The Yearbook Office
Writings on staying alive

Day 90

I wake up hard with a shooting pain in my back. I realize I have been sleeping on the floor. As I look around I can see that everything is gone, all my furniture, the paintings, the first Coelacanth I caught and kept in the corner. Even the wallpaper and carpet are stripped down to the bare wood. Getting up, I stumble downstairs to find Isabelle standing in the corner by the window where the grand piano used to sit.

"Good morning, Mayor. We need to discuss what we are going to do today," she says.

"What we are going to do about what, Isabelle? About getting my stuff back?" I say, still groggy from a bad night of sleep. It dawns on me that I do not remember how I got back to my house, the last thing I remember is crying while holding the bag of 3000 Bells.

"Oh dear. It would appear you do not remember what you did last night, Mayor?" Isabelle asks me, in that concerned-but-somehow-still-chipper tone of hers. I close my eyes and try to think hard until the memories come back to me in flashes.

Taking the sack of bells to Club LOL and demanding bottle service. Having drank the entire bottle of vodka, smashing all the windows of Nook's Homes and the displays inside. Drunkenly chopping down a tree and dragging the log to Re-Tail demanding that Reese pay me for it only to be rebuked. Chopping down the rest of the trees in the village in anger, culminating in chopping down the town tree in the square before stumbling back home and falling asleep in my bed.

I open my eyes and look at Isabelle. I can tell she is nervous, she is holding her arms close to her sides tighter than I have ever seen.

"Mayor, the residents are upset with your actions last night and are demanding to see you. They have gathered outside."

I look out the window and see the crowd of villagers standing out side the door. Behind them I see the tree stumps and holes in the ground where the trees used to be. Wilted flowers are outnumbered by weeds running rampant as far as I can see. I can hear their voices rise when they see me through the window. Quickly I motion to pull the curtain before I realize it is gone along with everything else. Instead I slink out of view.

"Is she coming out here?" I hear someone yell.

"She had better answer for what she did to the village!" cries someone else.

"And where is our backpay! She owes us for a week of work cleaning up this stinking village!" cries a third.

Sitting on the floor, my back to the wall I motion Isabelle over to me.

"Tell them I am not coming out. Tell them I am sorry."

"Are you sure, Mayor? I do not think they will take kindly to that. I am sure if you came out we could..." says Isabelle before I cut her off.

"No Isabelle, please do as I asked. Thank you," I say curtly.

Isabelle turns and opens the door. Once she clears the threshold I close it and lock all four deadbolts. Apparently Nook and his crew did not think to rip them out of the door as part of the repossession. As I slink back upstairs I hear Isabelle talking to the mob before their shouts get louder and louder and I hear them banging on the front door.

Day 92

After two days of rioting the village is empty. They burned down everything: town hall, the T&T Emporium, the Dream Suite. They ransacked the museum, dinosaur bones littered the floor as I walked through surveying the damage. There was a notice on the bulletin board from the provincial government that because the village government had collapsed, they would be suspending train service to Kona Village with the last train stopping this morning. The residents all packed their things and boarded the train, cursing my name and salting the earth as they did.

Isabelle got on that train too, but not before stopping to see me before she left. She said she was going to stay with her sister for a few days before heading out down the coast to Akuma Village where they needed a town clerk. She told me she would write me a letter but I reminded her that mail service ran with the trains. She asks me if I am staying and I answer that I have no idea what I am going to do next.

I motion to give her a hug but she backs away and shakes my hand instead. As she leaves I hear the soft tinkle of the bells she always wore.

Day 96

I spend my days sitting on the yellow bench by the shore. Surprisingly my first public works project escaped the mob during the riots, so I sit and watch the waves come in. I can see Kapp'n and his boat off in the distance, steering clear of the Kona dock.

One time I spot a shark fin floating close to the beach. My impulse is to get my fishing rod and go cash in, but I remember that Nook repossessed the rod along with the rest of my belongings, that Re-Tail is closed and there is nowhere for me to sell it even if I could catch it. So I sit and listen to the waves.

When it gets dark I walk back to my giant, empty mansion. It is cold and I am all alone.

Day 100

I am flying high above Kona Village. As I look down I see it not as it stands now, a desolate, abandoned wreck of a town, but how it was when I first arrived. The people go about their days carefree, fishing and catching bugs, sharing a joke now and again. I see Jambette, standing in the Re-Tail looking at a Modern Wood cabinet. I see Timmy Nook back in his tiny shop on the edge of the mall. The fish swim in the river and pond, the fruit sits ripe on the trees. It is beautiful. It is perfect.

Suddenly Isabelle is there flying with me. She takes my hand and we fly together out past the island, past where the train tracks end.

I turn to her and say "Why did this happen? Is this my fault? I only wanted what was best for everyone."

She turns to me and with the spark in her voice that had long since been extinguished and says "It's okay. This happens to everyone. You can learn for next time."

"Next time?" I ask but she is already good. I look down and see that Kona is gone, I am enveloped in darkness. I close my eyes and count to ten and I wake up on a train. A cat comes over and asks me my name, where I am going. I tell him I am going nowhere, that I just felt like riding the train for a while. I close my eyes and listen as the train moves forward.