This is my first journal entry. So I should make it a good one. My name is Cipher Phoenix, I just had my young adult birthday. This journal was my gift, and it’s a tradition to give a journal. At least on the Phoenix side of the family. I don’t know who my father is, or if he survived the Annihilation.
The Phoenix family is just me and my Aunt Trinity. She and my mother, Serenity, were twins. My mom died trying stop the Annihilation from happening, so naturally, my family was elected to lead the survivors and rebuild society with what we could. With no skilled people for other careers, our society is limited in jobs, and resources. We all have our part in the community, and all we have is each other.
My day starts with tending the garden, we have to keep things in boxes or planter pots since the ground isn’t healthy now. This garden is the pride of my aunt. She has taken care of this garden since I was a child. We have plants that most of the community doesn’t have because of her dedication. Aunt Rini likes to cook with the rarer ingredients and throw dinner parties. “So everyone can enjoy it.” She always tells me.
“Rini, thanks again for everything.”
I wish you would tell me you’re sick.
“No worries kiddo. Now eat so you can go run the rounds.”
Once I’m done with the watering and weeding, I usually eat. But today, I gave Rini a hug to show my appreciation for taking care of me for this long. I can tell she’s sick, but she’s still as strong as the day my mom died.
Apple pancakes, again. It sure does hit the spot, even if I’ve probably eaten thousands of plates of this in my lifetime. I watched tv, the news, to take my mind off of the blandly familiar taste. Bridgeport seems to be doing okay for themselves, they’re slowly tearing down the skyscrapers and rebuilding. They’re the number one broadcasting station since Belladonna Cove went out. Simcity is completely gone too. I wonder how my mom’s hometown, Lucky Palms, is doing…
First stop on my rounds is what I call the Bachelor Pad, but what the roster calls #51 Sunset Dust Blvd. There’s two guys that live here. One of them, Syden, is my age, he had his birthday yesterday too. And the other, Zakariah, took Sy in when Sy was just a baby…right after the Annihilation. Nobody was home, I guess I would have to check with one of them later today…to see if their plants are doing okay and if they needed anything.
Next stop was my best friend’s house. Mika Namika is an immigrant from Bridgeport. She had nothing left, and she was an orphaned teenager so they permitted the transfer and set up the teleport between zones. She lived with me and Rini until her birthday a week ago. She didn’t answer.
Last stop is the Daxon family. Jules Daxon is a family guy. He’s married with a daughter. They originated from Isla Paradiso, and quickly came to a safe zone in Oasis Springs. Isla Paradiso was completely sunk, their boat was one of the lucky few to leave. I’m friends with entire family, but I’m best friends with his wife, Ciana Marks-Daxon.
“Hey Jules! Finally, someone home to let me in. Now we can get down to business.”
“Oh…I thought this was a social visit.”
“The usual questions today; How’s Ciana’s worklife? How is Solina doing in school? How’s work going? And need help with the garden? Or anything?”
“Ciana still doesn’t have a job, she has no interest in one right now. Which I guess is fine. She’s really getting into the garden. Solina is a B student, and is still interested in art. Work is fine, I guess. Stressful at times. The garden might need watered. You can go check. We’re doing fine right now. No trouble with the bills, we’re well fed. Be sure to tell your aunt thanks for everything, and tell her if she needs help, I’d be happy to do anything.”
He was right. The garden did need watered. I didn’t mind helping when I could. It was my part, to make sure everyone was fed, clothed, had money for bills and necessities. I made sure to know everyone, their hobbies and careers, to make sure they had what they needed until a library, or museum, or even just the park, could be built. My aunt told me about Legacies. It occurred to me today, that this was my legacy. To rebuild the town, to help set up the building blocks for a functioning post-Annihilation society.
Before I left, I caught up with Solina. She had a good day at school today. She told me about hearing Ciana crying last night. I would have to make an effort to catch up with my good friend today, to make sure she’s okay. I said my good-byes and gave them my habitual hugs before wandering down the street toward my house.
I saw both Ciana, and Mika. But it was Mika that came to me, while Ciana just sat on the bench. She looked so lost in thought and a little down.
“There you are! Ciph…I forgot to call last night. I got a job. So be sure to update that on my file.”
“Are you going to tell me what this job is? So I can…you know, put it on your file.”
“Oh, right. I’m working for the Secret Agent Agency. I’m just so elated right now. Tell Aunt Rini I said hey and I miss her.”
After we parted ways, I looked around for Ciana, but I couldn’t find her. I’m going collecting anyway, I might see her then.
When I got home, I updated Rini with the updates around town. She was concerned about and for Ciana. She was happy to hear about Mika’s new job. She asked about the boys’.
“No one answered. Maybe Sy got a job last night too. Hopefully I’ll bump into one of them before curfew.”
After our conversation, I decided it was time to go collecting. I had to change out of my social outfit, I didn’t want it to get dirty.
Before I went to get changed for collecting, Rini gave me a hug, like she always did when I left to go collecting so soon before curfew.
“I love you kiddo. Be safe.”
“I love you too. I’m always safe.”
I took a look at the only remaining picture of my mom. She was so young, and I could tell she was in love, just by the sparkle in her eye. I just wondered who she was in love with, was it my dad? Every time I try to ask my aunt about my dad, she always changes the subject or is very vague. I wonder…if she has a journal somewhere. Or better yet, does she have my mom’s journal? I’d have to go snooping when Rini isn’t here.
“Cici, are you okay? Earlier today, you just looked really down. I should’ve went to talk to you, but girl…I know when you need your space.”
“I don’t know. I just feel like I’m in a rut, ya know. Hell, you should know what I’m talking about. Your weekly schedule is pretty much planned. How do you live like that? Don’t you want more outta life?”
“Oh. Well, I just think of the greater good. Everyone has their purpose in life. Mine is to make sure everyone is okay…so we never go back to the ashes.”
“Pssh, you’re a phoenix, even if you fail, you’ll rise again. We won’t.”
“No. Ciana…if I fail, we all will fail. There’s no coming back from being this deep in the ashes. It’s suffocating. This society, and it’s growth…it’s my breath of fresh air. So even if it’s the same thing, over and over, it’s worth it just for that breath.”
“Thank you Ciph. I feel a little better. I’ll try to be more positive about this.”
“If you need anything, please don’t hesitate to bang on my window. I’m here for you.”
Another good-bye hug, and I was feeling a little better about my friend, and I hoped she felt a little better too.
Just as I was turning to leave for home. Zakariah whistled at me. I rolled my eyes.
“You! Where is Syben? I was making the rounds today, and no one was home.”
“Oh, no hi? I see how it is. For your info, Syben has a job with me at SimSA. He’s working on becoming an astronaut.”
“Well congrats to him. Tell him that he better call me, I need to get some more info from him…”
“Will do. Cya ’round princess.”
He’s very infuriating sometimes.
I spent the rest of the evening, until bedtime, working on my woodworking. I hope that one day, I’ll have enough handiness to upgrade some things for my family, and my community. I contemplated on my words to Ciana, they were extremely true.
I may be a phoenix, but that doesn’t mean the ashes aren’t suffocating.