Disclaimer: This post contains a verse from the song, ‘I Will Remember You’
Written by Sarah McLaughlan
I DO believe that Noah’s Ark DOES exist, and one day, we shall find it-Leah
Customs had to be the worst part of any international flight. Sydney never had a lot of patience for it, but it was a necessary evil in light of the state of world security today. The burly, bored looking customs agent inspected her documents with less enthusiasm one would give to having a root canal. He paused over her passport, then gruffly handed it back to her in disgust. She got the feeling he was disappointed there was nothing he could detain her for. Nigel was next, receiving the same rude treatment with the same end result.
"Next!" The agent called out, ushering Nigel through the cue.
Sydney waited for him and smiling folded her hand into his for the long walk to the gate.
"You look like you could use another few hours sleep." She observed, noting the dark circles under his eyes to go with that unusually stiff, shuffling gait. Sydney knew he was probably up all night worrying himself to pieces, and rightfully so. She only hoped they thought of everything that needed attention before they departed. They spent most of the day running around like headless chickens getting things in order, arranging for substitutes and packing. She sighed, squeezing his hand. "You’ll be able to get some shut eye on the plane if the trip isn’t too turbulent."
"I hope so." His mood was uneasy, restless even, but at the moment he was just too damn tired to care. Lack of sleep was the least of his worries anyway, he thought, and rubbed his eyes with his free hand. "I was going to go over the location co-ordinates a few more times, just to make sure there were no mistakes in our original estimations." He turned to her with doubtful eyes and gave her hand a gentle squeeze this time. He was absolutely amazed at the staggering amount of blind faith she put in this Aaron fellow. "I don’t want to get lost in the middle of that God-forsaken land without my bearings."
"Nonsense Nigel." She replied rather off-handedly, and handed the ticket agent her boarding pass before proceeding through to the ramp with her cranky teaching assistant in tow. "Aaron’s calculations and knowledge of the area itself gives me the confidence I need to focus on dealing with the h...zards..."
"Such as extreme cold weather, avalanche, crevasses, earth quakes and oh, let’s not forget those wonderful boys in black, the Kurdish rebels." He reminded her with a slight tersness in his soft British tone.
"Nigel, they aren’t all terrorists... most of the people living in the mountain regions are nomads. They’re quite friendly as long as they see we aren’t armed. I know it’s possible to run into the PKK out there, but if we keep a low enough profile and focus on the job, I really can’t see this turning into a small war. Turkey isn’t as unstable as other middle-east countries are." The stewardess smiled at both Syd and Nigel, took their tickets and pointed them down to their assigned seats. "We’re talking about Noah’s Ark here, a myth millions believe to be absolute truth, but have no tangible proof."
Sydney nodded in and out of reality during their near twelve hour flight, having used most of that time to re-hash their travel itinerary and the site map. Nigel had long since dozed off, his head resting peacefully against her shoulder. She glanced to her partner in crime, and everything else for that matter. He saved her life in more ways than one, and not once did he complain. It scared her to think that one day memories would be all either one of them had left.
The hunt for the Ark was one many had undertaken without positive result. But if Aaron were correct, that would change everything. She tried to imagine what unearthing something as holy and sacred as Noah’s Ark could mean for all world wide believers of the Bible or Qur’an. Sydney had never been an overtly religious person, but something about this quest made her think twice about her own belief system, where she came from, where she was headed, and the meaning of life itself. She’d been running most of her days, never stopping once to think about her place in the grand scheme of things on the earth or in the heavens above. Butterflies in her tummy were a gentle, but firm reminder that this trek was not something she undertook without serious thought for the outcome.
Her thoughts soon drifted back to Nigel and the life they had now. He shifted in his seat, groaning from the discomfort of it all but still remained fast asleep, unable to keep her company. There was nothing to do now but wait...looking at through the window was out of the question, so she reached over, picking up the on-board headphones. Gently snugging them over her ears she played with the dial until a soft, memory-evoking song permeated her mind and she released a soft, slow groan. A temperate piano and guitar melody interfused perfectly with the female singer’s haunting voice...
...So afraid to love you, more afraid to lose...clinging to a past that doesn’t let me choose. Once there was a darkness, a deep and endless night. You gave me everything you had, oh you gave me life...I will remember you, will you remember me? Don’t let your life pass you by...weep not for the memories...
If she were to die, would he remember her? How long would he mourn for her, and would he eventually take another? What foolish questions she thought, and shook them from her head, suddenly noticing the temperature gradually dropping inside the cabin as the night wore on. Sydney tugged a blanket from the pouch in front of her, pulling it about her and Nigel’s legs before finally succumbing to sleep herself.
Go to Part Four.