My name is Chris, Ive lost track of time. It feels like years since I first started running, but I think its only been a few months. Days turn to weeks, and the weeks drags on, such is the new way of life. And yet, despite the violence and chaos, I dont really miss the old world...

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Heading west

     Our group was a wreck.  We spent the next two days in the haven resting and trying to cope with the death of Steven.  His last words haunted me.  "I'm free" his voice repeated in my head.  He sounded genuinely happy, happy he wasn't running.  His actions had not only us questioning the state of the world, but the people holed up in this building as well.  The three of us were sitting in our room, going over what to do next.  A map sitting in the middle of the huddle.  "Heading west seems to be the best bet, but who knows how far this sickness has spread."  Jason stated looking at the western half of the U.S.  "As long as you can get me to the coast, you can stay but I'm heading to Alaska.  I don't know if its safe or not, but Its my final stop" I say pointing to the northernmost state.  Home, hopefully at least one person I knew was still alive.  One is better than none.  "But how do you plan on getting there after I make my final stop, if I decide to stay" Jason replied, emphasizing the if. "Like I said, I'm not sure the coast will be clear, and if its as bad everywhere else I may join you."  continuing on, keeping his eyes on the map.  At least he was keeping his options open.  "For the most part, the state is spread out population wise....." Jason continues, but I look toward Carmen and begin to think about how bad she was taking Steve's death. Her gaze was unfocused, looking out the window.  "Hey, are you alright Carmen?" ask, placing a hand on her shoulder, trying to comfort her.  Taking her gaze off the window, she looks at me with a look of sorrow. "What could have been so bad that he would have killed himself?  Minus the outbreak of course.  I mean we have all lost family..."  She trails off, clutching her pendant, her knuckles turning white.  "I just...I cant begin to wrap my mind around suicide.  There must have been literally nothing left for him." Continuing as she fidgeted with the side of the locket.  I notice it opens and I ask her, "Are there pictures in there?"  Upon asking, she opens it to reveal a picture of two children, both under five.  "Me and my husband divorced, and the day I ran, he had them.  I couldn't get ahold of him and I assumed the worst.  Losing my two babies was the worst pain I have ever felt, but I pressed on." Her eyes welling up, she shuts the locket.
       "Carmen honey, were leaving tomorrow.  Were down to one spare tank of gas so were going to have to scrounge up some gas before going too far though."  Jason said shutting the map book and putting it back in my bag, grabbing a snack before zipping it back up.  Seeing the carton of cigarettes in there I felt my pockets for my open pack.  Man, you really have cut down, I thought as I went to grab one, realizing I had no lighter.  Looking around I find the stove in still working order.  I light the cigarette on the burner, breathing in the calming smoke.  I savor every puff, not wasting a bit.  Finishing, I toss the butt in the sink, turning the water on to prevent a fire.  Habits die hard.    Coming back into the main room I walk in on the end of Jason's conversation with Carmen.  "...Are you sure?  We don't mind waiting another day or two." Jason said as Carmen stood up.  "No, I'm tired of running, but I'm not going to die either.  I can help these people, hopefully.  I don't know if anyone here is a doctor or not, but having a nurse is the second best thing."  She said heading towards the door.  "I'm going to talk to them, see if they don't mind me staying.  I hope you can understand." Looking away from us as she heads out the door.
      "Looks like its just me and you kid.  Were heading out tomorrow, have to find an airport to gather fuel." Looking glum about having to leave Carmen behind.  I'm going to get some rest.  You should do the same."  He continued heading to the bedroom.  Sleep was the last thing on my mind.  I leave the room to see if I cant catch up with Carmen, if I cant talk her out of staying, I can at least see if someone else wants to join.  Heading down the hall, I hear voices coming from the stairwell.  "...What do you mean they're leaving, we got nothing out of them!  All we know is that the east coast is gone!"  One angry voice shouted, followed from a calm female voice.  "How are they going to know about anywhere else other than where they came?  They're heading west hoping that there was somebody out there." Touche, I thought as I took a step back to continue my eavesdropping.  "So were just as clueless as we were before they arrived.  Great."  The man was obviously not happy about not being in the know.  Join the club man, I thought as I headed back to the room.  I had a bad feeling about him, but couldn't quite place it.  Looks like I was pulling guard duty tonight.

2 comments:

  1. Love the story, pretty emotional too.
    More please....

    ReplyDelete