Day 13

If you find this, please share my story.

What is normal? Will I ever experience ‘normal’ again? Same routine today. The girl isn’t speaking much to me right now. I don’t blame her. I feel… I don’t know how I feel. Something is wrong with me. They were going to kill me. That one guy wasn’t, though. I think he was trying to save me.

I asked the girl if she wanted to scavenge in town with me. But before she could reply, I had to apologize. I explained what happened to me. She said I am in shock. She’s not wrong. But she said if we’re going to depend on each other to survive, we need to talk about things. Now’s the time to be open and honest, I guess. To a stranger I’ve known for only a few days.

You know what, though? I’m glad I told her everything. I’m glad we talked. She told me about what the raiders did to her, only one day after Yama was announced. These guys were the kind of scum that thrived in situations like this, and needed the lawlessness of an apocalypse to do whatever twisted things were in their heads.

We talked for hours. I told her about my office job and about how he left me a week before the world ended, and about my life in this small, stupid town. She told me she moved here right after graduation to be closer to her parents. She has a nursing degree. But her parents passed away within days of each other, and she’s been wanting to leave ever since. She told me I saved her life. I told her I think she saved mine.

We shared a can of dog food while we talked. Neither of us wanted to eat it, but we have to save the good food for when things get really bad. Besides, it has protein in it. A long time ago, I heard that humans do taste testing on dog food to make sure it’s good for dogs, but I don’t know if that’s right. I can’t exactly fact-check that one now, can I? We laughed while we ate it, remembering what it was like to eat at a restaurant and order whatever you wanted. We could ask for a salad with a side of dressing and a steak dinner cooked to order. Today, it’s “prime cuts” with a picture of a beagle on the can.

She ended up coming with me to town. Neither of us wanted to be alone. We raided gas stations and small stores before I started working on another car battery. While I was working, the girl said she heard a sound. We found a small child, no more than maybe four or five years old, standing by the drug store I robbed last week, sobbing to itself. He was a little boy and seemed to be all alone. The girl and I waited, but no one came.

Wordlessly, we agreed to move forward and help. He saw us and shrank back, seeing us only as strangers. I offered him candy and asked him his name. He said his daddy left him there, but he didn’t know how long ago. But from what I can tell, he left him here for good. There was an address pinned to his jacket on a sticky note. The address was from the city, well over fifty miles from here. The girl and I discussed in brief. We can’t take him there. The world is going to end first. There are no cars that can make the trip, and we can’t do it on our bikes.

I guess we adopted a child today. Just one week into the apocalypse and people are abandoning children. But am I really that surprised? Based on what has happened so far, this seems pretty par for the course. Murders, kidnappings, raiding in general.

We’re back home now and the child has calmed down well enough. When we go out tomorrow, the girl said she’ll try to find him some toys. But now we have a third mouth to feed. This complicates things, but it could be worse. It can always be worse.