Posts Tagged ‘moving on’

I moved in with Bonnie. Our first night together she told me about what happened after I killed McGrady. The place went nuts. The sons set fire to everything and killed most of the people. We were the lucky few that escaped before. Bonnie, though badly burned, survived because of Greg, the son that she had been given to. He was no supporter of his father and only had gone along with it so that he could help people get away from him.

With tear-filled eyes, Bonnie told me how Greg had protected and had even come to love her just as much as she did him. She had gotten pregnant after they had escaped. They had made a small encampment in the woods. He built her a tiny house and for them that was enough. They had wanted to have a family and grow old together. It was the simplest want she had ever had and the one she wanted most of all.

They were caught off-gaurd the day McGrady found them. Bonnie had been four months pregnant at the time. She was barely showing. Greg saw his father first. He acted quickly and got Bonnie out of sight and down to the ravine. The very ravine that The Maiden had found me in.

He doubled back just in time to meet his father. Bonnie found Greg several days later. He had turned. His father had stabbed him and let him to become one of the Undead, the sort of ultimate statement for what McGrady took as betrayal. Bonnie told me she wasn’t sure what was harder on her, the fact that she had to kill him, well the Undead him, or when she had to bury him.

After she had killed him, she bundled him into a blanket and dragged him down to the ravine. She buried him beside the water. She told me it took 107 arm fully of dirt to fully cover him. She had felt each one of them. We cried together.

When she finally fell asleep, I laid awake in my own bed, my eyes fixed to the ceiling. I had only two thoughts running through my head: I hadn’t killed McGrady and McGrady was still very much alive.

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I was about halfway up the hill when I heard the sound of static. White noise. At first I thought I was going crazy. Then, I thought I was in my head again, in moments that have long since passed in my life. This time, I wasn’t though. I was very much in the present. I am very much aware of just how friggin thirsty I am and how endless this hill seems to be.

It’s not white noise, it just sounds like that. I start thinking back to girl scouts. I remember this sound. I start walking faster, my swollen legs hurting with each rushed step. I remember what that sound means. I know what it means. I’m only a few feet away from the top of the hill and when I’m there, I am going to look over and see exactly what I need.

Water. It’s there, sparkling up at me. I fall to my knees, I am just so happy. My mouth is trying to water at the knowledge that I am so close to finally having something to drink for the first time in two days. Then, I realize that to get down to that water, that I’m going to have to climb down from the top of the ravine that I have found myself on. If I could, I would probably cry, but my own desire to live is what gets me back up onto my wobbly legs and slowly over the edge.

Three points of contact. You always need three points of contact. Where did I learn that from? Nannying. The father always used to say that to the kids I nannied and I thought it was so stupid. He let his kids climb some of the most dangerous places and would always remind them, three points of contact. I guess he’s helping me now.

I get down faster than I thought that I could. I slide down the rest of the way, cutting my hands as I go. I don’t care. I am just so thirsty. My mouth is dry, it hurts to swallow. I straighten up and stumble over to the stream, plunging my face into the cool water. It’s incredibly painful to gulp it down, but it’s all my body wants me to do. There is no controlling it. Eventually I can drink and it’s not hurting anymore, it almost feels good.

When I can’t drink anymore, I pull my head back and sit back. I start cleaning the blood and guts from my hands.

I need to rest now and then I need to find something to eat. I have to take care of myself because I don’t know how long I’m going to have to do this for, this being on my own. It’s scary. I was one of the lucky ones when this started, I was with people, but now I have to figure it out. I have to figure out my survival and all I have with me is a dumb blanket.

My mom was waiting for me on her front porch. Her face light up when she saw me. We hugged for what seemed like hours. She ran her hand over my G.I. Jane look and laughed.

“Is Ryan with you,” I ask.

She shakes her head. “I hold out hope,” is all that she says.

We go inside where I get my first shower in a month. There is even hot water. My mom makes me lunch and it is warm and good.

“How do you have all of this?” I don’t even look up from my food.

“We always knew Mr. McGrady was a nut. He’s been prepared for this for years. Once the hordes hit, he wiped them out. We spent the next several days burning the bodies in the field and barricading ourselves in. Then he set us up with generators and running water. The food has come from his stockpile and from the people who have found us and chose to stay.”

I’m nodding as I eat. I can’t believe McGrady was able to do everything the military failed at doing. Thank God for bat-shit neighbors is all I can think.

I spend the rest of the day with my mom. Eventually I venture outside. Several of the kids have found their parents here, however Vincent and Shelby stay with me. Bonnie and Javier join us too. We go to my house where Mouse greets me happily at the door. I sweep him up into my arms and nuzzle my face into his soft tangerine fur.

Bonnie and Shelby claim the guest room. Javier and Vincent take the office while Mouse and I take my bedroom. We get to lay in my bed for the first time in weeks and feel normal if only for a little bit. Javier comes in sometime later. We sit in my bed and talk about life and how much everything has changed. We agree that for now this is where we are going to stay and that if we were to leave Bonnie, Vincent, Shelby, Armand and my mom were all to come with us. Mouse too if we could feed him.

In the morning my mom comes over with our box of rations for the week. All of us bask in the heaven that is powdered eggs after having lived on school preserves for a month.

We begin our life here as some sort of patchwork family.