Sleep comes quickly for me that night, and when I wake up it's almost as if I'm still dreaming. The pyramid stands before me, and the moon shines down, brightly. The air seems heavy, and instead of warm, it's chilly. I'm just in my shorts and tank top I had put on before bed, and the breeze blowing the sand around brushes my bare arms and legs. My hair floats around me and a sound catches my attention, inside the tomb. I step inside, my fingers brushing the ancient wall. Moving as if in a dream, I walk slowly down the ladder leading to the tomb. The stone door had been left open, and the air inside is cold. I walk inside, and glance around the little room. The few artifacts are in their same position. I notice that one of them is hung on one side of a wall, or, should I say, built into the wall. I step forward, as if drawn to it. My hands touch the artifact, and I realize it moves. I lean forwards, my hands on it, and it gives away, creaking and groaning, and then slides back out of the wall. I hear a really loud groaning sound come from the side wall and I stare, my eyes wide, as the wall disappears and a room is opened.
I am hesitant to walk inside, but I do, and am amazed by the room full of artifacts. I wander further into the room, lured by everything in the room. I gently touch everything and then I sit down, and fall asleep.
I had fallen asleep quicker than normal, and I don't wake until my phone begins to ring loudly. I don't glance at the caller ID, I just answer it.
"Hello?" I ask, groggily.
"Alistair, is Amaunet there with you?" Ibrahim's voice asks.
"No, why would she be here?" I ask. "Oh god, she's sleep walking again, isn't she?"
"Yes, she's not here, and she didn't take anything with her. I thought she might have called you, but her phone is sitting here, and it doesn't seem like she's talked to anyone. Do you have any idea where she might have gone, even if she's sleepwalking?" Ibrahim asks.
"Oh, um, meet me at the tomb in 20 minutes. I think I have an idea of where she'd be." I say, and I hear a cough in the background, and Delphi crying.
"We'll be there as soon as possible." Ibrahim says.
"See you soon." I say, then disconnect, jumping out of bed and I begin to change into shorts and tee shirt, and grab my phone, license and keys.
I drive quicker than usual and arrive at the tomb before Ibrahim and Delphi, but only by a few minutes. Amaunet isn't outside, and Delphi and Ibrahim look anxious.
"Come on." I say, and walk into the tomb, and climb down the ladder, waiting for them to also climb down. We go inside the tomb. But it's different than before. There is a gaping black hole where a wall used to be. It's mostly dark, and I turn on my phones flashlight. The room is full of artifacts, and also, Amaunet is slumped on the floor against one wall. "She's in here." I say, turning the flashlight off. I walk into the room, and instead of waking Amaunet, I pick her up gently, and carry her out of the room. Her father looks relieved, and after a quick look, he sees she's not injured, luckily. Amaunet is wearing a thin tank top and pair of shorts. Her feet are bare, and her hair floats around her like a curtain.
"Should we wake her?" Her father asks, and this, I don't know. I shrug, knowing it can't hurt.
I set her on the floor of the tomb, and sit down beside her. I hold her up easily, and say "Amaunet, it's time to wake up now." She stirs in her sleep, and I gently caress her cheek, and brush her hair out of her face. Her green eyes open, and she looks happy when she sees me. Then she realizes she's not in her room, or even in the flat. She looks around quickly, her eyes falling on her parents and the casket and artifacts in the tomb. Her eyes widen. "Hey, how'd you get all of the way out here?" I ask.
She shakes her head, and she tries to stand up, but I don't let her.
Her mother says "Why are you starting to sleep walk again, Amaunet?"
"You expect me to know the reason for that." Amaunet answers, a mere statement, but her mother narrows her eyes, clearly getting pissed off. " I don't know." She says, her high, clear voice is louder than usual.
Ibrahim pats his daughter's back. "Let's get you home sweety. Um, do you know how that wall disappeared?"
"The artifact moved." She says, pointing at the one on the far wall, the one that is built into the wall.
Her father walks over and presses it, and the wall to the small room closes back up. Her father seems shocked, to say the least. "You figured it out. How?" He asks.
She shrugs. "I don't want to talk about it."
He nods, and helps his daughter stand, me right beside her.
Her parents walk out of the room, and to the ladder, leaving me to help Amaunet. I glance at her, shyly. "Are you okay?" I ask her, knowing she's upset.
"Yeah. Sorry you had to follow me out here." She murmurs.
"I wouldn't have it any other way. I figured you would be here. Maybe we can talk tomorrow about your mysterious pull to this tomb." I murmur as well.
"We'll see." She whispers, her eyes watching me. I brush my lips across hers once, gently. She smiles and kisses me gently before pulling away, and taking my hand, and we walk out of the room, to the ladder. I follow close behind her, my hands touching her waist gently to keep her from falling. Outside, she gets into the backseat of her parents care. As they drive away I see her turn around and wave. I wave back, smiling. I drive back to my flat, but I don't go to sleep right away. Laying in bed, all I can think about is Amaunet. She's only been back here for less than two whole days. And already, she's all I can think about. Years ago, when we were both kids, I had thought she was the most beautiful girl on the planet. She still is. We had been friends as kids, but we'd never been that close. I mostly watched her from afar. I had always wished for something more. She's smart as well as beautiful, kind, and sweet, and funny as hell. She has a way of looking at people and the world that makes you wonder about every thought that enters her mind. She stares at everything and everyone, and you wonder what she sees.
Somehow I fall asleep, thinking only of Amaunet.
Amaunet stares out the back window of the car, waving to Alistair as we drive away from the tomb. When his car is out of sight, she sits down, buckles her seatbelt, and stares at the floorboards. I watch in the rearview mirror as she falls back to sleep, her breathing becoming normal, and her lips slightly parted. I glance over at my wife, Delphi, and she gazes back at me, the look on her face worried. Amaunet used to sleep walk every night as a child, mostly when she was here. Egypt seems to be a place where she sleep walks the most, though she also slept walked in Turkey at one point, at the age of 9, and again in Syria at the age of 11. My sister and brother in law told me that she never slept walked there, and it makes me wonder why she sleep walks in those places, yet never in the States.
I focus my gaze back on the road, pulling into the parking lot of the flat, and I get out, and lift Amaunet into my arms, like I always did when she was a little girl, instead of a nearly grown woman of 17 years old. She's easy to carry, she doesn't weigh much, and when Delphi and I walk inside the flat, and I take Amaunet to her room, I lay her in her bed, covering her up with the blankets stretched out on her bed. I walk out of the room, closing the door, hoping it would at least keep her in for the remainder of the night. I head back to my room, and take off my shoes, then climb into bed, covering up. I click off the light, and I hear Delphi whisper "What are we going to do with her?"
"I don't know. Perhaps we shouldn't have allowed her to come back here. Things are just getting worse." I tell her.
"Yeah, I know. It doesn't help that Alistair is in love with her. When they were kids, she wouldn't talk to him most of the time. She was too shy around him." Delphi murmurs. "Do you think she liked him, and just didn't understand what she was feeling?"
"It's possible. Most people with very high IQ's don't know how to interpret feelings. It's why you can see she struggles with telling us when she's upset. You can't even tell she's upset. She just always has a blank expression on her face. Though, when she's happy she'll have a small smile on her face. Also, I didn't have time to tell you before, since we were busy in the tomb and all, but I did catch Alistair and Amaunet kissing as if they have been together for years."
"Oh my god. No way." Delphi gasps audibly.
"Apparently, they kissed when they were outside as well, when we were trying to open the door to the tomb. Bruce happened to see it and told me, and then I caught them kissing. Amaunet and Alistair both apologized, Delphi."
"That's cute." She admits. "Our little girl isn't so little anymore."
"Yeah. I just hope she doesn't lose sight of what's important. She seems so lost, and she seems to know something about the inscription that she wasn't telling us. I know that the chances that she understands it are slim, but I just have a feeling she understands it."
"We've known since the day she was born that she would be very special, Ibrahim. It's just so hard to love her when she pushes me away." Delphi tells me.
"Delphi, even when she pushes you away, you need to love her. You can't just stop loving her. She just has a hard time being told what to do, and with her feelings. She's smarter than us both, so its what's to be expected." I tell my wife. I lean forwards and kiss her slowly. Between kisses, I whisper "We both know that she's smart because both of us are. But we both also know that she is still young and needs to experience everything she can. Like we did when we were young." Delphi gently kisses me back.
"Yes, I know." She says. "And we were ever so young when we experienced everything." Her words are sensual just as are her lips.
"How about we get some sleep, Delphi. We have a long day ahead of us tomorrow. I just hope Alistair talked Amaunet into helping with the inscription." I murmur.
"You're right." Delphi says, and she cuddles up closer to me, and rests her head on my chest. I gently stroke her hair, and she says "I just hope that Amaunet doesn't break Alistair's heart. the boy has an excellent future ahead of him."
"Amaunet wouldn't break his heart. You can easily tell by watching them together that they belong together. I'm worried though, that since she's had no experience with guys, that she might not take her time with him."
"You don't think that he'd take advantage of her, do you?" She asks me.
"No, but she's the only girl he's liked, and they might not take their time getting to know each other." I murmur. "You never know."
"Then you should talk to them separately and make sure they take their time." Delphi whispers.
"Yeah, that would be smart." I kiss her forehead, and say "Goodnight, my love."
"Goodnight, Ibrahim." Delphi replies, falling into a deep sleep. If only I could fall asleep quite that easily.
The next time I wake up, it's morning, and I make myself some breakfast before showering and getting dressed. The drive to the tomb is quick, and when I get there, Amaunet is in the car still, her eyes closed.
I walk over to her parents, and ask "Is she okay?"
"She seems really tired." Ibrahim says. "I think she's still in shock from the fall yesterday."
"That could be it. She said she'd try to read the inscription. Let's let her sleep for a bit while we categorize the artifacts she found last night, though."
"Yes. That sounds good. The antiquities agent is unsure of most of the artifacts. Their older than the ones in the first room." Ibrahim tells me.
"That's strange." I say, and glance back at the car. "I wonder how she knew that they were there."
"I heard last night when you said that she seems drawn to the tomb. Maybe you're right." Ibrahim says.
"It seems as if she's attracted to to the tomb, which is as creepy as the fact that she chooses now to spout Ancient Egyptian." Delphi says, rolling her eyes.
"I think that has more to do with the fact that she's in shock than choosing to spout Ancient Egyptian." I say. "I just have a question. Is it possible that she heard you speaking it as a child?" I ask Ibrahim.
"I guess. But I don't think she'd be able to read it just by hearing it." Ibrahim answers.
"True." I say. "Don't worry. We'll figure it all out. First lets just make a list of the artifacts, then we can have her read us the inscription."
"Right." The three of us walk inside the tomb, and my eyes fall on Bruce who is watching me with a look that kind of creeps me out. I help Ibrahim and Delphi brush the artifacts off with our special tools and brushes. There are over a hundred artifacts, most of them solid gold.
It takes over an hour to clean up the artifacts, and list them out. By then, Amaunet makes her way into the tomb, and just stands there wait, watching as we finish up.