The Eternalite

Chapter 1

Jeffery wakes up in a small campground.

Surrounding him was a fire, a tent and people.

“Hey Jeffery, are you alright?”

He shook his head. What seemed to be a dream of a brighter world slowly faded from his thoughts as he looked around himself.

“Where…” he reflected for a moment, “-who… am I?” he said more to himself then to the person who had asked.

Jeffery was twenty-two, slim, taller, a bit pasty, and an amnesiac.

After a brief, howbeit thorough examination, the doctor gave an ‘all clear’, telling him simply let him know if anything changes and he starts to remember. He was labelled as a ‘possible trauma’, but the doctor didn’t think his amnesia was trauma related. People surrounding him asked him if he could remember anything about what happened to him, but he couldn’t.

They informed him on who he was. He was ‘Jeff’. He was kind- but liked to skid by. A recent undergrad from a university with an engineering degree – he applied to the Peace Corps. Because he had no idea what to do and it didn’t hurt his resume.

He didn’t feel like he could relate to their ‘Jeff’.

“Just for a resume?”

A boy his own age, named Seth smiled, “Don’t worry dude. In a way that’s kind of the reason we’re all here… except maybe Jennifer.”

Jeff was left alone again. He wondered who Jennifer was.

At the moment, he was living a separate housing within the nearest hospital until the charter plane arrived within a month- he would have been in a village within fifty-five miles.

“Don’t worry about our mission for now,” Seth responded, “I can take care of your translating job for now.”

From what it sounded like, Seth was a pretty cool guy. He wondered if the reason he was being nice was because of who he ‘was’. He wondered if he could compare to their ‘Jeff’.

Jeff nodded, just letting them make the decisions for him since he wasn’t quite sure about himself.

He watched as ‘Seth’ left and then followed by doing nothing at the hospital. He was given a plate of food. Looking around he saw an older lady black- she seemed malnourished.

He didn’t smile- he didn’t think to, so instead of talking she ended up turning her head away and going back to sleep.

“What am I supposed to do?” he asked the PCMO (the nearest Peace Corps. Medical Officer was probably a hundred miles away) over the phone.

Currently he was using a landline phone from the office.

“Sit back, watch your favorite movie downloads if you have any. The next plane should be there within a month. We have to do it by charter.”

He looked around for something to pass the time then remembered about the movies. He checked to see if he had any on his It turns out that he did. For some reason having such a selection made him feel guilty.

He looked through his equipment trying to get a feeling for who he’d been. It seems he stored some electronic stuff- headphones, a photo of a happy family.

It didn’t make any waves or bring back anything. Looking at the photo it seemed that he had two younger sisters and lived in a suburban white home. After getting tired of looking through everything for some sort of clues he picked out the movies.

He ended up watching films and lying in bed while the doctor came with food every meal.

After two days of passing the time, he felt utterly useless.

On the third- he figured that he’d actually try and walk around, but instead of the normal silence he’d grown used to- he heard a car pull up.

Three face he’d recently seen came up to the hospital. Seth- the person who’d explained a little earlier and two girls.

“Hey my man.” Seth spoke as he gave him a hand clasp into a bro hug.

After having twiddled his thumbs for a while now- Jeffery was just glad to have human connection again.

“Hey, Seth,” he returned as he noticed two girls checking up on the lady who’d been his roommate.

“So…” Seth explained as he introduced Jeffery to the other members of the project they were on. “I guess we have to introduce ourselves again…”

“Basically we call ourselves The Outsiders.”

“Actually- you came up with it,” The hispanic-filipino girl interrupted. She was dressed somewhat conservatively in a sporty khaki-esque look and a sort of under armor top. Not noticing until after that she had interrupted, she paused hesitantly, then continued, “YOU said that since the people we’re helping don’t really seem to want us here we may as well call ourselves that.”

Jeff had a slight smile at the remark. He wondered if he’d been able to meet himself if he’d get along.

“This is Sarah by the way-” Seth spoke introducing the girl who’d just spoken.

“You can call me Sari again,” She stuck out her hand. Jeff shook it.

After taking the hand another member came up.

“And THAT…” Seth spoke pointing at another girl, “is Jennifer Lugawitz.”

Pointing at a girl with a little more relaxed getup- she was dressed in a more tomboy get-up, blue and white running shoes, rolled up jeans, orange hair tied back in a braided ponytail no makeup, but still made quite an impression to Jeff being so beautiful.

Jeff tried to be polite again, “so Jennifer…”

“I still don’t like you,” the girl failed to shake the hand that Jeffery had stuck out, instead turning her head.

“Don’t worry, she treats us all like that,” Seth said, brushing off the rejection for Jeff.

Jeff felt her attitude was little unfair. What had he done? He wondered if he’d rubbed her the wrong way.

Before he could say more however – they and the lady seemed to have geared up to go.

“Well, we came back to give the lady a ride to the village,” Seth spoke, “we’ll try to make it back before you leave-“

“Don’t include me!” Jennifer shouted behind her as she walked the older black lady towards the door.

Holding the door, a young black man in a dressier outfit stood. He looked perhaps a year or two older than any of them.

The group including the lady walked out.

Jeffery feeling the sting of loneliness followed them out.

Seth lagged behind with Jeffery the group as they walked towards what seemed to be

“That’s our liaison, Rudo- he’s the reason for us being here in the first place.”

Upon hearing his name called Rudo politely turned around and stuck out his hand. He seemed to have a light air as he spoke.

“Jambo…” Rudo stuck out his hand.

Seth explained, “Rudo speaks Swahili. His English is a little less, but he speaks well enough that he was even able to send a request to the Peace Corps for support for his village. Jambo means-”

Jeffery responded, “Jambo…” Taking Rudo’s hand with a shake of his own.

Swahili: (how are you Rudo, I’m sorry I’ve forgotten you- but it’s nice to meet you again)

Rudo looked at him bemusedly- the others all looked strangely at Jeff.

In Swahili: (I am very well now, I find it exciting to converse- you truly are a learned American)

“Wow…” Seth interjected.

“What’s wrong,” Jeff replied

“Before your amnesia, you didn’t know any Swahili…” Seth returned.

Jeff found that strange as well, “really?”

“Yeah, that’s insane…” Sari responded.

During this Jennifer was already buckling in the lady in the front seat of the jeep and hadn’t heard the exchange.

“Anyway,” Seth spoke, “we were just giving a ride to Camri: we’ll see you man”.

Sari and Seth shook his hand as Rudo nodded and walked to the driver’s seat.

“Bye…” he spoke to himself as they took the backseat of the jeep and Rudo started up the vehicle.

He stared blankly into the distance as the vehicle grew smaller and smaller.

“Hey, wait up!” he shouted after realizing he had no desire to be cooped up in the hospital tent another day.. He chased out after the caravan as it was pulling out. After a couple hundred feet, they noticed him chasing after them and it slowed down.

There were five total already and the jeep was enough for five.

He hopped in the back, holding the bars.

Jenifer looked annoyed while the others looked bemused. The lady was curiously looking at him.

“Alright!” Seth spoke with a smile, “let’s go.”
—> Preview/Next


Author: jackpennnovels

Hey there. I'm a 28 y/o aspiring author - looking to inspire youth and entertain the masses with fantastic stories. i enjoy travelling the world and understanding different ways of life- and my second dream would be to help others understand what it's like to live in different parts of the world- in the hopes that cultural exchange can open the eyes of those who've had theirs shut for so long.

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