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Pyramid of Kings
The moment I realized who I am. What is right, what is wrong. The moment I did something truly ilegal.
What does the word “bad” mean? evil, illegal, criminals these are the type of words that come to mind when you hear the word “bad” right? What about the word illegal, crimes, murder, drunk driving, robbery all of these thing are really bad and illegal but let me tell you that most people have done something illegal at least once, from having a Facebook account and lying about you age, to jay walking on the street, skipping a red light, drinking alcohol under age, done drugs, smoking under age those type of things. And it is pretty uncommon to commit a crime such as killing someone, or robbing something. Something as severe as that.
My family alongside another four families were taking a christmas vacation trip across lot’s of different places. We all knew each other quite well even though some of us were from Monterrey, some from San Diego and some even from Europe. All were good friends of my parents. We traveled yearly every christmas vacation, and spent the New Years away from home. This was our second year traveling together, last year we had gone to Chiapas. This year we were traveling through “La Riviera Maya.” After two weeks of traveling this was the last place we were visiting, we were going to end the christmas vacation with a New Years Eve party at the “Mayaland Resorts” hotel. We wanted to end the year with an adventure we just did not know how, so this happened...
We were all eating together at one of the many hotel restaurants, it was our second day at the resort and we had not visited Chichén Itzá yet. We had already booked a tour guide for tomorrow morning. While we were eating my uncle Greg had an idea he said,
“How about we go into Chichén Itzá tonight, just to take a sneak peak, and to enjoy the last night of 2013, to kick off the year”
Now, I don’t remember if my uncle was drunk, or if he was actually serious, but we we all just took it as a joke. My uncle was known for having some really crazy ideas, and for doing a lot of unexpected things. We just did not thought that entering Chichén Itzá on the las night of the year was really a possibility, we were about as wrong as someone can be...
5...4...3...2...1...WOO!, YAY! , 2013 was here, a brand new year. We were all really excited and were full of energy. About ten minutes later my parents came up to me and my brother,
“We are going to sleep, you can stay here but no longer than one hour” They then went back to our room alongside my sister. About an hour later my uncle came up to me and said,
“Hey we are going to Chichén Itzá you want to come?” he said it just like that, as calmly as possible like it was something completely normal, like it was something that everyone said.
“Me and my brother really need to go, our parents told us to go back at one.”
“Na, come on they won’t even notice your gone, and if they do I’ll tell them it was my idea.”
I then said yes, now a total of twelve people went into Chichén Itzá including me, my brother, my uncle greg, a 80 something year old woman, two girls who were one year older than me, as well as the three european teenagers and some more adults. We were heading towards the pyramid. The waiters and workers did not notice us leave, and the other half of the people which stayed behind just told us to be careful, and to come back as quickly as possible. I remember how all of the women had high heels on, and how all the men had button shirts, how the woman had dresses, and the men had elegant pants and shoes. But we all just forgot about that and moved forward. There was a ticket booth, with short stone wall, surrounding the perimeter of the pyramid. We saw how the ticket booth was empty and the wall was pretty short so we decided to climb it. We all had trouble climbing the wall, especially the girls. The 83 year old woman was really They were wearing high heels! we all had to help each other in order to get to the top. We were all going to get dirtier anyways so we did not mind the dust and dirt. After crossing the stone wall we saw the really wide and long dirt path. That seemed to never end.
“Well we should start moving, before we get caught” My uncle joked as we began to follow the path. We were all talking and joking as if we were doing nothing wrong. But deep inside I felt like a criminal. I felt like I was somewhere I was not supposed to be, like I was doing something wrong. And I was. As we walked that road I knew this was going to be unforgettable. I knew that this moment was going to be like no other.
“There!” someone shouted as we began to approach the end of the road. We walked for about ten miles before we reached it. There it was. Slimming in the moonlight, like a jewel in the dark. A diamond in the sky. An oasis in a desert. It was the most beautiful thing we had ever seen. So we walked closer, we saw the amazing trees, which were planted on all types of odd but beautiful looking locations. We were all talking really loudly about the pyramid and it’s beauty. We had all been looking at it for only ten seconds when we saw it a flashing light which came from the other side of the pyramid. It was there for no more than a second, but we all saw it.
“Calm down, we haven’t really done anything! I think we can all convince the guard to let us stay, guys!” my uncle Greg was trying manage the situation and to calm everyone down but we did not listen. all of the woman went running back wearing their high heels and long dresses, while the men came chasing behind them. Only a few of us stayed behind and listened. So we we stayed: me, my brother Emilio, the 83 year old woman, my uncle Greg, Viola a 12 year old girl who was also traveling with us along, her mom also stayed behind unlike her sister and brother who ran with the others. As fast as we could we all went to hide behind the same tree, except for Emilio and Viola whose entire body face on the ground as they hid behind two large rocks which were covered by bushes.
“RRRRRR!!!” we heard the engine of a motorcycle approaching towards us, we had not moved from where the guard first spotted us, so logically he came here. We all stayed as quiet as possible not making a single sound. I could feel all of us trembling, in fear of getting caught and afraid of what might happen if we did. All types of thoughts ran through my head, “what if we went to jail, what would my parents think, what if I went to court, what would people back home think of me, I was trembling in fear, then I heard the footsteps. The guard had stepped out of his bike and was heading this way, I was about to peek out of the tree when I saw the flashlight pointing at the bushes I felt a shiver running through my spine, I could see the bushes moving to keep hiding our location’s. I stood there. Trembling like a cat. I could tell that this was the scariest moment I had ever been through in my entire life. And I loved it! I felt like I was inside a movie, I could feel the excitement inside of me, and most importantly I did not want it to end.
As the guard began to move closer to us, I could see as Emilio and Viola trembling behind the rocks and bushes. The guard was just five feet away from them! I trembled in fear. Thinking of what would happen. Of us getting caught. And then I saw the pyramid. I did not really have time to see it, as I was rushing and hiding. This was the first time I actually paid attention to it. Such a beauty. I could not believe it had been there for thousands of years. Like a gem in a desert. An island in an ocean. A beauty in the open. The guard took out his flashlight and pointed it directly at us. I closed my eyes, praying not to get caught. The light went out and we heard his footsteps get away from us. He was gone.
A few minutes later Emilio pointed to towards some bushes, on the other side of the lane. He then jumped towards them. My uncle Greg jumped and landed safely. Viola jumped. And as soon as I jumped I saw the light. I made it just in time, I could feel the pain as my belt buckle began to bury deep into my skin. My fancy shirt and shoes were now as muddy as possible. I slowly and quietly crawled towards Emilio, Viola and my uncle. We could see the guard. He was looking towards us, as if he were not sure if we were here or not. I could almost feel blood in my waist. The pointy edges on my square belt buckle were only getting worse. I wanted to scream but could not. I wanted to go home. I wanted to get deep into my bed and sleep. Relax. Worry free.
We then heard a herd of dogs barking in the distance. I was more scared than I had ever been before in my entire life. I could not even begin to imagine what those dogs could do to us. I did not even know if the dogs were here for us. Maybe they were the neighbors. Maybe they were roaming the streets. But there was no time to think like that, “those dogs are here for me” that was the only thing that was in my head. I was scared, but was also excited. I did not know if that was a bad thing. If loving danger was good. I thought this night would never end, and that we would never get out of here. I was regretting coming here in the first place. “What were we thinking?!” I thought to myself. Why on earth were we here. We had gone to far this time. And there was no going back. Once a criminal always a criminal. I was trying to forget the pain of my belt by smelling the aroma of the various plants around me. I saw the pyramid, I thought “if we go to court, it would have been worth it” it was the most beautiful, amazing, espectacular and oldest thing I had ever seen. And ever will see. I saw my wrist and realized it was now
It was then when I realized. We were going to be here awhile. We had all been here for over two hours. But it all felt like five minutes. Time was going by so fast. I knew this was going to be an unforgettable experience. And I knew I would tell this over and over again.
“Matias, we will move little by little, without making a single sound. We will then arrive at the path and will then hide in the trees. If we are lucky enough we can get out of here, when we do get out we will go to the hotel and casualty blend in. We will then go to the apartment and get punished by mom and dad. Signal Viola and the other woman to come along.” My brother was whispering to me like he always did. Emilio since I remember has been sneaky, strategic and a great commander. Since we were little he would be the master at Monopoly and Risk. He would plan out every single thing like he was doing right now. He would think of all the things that could go wrong and would solve them. And if you ever find yourself trying to escape from somewhere it is always better if Emilio is there to help. I signaled the ladies and they all came towards us. And so we crawled, and crawled, and crawled. We crawled for about what seemed like an eternity. My legs hurt really badly. I felt like I had broken by waist. I was as sleepy as ever. I just wanted to go home. We had no idea where the other were. If they had already reached the hotel. If they had been caught or if they were hiding like us. And that was the moment we heard it. The terrible sound of defeat. The sound one makes when he has no other choice. The sound of
“Gregorio! Come out. We are safe! They won't press charges! Gregorio!” Violas dad (Who had gone with the other half who ran) began to cream out at us, expecting us to come out. Thinking we were THAT stupid. We were all to scared to go out. We had worked to hard to give up. How could the others be so stupid to just turn us in! Why did they even think about doing that.
“Come out! It’s OK I’m right here with the guard, he says it’s fine!” And so we had not other option. We revealed our master hiding spot. I checked my watch and it was now
We walked out in defeat. Shameful and looking down.
“It’s OK, they won’t charge us, or press charges. We are safe lets go home.” Viola’s dad was happy, and felt like he had won. Then the guard approached us.
“You were truly hard to find, I looked everywhere! hahahaha, well I finally caught you’s come on.” The guard was as relaxed as a man can be. He was acting like nothing had happened, like we were suddenly childhood friends. I did not understand.
“So, why did you come? I mean why here, why now?” The guard was now trying to start a regular small talk, conversation with the criminals he had just caught trying to illegally enter a world wonder at 4:15 in the morning on the day of New Years Eve. Yeah, it was pretty bad.
“We just you know, wanted to see the pyramid and have an awesome adventure” My uncle Greg was now having a conversation with the guard. Laughing and smiling. I was really confused. The guard ended up giving us a “private” tour at 4:30AM. We actually went inside the “Templo de los Mil Guerreros” which was extremely prohibited and the public was not allowed to touch them. We took selfies with the god statues, and funny pictures on the tables where the Mayas used to sacrifice and honor their gods. Although it did not make any sense to my why the guard let us enter and gave us a tour, I enjoyed it. And this has and always will be one of the most memorable stories of my childhood. And that left me to reflect and really think of who I am.
Illegal, bad, evil, terrible, criminal, murderer, rapist, thief. You hear those words you feel as if you were a hot air balloon which was getting fire blown into. As if you were a dog about to get killed on the pound. As if you were someone good. Someone helpful. Someone who was the complete opposite of a “villain”. Someone who has never done anything illegal. Someone whose mind only knows good. I know that the majority of you are not that good of a person. You have all done the small things. Like jaywalk in the street, lie about your age, skip a red light at traffic. All of you are definitely not the good hero. But you are not the bad villain either. We are all shades in between. Because like the “helping” and “Global Citizenship” as well as “work” and “family” being “kind” and “respectful” those are all aspects who make you. Yourself, but the bad things are just as powerful as the good things. People are made by both good and bad things. That is just who we are, and we have to learn to live with that.