Atlas and Alice - Issue 7

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Page 14

Atlas & Alice | Issue 7, Summer/Fall 2016

“I don’t think so, no.” “Come on man, you’ve got to be seeing hundreds of places a year. Mountains, hills, plains, oceans, caves, that kind of scenery, it’s got to inspire some sort of awe right?” “It’s beautiful. I don’t know that it’s holy.” He rubbed his hands against his eyes, letting out a sigh. A cop that needs validation, I feel very safe knowing I’m in his care. “I see these things. I’ve cleaned up a lot of suicides, homicides, and I see these places. I see Africa. I see America. I see Britain. I think there’s a God in that. There has to be. Otherwise I think I would just start leaving the bodies where they are. There’s no point in cleaning up sad-sacks.” “Other than cleaning up the house so it can be sold again, I don’t know that there really is a point.” We both looked back out the window. We had just entered a clearing, a healthy change from the trees we had been seeing for miles, and animals were running around in circles outside our windows. “You’re here to write about the boxing match?” “Yeah, it’s going to be a big one, that’s what they tell me at least.” “That kid is going to die, and we’re all just going to cheer.” When I got off the train in Makala I was immediately greeted by a teenager in a dull newsboy cap with glasses the size of saucers. When I use the word greeted, I use it very loosely, the boy had my bags in his hands before I realized he was sent to pick me up and guide me to my hotel. “Where do you get the kind of nerve to approach a stranger like that, kid?” He didn’t look like a kid with a lot of nerve. He looked like a kid that got picked on and kicked around in the dust. “I know you sir. You’re Jonah Harper, the writer.” “Yeah, but we haven’t met before—forget it. What’s your name kid?” “Obasi, sir, I go by Obasi.” I was ready for the boy to start saluting me. These weren’t the kind of children I was used to seeing back in America. He was young, full of life and respect. He was fit. Not like those fat little monsters that ran back and forth through the office, playfully calling themselves interns. I worked from home. I never even went into the office, but when I did, I hated them. Obasi wasn’t anything like those kids, and I still hated him. “So where are we going?” “To the hotel, sir.” “Is it a nice hotel?” “They have gotten you the nicest hotel available.” We took a small cart down a clay walkway through the area surrounding the