Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Chapter 11: Normality

After a few days off, Nora was more than ready to go back to work. In fact, her days off had been even more stressful than her job because of all of the reporters that followed her around. Nora decided that the most annoying of the bunch were the local newspaper reporters. They didn’t have video cameras, so they were constantly snapping pictures with one hand while managing to write with the other. At least, that’s how it seemed to her.

Tristan had had a very similar experience, but to a greater extent. Because of the attempted robbery on his apartment, he got even more publicity than Nora. He was hailed as a hero twice, which meant that he had twice as many reporters following him. At least, that’s how it seemed to him.

When Nora and Tristan finally returned to work, they found the park to be as busy as ever. The police had done a very good job reassuring people that the park was completely safe, so families had resumed their vacations. Nora and Tristan went right back to their jobs as tour guides.

“Whoa! What happened to you?” Nora asked Tristan when she met him in the employee’s lounge. She squinted at his face and he grimaced, trying to cover up his black eye.

“You didn’t watch the news?” he asked sheepishly.

“No, I turned it off after a day of hearing my own name. It was really annoying.” Nora said with a sigh. She walked over to her locker to put away her lunch bag.

“Well, I ran some errands one morning then went back to my apartment and got beat up.” Tristan said with a shrug. Nora spun around to face him.

“Seriously? Someone beat you up in your apartment?” she said, stunned.

“Well, I was totally exhausted, and someone knocked at my door, so I opened it…” Tristan recounted the entire experience to Nora and she stared at him, her mouth hanging open. When he reached the end of his story, she scowled and shook her head.

“Of all the dumb things to do, that’s probably the dumbest.” she muttered. “Trying to kill a guy who just saved the lives of a whole bunch of people…morons…” Nora continued to mumble angrily as Tristan stared at her quizzically.

“I don’t think I really saved anyone’s life…” he said softly, glancing down at his shoes. Nora remained silent for a moment before she turned around to look at Tristan again. Her eyes were suddenly very soft, and she looked very fragile. For a moment, Tristan thought she might cry.

“You…you saved my life…” she said in a voice that was barely louder than a whisper. Tristan and Nora stared at each other for a minute before they both looked away awkwardly. Tristan cleared his throat and rubbed he back of his neck. Nora tried to ignore the fact that she was blushing.

Once they had both composed themselves, the pair walked out to greet their first tour group. Much to Nora’s surprise, the group was twice as large as it usually was.

“Whoa! We have a lot of people on the tour today!” Nora said with a wide grin.

“You two are the ones who stopped the robbery, right?” someone called out from the group. Nora tried to find the person who had spoke, but she had no luck.

“Um, yes…” she said slowly.

“Well, no wonder there are a lot of us here! You two are practically famous!” the voice cried out. Nora felt a bit of panic rise up inside of her heart.

“Not really. We were just doing our jobs.” Nora said quickly. She really didn’t want to talk about or answer any questions about that day. She just wanted to put it behind her and move on with her life.

“If you say so…” the voice said, sounding a little disappointed. Nora let out a relieved sigh before she smiled and began the tour.

Tristan walked along quietly, wondering how long he would have to tag along with Nora before he began his own tours. Suddenly, he remembered why he took this job in the first place. It wasn’t to make money or give people tours; it was to learn more about the park so that he could find something bad to protest about it. Tristan glanced over at Nora as she told people about the angelfish in the aquarium next to her.

He decided that after all they had been through, it was going to be a little bit more difficult to protest the park…

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