckled as Ronnie returned to the table, completely defeated.
Ronnie shot Cid a glare as he sat down. “Who are you laughing at? Do you see why I have to get a job here now? There’s no other way to get her to speak to me!” he said with a confident smirk.
“She probably won’t talk to you even if you DID have a job here. She’s just not that into you,” Cid said in response.
“She will! She’ll HAVE to! We’ll be co-workers!” he said.
“Sure Ronnie. Whatever you want to believe…” Cid said in response.
“Hey man, not everyone can have a relationship like you and Celine’s,” Ronnie said.
“What do you mean?” Cid asked, clearly confused.
“DUDE… She loves you… And you love her, but both of you are in denial. It’s a shame really. When are you going to give up the charades?” Ronnie asked.
“There’s no charade Ronnie. It is what it is. We’re just friends,” Cid stated.
Upon hearing that statement, Ronnie burst into laughter. “Are you crazy? Come on now! It’s so cliché! Girl and boy are friends since childhood. Boy likes girl, and girl likes boy, but neither will admit it because they are scared to f*** up the relationship. Oh! BTW… I’m that annoying friend who always points out the obvious, like the fact that Celine has huge boobs!” he said, pointing to himself with the last statement.
“We’re just friends, Ronnie…” Cid stated.
Ronnie threw his hands up at his sides in defense. “I’m just saying, man… You’ll realize that I’m right sooner or later,” he said.
Cid’s face turned skeptical. “So you can predict the future now?” Cid asked.
Ronnie smiled his arrogant smile. “Yes! I can predict the future! That’s why I am predicting that ASHLEY WILL GO TO HOMECOMING WITH ME!” he said, emphasizing his final words.
This statement actually got a response out of Ashley. She shot Ronnie a menacing glance.
“Success! She noticed me!” Ronnie screamed in delight.
Ashley scoffed and returned to her work.
“See, Cid? I’m wearing her down,” Ronnie stated confidently.
Cid shook his head. “Facepalm…” he said, smacking the palm of his hand to his forehead. “I think it’s time for us to leave…” he stated.
Ronnie shrugged. “I suppose,” he said in response.
Ronnie made sure to shoot one more suggestive smirk in the direction of an increasingly annoyed Ashley before walking out the door, and Cid shook his head in disgust as he followed.
They arrived at Ronnie’s house about 30 minutes later. Shouting and the sound of crashing chinaware could be heard from within the house.
Ronnie’s faced contorted into an unmistakable frown. “It’s a zoo in there, man. I know it is. How this woman could be allowed to adopt eleven kids is beyond me, and I’m not even including myself in that count,” he said.
Cid didn’t know how to respond.
“I mean I thank her for giving me a home after my parents died, but this is ridiculous. She’s completely overwhelmed, dude,” Ronnie continued. He gave Cid his signature shoulder-pat. “Well, I’m going to the zoo, so I’ll see you at school tomorrow,” he said as he began to move towards his house.
“Take a picture of the lions for me!” Cid joking shouted in response, moving away from the house.
Opening the door, Ronnie smirked. “If Timothy’s hair grows any longer, he really will look like a lion too,” he told himself as he stepped inside.
Cid’s house was right down the street from Ronnie’s. As Cid reached his own house, he noticed that something was wrong. The door was hanging off of its hinges, as if it had been taken off and put back on.
Did someone break into our house?Cid asked himself as he fought with his own instinct to run back down the street. No… I have to find out what’s going on, he told himself, willing his body towards the broken door.
His body was screaming in alarm as he approached the house. He could feel his legs shaking and his palms sweating as he opened the broken door.
The house was a total wreck. The walls were smashed in spots, and there was glass and other debris everywhere.
As he approached the back of the house, he began to see bullet holes in the walls. Oh no…Cid told himself. Every fiber in his body was begging to escape the house, to run down the street calling for help. But he ignored these signs and continued to approach his family room.
What he saw in the room took away what little strength he had.
He fell to his knees as he surveyed the scene around him. The tears forming in his eyes blurred the figures in front of him and the blood on the walls.
He slowly dragged his body to the heaps in the center of the room, staring blankly in shock.
He checked the pulses of the two figures on the ground before completely breaking down.
He took the cold, lifeless body of his mother in his arms and sobbed uncontrollably.
His father was a little ways away, and his injuries suggested that he died trying to protect his wife. His neck was broken…
At that moment, Cid heard some sounds from the basement; the faint murmur of voices.
Then he heard footsteps coming up the stairs.
No….he whispered in dismay as the footsteps grew louder. He tried to move himself, but he couldn’t. His arms remained tightly clenched to his mother’s lifeless body.
He stared in agony as the three figures emerged from the stairwell, two small ones and a giant. The giant was carrying a bat, and they were all carrying guns. (The giant had most likely killed Mr. Rogers)
The smallest one, the leader, contorted his face into a sadistic smirk as he saw Cid.
The second smallest one was busy surveying the documents that they had clearly taken from the lab in the basement. “Are we done with our business here, boss?” he asked the smallest one.
At that moment, Cid’s legs found life! He scrambled to his feet and attempted to make a break for the door, but a dull thud against his jaw ended all his hopes of leaving.
It seemed to take forever for his body to hit the floor, as he slowly faded into the darkness, he saw the three figures closing in.
Am I going to die here?He asked himself as he lost consciousness.
TO BE CONTINUED