Saturday, 7 February 2009 - 3:33 pm

All about us

There was another internal explosion today. It held off until we were out of the Stripers’ territory, which is lucky. I don’t know that they would have been so accommodating two days in a row.

It was the talk about yesterday’s encounter that sparked it off. Nothing to do with Sally and Masterson this time; this was all about Thorpe and me. We had stopped for a snack and a rest, and the talk turned to how we had been so lucky with them.

It was Ben that went off. He has barely said a word to me for four days, but as soon as he heard that the boys had left me with the other group, he tore into Thorpe. Didn’t he know what might have happened? How could he leave me alone like that, how could he put me in that kind of danger? Yes, it turned out all right, but it might not have. Anything could have happened, and none of it good. We weren’t supposed to split up! He was supposed to be looking out for me, he was supposed to be protecting me. Instead, he abandoned me – that’s the word that Ben used. Abandoned.

I was too surprised to do anything at first. I tried to speak up, to say that it was me who told Thorpe to go with Sax, but they weren’t listening. Thorpe was recovering from his shock at the sudden attack, getting defensive, and that couldn’t end well. I tried to separate them, and Ben snapped something about me defending Thorpe that I didn’t understand.

Then he stormed off. I made to go after him, but Thorpe held me back and told me to let him cool off. I’ve never seen Ben so wound up about something – hell, he has only raised his voice once before in all this time. That was in defence of someone else, too.

Since then, I’ve tried to stay out of his way. Things are tense enough at the moment – we’re skirting around the bottom edge of the Stripers’ zone so that we can head west. We don’t want to attract any more attention; we’re waiting until we’re out of earshot before we risk starting a car.

I’m touched that he would stand up for me like that. I’ve never had anyone do something like that before. But now he won’t even look in my direction and I have no idea what to think of that. Did he only do it because he believed it was the right thing to do, or does he really care?

I’m worried about Ben. I miss talking to him. I wish I knew what was going on inside his head.