The river quieted, moving slowly in a beautiful rhythm. Monday sat atop a stone and gave himself a laugh of contentment for he was happy.
"I'm home." He whispered out of fear. He screamed the words at the river and laughed as his voice echoed with a maddening rush.
"Yes, you are."
Monday turned back at the voice and at once he cringed. He said, "Why are you here?"
"I brought you here."
"Oh, Sunday." He was not smiling.
Sunday brought himself to his knees and watched the slow movement of the river. By the riverbank, both Sunday and Monday maintained the silence of the world. They did not entertain the other's presence but it was better than nothing.
Then Monday said, "You should be gone. That's the rule."
Sunday gave a short weary laugh and turned away. He began to whistle a tune, one broken and bent like a used up lung. He said nothing about breaking the only rule that mattered nor did he seem to offer his apologies for the intrusion. He knew all too well his day had ended and yet he wanted to stay awhile, indulge himself with the dizziness of faded dreams.
"You know I don't follow the rules," Sunday said when the day had dragged on with impeccable silence.
"I don't care, you know me." Monday's bad breath was tragic enough and his eyes, caught by the fantastic failure of forced travels paled before the river. Sunday looked at him and then, thoughtlessly, back at the rustling bushes.
"Where do you go to, Monday?" Sunday's question was unexpected, and strangely the one question that mattered and still tugged at Monday's chest.
"Why do you care?"
Sunday shrugged. The wind blew over the both of them and while Monday's hair willingly obeyed the law of the wind, Sunday's hair fell limply at the top of his head.
"I was wondering, said Sunday, " Where do the rest of us go? I shine out one day and the next you appear. Where do you go to?"
"I suppose to hell." Monday's answer was firm in disbelieve and yet his eyes were threatening to rekindle flames of hate.
"We travel, right? We are forced out of our homes, kept aside by time, left to rehearse our joy at the end when we are sent back."
"Where do they put you?"
"That's it, Monday. I don't know. At the end of my day, I fall out into oblivion. I don't know where they put me but I feel the pain of not knowing. I experience joy like never before when it's my time."
"Then why are you here? If by the end of your day you are sent back, why are you here today?"
"I don't know."
Monday laughed heartily. He threw his head back and patted his large stomach. He belched, his bad breath coming off too strong. When he spoke, he was too tired not to speak. He said, "You know nothing. How are you called Sunday?"
"What would you prefer me to be called?"
"Friday. Probably Saturday."
Monday did not laugh when he replied, "I suppose they are the worst. I should call them dull but that's an understatement."
"Then you think I'm dull?"
"What are you?" Sunday's question trudged slowly, heightened by sympathy and partly fear.
"I am the better one. That's why I am called Monday. You ought to know that by now."
"Always the egocentric one." Sunday relaxed with a heightened smile.
Monday laughed again. Then he asked, "Why are you really here?"
The flowers danced like fireflies, pushed about by the restless wind. The river moved with a sound that was both refreshing and nostalgic. Both of them knew they ended up here for the same reason, a senseless act of depraved existence, more because they were pawns in someone's game.
"I don't want to hide anymore. I want to be free to choose the day I come out to stare at the river. Is that too much to ask?"
"And you couldn't choose a better moment to want something? You could have chosen Wednesday, please."
"And yet here we are." Sunday looked at the river in time to catch the first ray of rainbow. "I didn't choose you, Monday. I am here because I am here."
"Don't know about you but what you just said makes no sense."
"You have perfect humor."
Monday stood up from his make up chair and looked closely back at the rock. It was beautiful magic, torn, and lonely from the others but perfect enough to remain simple and alive.
With skillful agility, Monday lept forward and dived into the river. He splashed himself a dozen times and without remorse, did the same to Sunday who gawked at the rock.
"You are changing everything. You do know that right? Sunday?"
"I know." Sunday half-whispered, "But why can't I stay here?"
"I don't have the answer, never have. But I will tell you this: when I travel forcefully, I feel the same need to run away. But I am made for Monday and you are Sunday."
"No one cares for me," Sunday exclaimed.
It was Monday who laughed, his voice a stifling remembrance to everything devilish. "Everyone hates me," Monday said.
"They think I bring bad luck."
"I can't really blame them."
Monday plunged his wrinkling hands into the river and closed his eyes to the way it made him feel. Then he said, "I suppose you're right. Who could blame them if they think of me as a cold one?"
"But you aren't really cold, see?"
"I will consider that your failed attempt to make it sound better. Lighten up and dive in. You have ten minutes to leave, we can't disrupt the balance."
Sunday went in and shivered from the pleasure. It seeped into his skin and settled around him like a good old lie. He swallowed hard at the intensity of rushed emotions and even screamed at the paleness of the sunshine.
"I don't know who I am." Sunday gasped. He raised his hands above the water and made sure it was elevated enough to mean something.
"Neither do I. But you are Sunday and I am me, Monday. That should mean something."
"You will be pulled away soon, away to a corner I can't name. And Tuesday will stand in your place and inhale the night air. Then you will have to stay hidden until I too have stood here with hands clasped in front of me."
Monday said nothing. The words hung in the air, lifeless, tempting.
"I am back." Monday cried out.
They moved out of the river and settled back on the rock.
"They are here," Sunday whispered slipping his hands underneath grasses.
"Yea. To take me away, I guess."
"You broke a rule. We live for just a day until the next cycle."
Sunday stood up, dusted his clothes, and patted Monday's shoulders. He said, "Enjoy the time. You will travel again to land you can't remember and you will wait."
"I know," Monday whispered.
"I should go too."
Monday watched him go and when, finally, Sunday was out of sight, he looked up at the sky, darkened with delight, and smiled sadly. When the night came to touch him there and the moon looked too radiant to mean anything, he laughed wildly.
In the morning when they came to wake him up with their faint whispers, there were two broken tear lines across his face. His eyes were swollen and his back ached. In the distance, he thought he caught a glimpse of Wednesday but he shrugged it off and welcomed Tuesday with a cheap smile, one too tight to mean anything.