The Diary of Leya Raynor
Is that a cliché, starting this like that? It feels like a cliché. Like I’m thirteen years old and I’m about to write about my crush who was mean to me in school today or something. No. I’m not doing that.
I’ll start again.
Ah, fudge it. Who cares? I’ll feel this out as I go.
I said my goodbye to Mum today. It was a “goodbye” rather than an “au revoir” because I don’t know how long this journey is gonna take me. Could be weeks, could be years. Hopefully I’ll stop by on Terra every now and then if it ends up being years. It’s not like I expect anything to happen to me or anything.
Mum didn’t take it very well. The reason I’m going, that is. I mean, I didn’t really expect that she would; last time she had any clue what Dad was doing, she got hooked on the ‘Liks. I’ve sent Syl a message to stop by at home soon, to make sure Mum has support if need be. Can’t have her relapsing.
My first destination was the planet Gu. It was the only place I could really remember Dad going on any regular occasion, so it made sense that I would start my search for him there. I had an address, which I took from an old diary of his. It was scrawled in the margins of it, like he was in a rush. That scribble had always felt important to me.
I went there as soon as I landed, not even bothering to try to find a place to stay. I only had a backpack with me, I should mention; I didn’t pack much. Just a few changes of clothes, the basic sanitary items to keep me going, and a hairsonar (I might not always be dressed perfectly on this trip, but I’ll be darned before I have bad hair). Anything else that I do need, I can pick up as I go.
Sorry. I’m realising now how rambly this is all coming across. I’ll make more of an effort from now on to write better. I never did well in Terran language class, after all.
See, there, I’m doing it again – going off on a tangent! I’ll stop. Really, I’ll stop this time. I’ll make it read more clearly. Like you’re reading an actual professional piece, or something.
Right. Where was I?
I went straight to the address that was scribbled in the margins of the diary, letters clipped at the side of the page where the stylus crept off the pad. It was a small house, barely average in size by Gulien standards, that stood in the poorer outskirts of one of the cities.
I buzzed at the front gate, and was immediately welcomed by a full body scan. Head to toe, x-ray, sonar, the works. You name it, they had it. Clearly this was where all their money had gone. After taking a small sample of my blood, a message popped up on the screen:
Relative of Ira Raynor.
There it was: proof that I was on the right tracks! Without asking me any questions, the house’s inhabitants granted me entry, and I walked in through the open gate.
I didn’t know what I had really been expecting to be inside, but it wasn’t this. The house was bustling with people, all with dour expressions on their faces, all dressed entirely in black. Of course, I just had to have been wearing a bright red coat at the time, so I could stand out like a sore thumb.
A young man came up to me, introduced himself as the son of the man who I had been looking for, and explained to me that his father has passed away just this morning.
Typical! I faff about for years before I start my search, and the man I begin with passes away on the very morning that I leave home. I kept this to myself, of course.
This wasn’t my immediate reaction, I should add. I’m not a sociopath! I offered my sincerest condolences, and then asked if there was anything I could do. There was indeed something I could do, it turned out: I could help with the U’kka run. Once the hot drinks were divvied out amongst the grieving family, the son sat me down and asked about the reason for my visit.
He seemed like a kind man, taking the time out of his day to ask about me, acting sincerely interested in what I had to say about my father, and how he might have known the deceased. The son confirmed this – he remembered my father visiting when he was a child. He told me that my father was always courteous towards him, occasionally brought him gifts, and always wore a smile. I had to check we were definitely talking about the same person.
The son showed me pictures. Of Dad. He really had been there, and it seemed as though he was, dare I say it, chummy, even, with the Gulien. In some of the pictures he even had an arm around the deceased’s shoulders.
I pressed the son as much as I could about the nature of my father’s visit, but he struggled to give me any information. He was too young, he said, to remember properly, but his sister might know. She was older back then, more likely to have had some clue about what was going on.
Of course, she wasn’t around yet. She worked on Rykan (lucky her!) but was on her way over for the funeral already.
The son invited me to stay with him, until she arrived, as long as I didn’t mind sleeping on a sofa. I suspected he liked the look of me, but maybe I was imagining things – he was grieving his father at the time, after all.
I made myself as useful as I could around the house, which mostly involved making U’kka, and waited for the sister to arrive with the information I was searching for.
A Note From The Author
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