Nesting Behavior

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People see me as caring and goofy. They call me Tig, they think that because I'm rather touchy-feely and a bit of a hugger, I'm maternal. None of them are kids, though. My friends are not always wrong, but they do tend to over-simplify me. I'm not always smiling. I'm not always nice. I'm not a caricature. I am complex, just like anyone else.

Leon recognises that in me. He know when I'm about to blow a fuse, or when I need to be hugged instead, to receive attention instead of always be giving it. He won't hug me before I shower, today, I bet my ass on that. Not when I smell like chicken dropping from half a mile away.

This job is taking quite a toll on my mood, which is why I decided to skip the catering for today and go eat a picnic in the mountain. I need a break from the grime and grease. I was just done removing my suit so I could eat in a relative cleanliness when I spotted it. The little path ran along the fence. At first, I thought it was just an animal track or something, but it seems pretty well done and sturdy. Adding to that, I see now that it's quite a climb, to the point where from time to time the path turns into steps. A stairway leading into the mountain.

They all make fun of me, that's what they're doing. I like how they like me, but there should be a limit on how dependant they get. Bethany, Deb, Nacho, all of them. It's like I'm the only one in the bunch that gets to be a grown up. Well, I'm not gonna enjoy much of being a grown up if I have a bunch of teenagers around. That's not helping. You think I'm doing great, just you try settling your life down with half a university diploma and no valuable skill to sell. I'm cleaning droppings, for God's sake. Don't depend on me.

The path still goes on. What has it been like, now, fifteen minutes? It's good. It's OK. I'm not that hungry. I wanna go there, even if I don't know where 'there' is.

I guess I'm just cranky because of what happened this morning with Roman. He's been living in the house for like, three months now and he still doesn't get how to do the bare minimum amount of chores. I wash his dishes when he forgets them, I sweep the place for pretty much everyone else except Sarah (the girls, go figure). I wouldn't be surprised if I ended up folding his laundry one day. That's what they all think I am: their substitute mom. I'm not.

So he was having breakfast and I was under control, it's fine if you abruptly pour yourself some cereals, it's not that bad if some of them fall all around, not that much of a big deal to clean. You could avoid stepping on them, though, because you just made this job twice as hard. God, how can he be so clumsy and still not care. It's really hard to stay level headed.

He leaves the kitchen and notices me. He waves happily. "Hi, how are you this morning?" he says.

I crack my least tired smile. "Fine. You look peppy."

"I'm going to see a couple friends I haven't seen in a long time," he says, all for it. "We're going to Mechua lake. It's gonna be so good! You wanna come with?"

I frown a bit. How to phrase that nicely? "I'm good, thanks. I'll visit the plains another time." Another time.

Maybe I am getting a bit too anxious over this. Look, this is a nice forest path, I can eat my lunch in peace for once, no one will bother me. I'm pretty sure about that last point because about five minutes ago I crossed an old fence. To my defense, it looked pretty rusty. There wasn't much of it left at all. I almost didn't need to kick it down. Now it's only me, the forest and what's coming. I don't know what it is, but I've been waiting for it my whole life. It can definitely solve whatever problem I have. I'm kidding. Sort of. I can't wait.

I'm very out of breath, now and I suspect the lunch break of being over. Well, that's what they get for always counting on me. Find another sucker for today! I laugh.

I stumble upon a rock and very nearly miss sliding a great distance down. The forest is scarcer here, less trees to grab on. My feet start disobeying me. I think that it's because I'm so tired. I need energy. Lunch. I search my bag, crack open the tupperware on a rock and stuff my mouth with the sandwiches covered in dirt. Energy feels good, but crunchy.

I'm near the top! I can feel it! Who said you need preparations to climb a mountain? I'm right there and the sun isn't even down yet! The ruin in front of me is majestic. It's like the mountaintop has been carved away, leaving the low building stand on its square pillars. It's old. For some reason, I can't see decorations of any kind. There is just that gaping entrance inviting me in. Well, I don't see why not.

Three rooms in, there is light again. I can stop stumbling now. A wall has crumbled, letting air and sun come in. It sets on a pedestal and on it is the cutest stone sculpture of what looks like an egg. It's plain, but it's pretty refined at the same time. I really like the shape and the craftsmanship. It would go so well near the chimney! Well, it's an egg, so it makes sense that it needs warmth.

I guess I have to warn someone. This building, a temple, maybe? And that egg, someone has to see this. It belongs to a museum for sure. I can't believe no one had the curiosity to come here hiking before, it's baffling. I hope they'll believe me.

It's not like I can take the egg, anyway. It's precious and probably centuries old. It's way better for everyone if I just leave it alone.


***


I love taking care of the plants. Always have. There are some in the little garden we have, others in the attic where my room is. That's where I go when the day has been though. I water them, talk to them and I feel content. I hear the front door opening. Roomies.

"Anyone there?" says Roman's voice. I can hear two pairs of steps shuffling and carrying stuff. They must have gone shopping. Did they think about the salt?

"Hi guys!" I say, counting potentially Sarah as a 'guy', I mean, that's just a word, who cares. "Been shopping?"

"Yup," Sarah says. I hear them put away stuff in the cupboards and fridge. I could give them a hand but I'm not done moisturizing the Calathea.

"Did you think about the salt and oil?" I say. I doubt it. Roman hasn't figured out yet where we write our shopping lists.

"We did!" says Sarah. OK, then., my bad. You all did pretty well!

"Who writes on a fridge, anyway?" says Roman in a whisper.

I'm done with the plants, they're done with the shopping. Before I go down and join them, I enter my room and check if the egg is still tucked properly in the blanket.

It has to stay warm, that's the trick.


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