Sunday, June 9, 2013

Wait... what?!

Oh, man. No one's ever going to believe this.

So, after all that waiting, the big day was finally here. I boarded the train, and headed for Mymeara, the town that was to be my new home.

Along the way, I have a pleasant chat with a cat named Rover. He seems to be the real nomad type, always on the move, never really settling down. He had some great stories to pass the time, which was great, because even though the train ride lasted all through the night, I wouldn't have been able to sleep a wink. I was way too excited.

So, the train finally pulls into the station, and I get a huge surprise. What seems like half the town is there to welcome me. Which is flattering, but also incredibly confusing. How did anyone even know I was coming? But the surprise doesn't really end there.

Apparently, the town's new mayor was supposed to be on the same train I was on. But I was the only one to get off at Mymeara. Due to some massive misunderstanding ... it seems I'm the town's new mayor now. I swear, I tried to explain I wasn't who they were looking for, but no one really seemed to be listening. They were all too excited to welcome the new mayor to town.

Before I can even really process what's happening, I'm being dragged to the town hall. The girl who brought me there tells me her name is Isabelle, and that she's my secretary. She's still barely letting me talk, she's just so excited. At this point, I think it would have crushed her heart if she found out I wasn't really the mayor. She was working so hard to make me feel welcome and to get everything finalized.

There was a bit of paperwork left to fill out before my post could become truly official, which led to a problem I had totally forgotten about in all the confusion. She needed my address--I didn't have one. Worse yet, there wasn't a single vacant house to buy or rent in the entire town. Isabelle tells me I should head to the city's Main Street and speak to a man named Tom Nook, who works as a real estate agent.

Main Street feels pretty empty. It seems a lot of shops had closed down, though a few of the merchants seemed determined to hold out and wait for brighter days. Looking at the half-empty street, it finally started sinking in that people would be relying on me to guide them to those brighter days. I wasn't sure I was up to the task, but it felt like all I could do at this point was press on. Ten minutes earlier, I was a girl leaving home with no real plans. Now I was in charge of a town.

Nook was expecting me. I guess Isabelle had called him from the office to let him know I was coming. I was wondering what he would think about the fact I had no money, but his specialty seemed to be helping those just getting going in life. He offered zero-interest loans, with no real closing dates. I was free to pay him at my own pace, which was a relief. I didn't even know how much my new job paid.

Nook seemed to own, or represent the owners, of nearly every available piece of land in Mymeara.  I was free to pick nearly any plot of my choosing to build a house on. I settles on a cliff-side little piece of land with a great view of the ocean. Surprisingly, it was no more expensive than any other piece of land in the town, despite the view. I guess they were desperate for new people to move in, so land was going for cheap. Or maybe my position of mayor was entitling me to special pricing. I had no real way of knowing, but I wasn't going to complain. When the house was complete, it would be a beautiful place.

Of course, I had the problem of what to do until then. I figured I'd be settling in to sleep in my office, when Nook suggested something else. A few minutes later, the two of us had erected a tent where the house would one day be. A tent may not have been the most glamorous of accommodations, but at least it was better than sleeping under a tree. He said my position as mayor demanded I be able to receive mail, and so he erected a makeshift postbox--really, it was just a cardboard box on a stick. He assured me that the mailman would deliver, and that the box would withstand any rain that came, at least for a few days. I was more than a little skeptical, but Nook knew the town and its customs better than I did. Nook advised me to come by his shop later once it had opened to discuss costs. He had actually come into his office hours early to help me. I thanked him, and headed back to the town hall to talk to Isabelle.

With my housing situation at least temporarily taken care of, Isabelle told me there was one last thing I had to do. As the new mayor, the town was hosting a commemoration ceremony in my honor. I was to plant a sapling in the town square. It seemed oddly fitting. Both the sapling and I were new to this town, and we would grow here together. Hopefully the sapling wasn't as nervous as I was.

Even more people came for the ceremony than for the welcome. I was more than a little uncomfortable, to be honest. I kept expecting someone to shout "Hey, that's not the mayor!" or something to that effect, but it never came. I planted the tree to a massive round of applause. No big speeches, just me, a sapling, and a pile of dirt.

And just like that, it was official. I was a mayor.

Isabelle advised that I spend the rest of the day however I wanted. At that point, the only thing I wanted was sleep. I was exhausted, between the sleepless night, and the unexpected and draining welcome to town. I headed back to my tent--the floor was lightly padded, but right then, I think I could have slept on a rock. Isabelle chased me down at the last second to give me a lantern she had found in a storage closet. I hadn't even thought of it, but the light was helpful in the otherwise bare tent. A few minutes later, and I was out cold.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, what a crazy story! I hope you don't have to spend too many nights sleeping in a tent!