Three months had passed since Siti-Eshe had arrived and during that time she had adjusted to the museum life beautifully. She had found out that the museum followed a weekly schedule. Monday was karaoke night, Tuesday was the soccer match, Wednesday was game night, Thursday was book reading night, Friday was party night, Saturday was story night, and Sunday was whatever night. Siti learned that they did not strictly follow the schedule, if people felt like doing something else then they would. But they generally stuck to the routine. Siti also began to understand why every night they had a cleanup time; it amazed her how various historical figures could be so messy. Especially the cavemen and the animals.
Not only was Siti adjusting well, she and Ahkmenrah's relationship had rekindled. They would often sneak off some deserted exhibit to be alone. Siti would tell the Pharaoh stories about their son and Ahkmenrah would tell her stories of the museum. Her favorite story was the one of when Larry first started working and freed Ahkmenrah. She loved hearing about how he was able to go outside the museum and see part of the city. Whenever she asked anyone if she could go outside, just to see what it was like, Siti was met with a quick and definite no. They told her that she would turn to dust if she was out there while the sun rose. Siti would say, "But I would be back before then, I only want to look around a little bit." The others would just shake their heads and say, "It's too dangerous, someone might see you, you can't take that risk." Eventually Siti gave up trying to ask.
It was a Thursday night and Larry was reading from Journey to the Center of the Earth. It wasn't that Siti was bored or uninterested in the book, but she just didn't feel like listening. She waited until everyone was engrossed in the story to slip away. She walked into a hallway and sat near a window and peered out. The view was limited but she could see down a lonely, dead-end street. It was snowing out and the street was covered in ice and fluffy snow. Siti's breath fogged up the cold glass. She smiled dryly and drew a face in the fog. Why was it so dangerous to go outside for just a few minutes? She so longed to feel the snow on her tongue and underneath her feet. What point was there to this afterlife if you were a prisoner?
Chattering brought Siti out of her thoughts and she looked all around her to see Dexter at her feet. She chuckled at the monkey as he hopped into her lap.
"Hello there," Siti greeted him. "Are you here to tell on me?" Dexter only hopped up to her shoulder and cooed in her ear. "Or did you need to get away as well?" He leaned over to the window's latch and unlocked it. "Oh I shouldn't," Siti stood up, catching on to the devious little monkey's intentions, "Ahkmenrah would be furious with me. Everyone would be furious with me." She amended herself slowly backing away from the window. Dexter hopped onto the window sill and pushed the glass open.
A biting winter wind blew through the window, bringing in some snow. One snowflake landed on her dark, sandy skin and melted. Siti stopped moving as the sensation sent marvelous chills up her spine. She was to curious for her own good. The Egyptian girl approached the window again and looked out. Another gust of wind put more snowflakes on her skin and in her charcoal hair. She was on the second story. Siti sat down on the sill again and swung one leg over. She brought her other leg over the edge and slid off, aiming for a large pile of snow. Siti tucked and rolled as she landed. As she had hoped, the snow broke her fall. She stood up and looked around.
The alley was all but deserted save for a few stray cats living in a garbage can. They mewed pleadingly and Siti walked over to the can and peered in. A pure white cat was surrounded by four six-week old kittens with orange tufts scattered over their bodies. There was only one pure orange kitten. All the kittens shivered and huddled together against their mother. Siti's heart broke at the sight. She picked up them all up and wrapped them in her tunic.
Siti walked out of the alley and around to the front of the museum. She knew that she would probably get into a lot of trouble for this, but she didn't care. All she cared about right now was the safety of the kittens and their mother. She knocked on the revolving door for it was locked. Siti waited for what seemed forever in the frigid night before Larry realized it was her and unlocked the door.
"Siti, what are you doing? How did you get outside?" Larry plagued her with questions as soon as she was inside.
"Could someone bring me their jacket or something," Siti shouted to the lobby, ignoring Larry's queries. An Eskimo offered up one their furry coats and Siti set the cats inside. All the while Ahkmenrah and Larry flung questions at her and everyone gathered around to see what she had brought in. "I was looking out a wind to a street when Dexter came and opened it up for me. I jumped out and I was going to stay for a while when I found these little ones." She told everyone. "Do we have milk somewhere?" Larry sighed.
"We have a little fridge in the employee lounge, I'll go see if there's anything in there," he said and walked off.
"Thank you," She called after him. There was a wave of "Oohs" and "Aws" as the inhabitants looked on at the kittens. Sacagawea knelt down next to them and picked one up.
"They're a little skinny and malnourished but other than that they look healthy." She said setting the kitten back down. Ahkmenrah caught Siti's armed and pulled her away.
"Can I speak to you in private, please?" The Pharaoh said and Siti winced inwardly. He sounded angry. She looked back at Sacagawea. The Native American nodded, signaling that she would look after the litter while Siti spoke to Ahkmenrah. Siti looked back at the Pharaoh and nodded. He led her to his tomb wordlessly.
"What were you thinking, going outside?" Ahkmenrah asked harshly once they were inside.
"I only wanted to see what it was like," She shot back heatedly. "Besides if I hadn't those kittens would have died!"
"But you could have died," he shouted. Siti scoffed.
"It's nowhere near sunrise, and I was only out there for a few minutes."
"What if nobody heard you knocking? You would have been trapped out there," He pointed out, still shouting
"But I wasn't," she protested then laughed bitterly. "I'm not going to listen to your paranoid ravings." She threw her hands up as she strode out.
"Where are you going?" He shouted after her as she disappeared around the corner.
"To see my kittens," She called back to him. Ahkmenrah sighed.
"There's no following her when she's like this," he muttered to himself. The Pharaoh knew that she could get into quite a righteous furry when she felt she was being treated unfairly. But never had Ahkmenrah seen it directed at himself. He also knew that she would stay angry at him until he righted the unfair situation.