Sunday, 26 April 2009 - 12:29 pm


Progress is a wonderful thing. We made good time yesterday, much more than I thought we’d cover in just one day. I’m not used to going so fast – the past four months have tainted my perspective of the map, as if I can only look at it through the warp of a bowl’s curve.

The going is getting slower the more we go north – the closer we get to the epicentre of the blast, the more wreckage there is on the roads. It’s not dragging us down too much yet, though, not on these nippy little scooters.

We had to take a slight detour once, around a grafitti-tagged zone. We don’t know whose the tags are, and we haven’t heard any stories about the gangs in this area, but none of us are eager to take chances.

I even let Dillon drive the scooter this morning. He thought it was the best thing in the world, revving up the little engine and testing out the weaving ability of the machine. His grin was infectious when he got off, a little shaky with excitement, and he asked if he could drive it again later. We’ll take turrns, I told him.

Despite that, despite all of that, we reached the edge of my home suburb by the time the rain came. Today, we’ll get to my house.


When we were settling down last night, Sally drew me aside. She doesn’t often talk to me, one-on-one, and she was so nervous that I wondered if she was afraid of me. In hindsight, I think she was afraid of what she had to tell me.

She asked me first if Sax had told me anything about her. I said no – he hadn’t mentioned anything. I knew the two of them talked a lot since the time on the boat, and he was very fond of Sally. He never betrayed any confidences with me. I think that made it harder for her.

She looked at me, eyes bright at the mention of our dead friend, and took a deep breath. I started to get a little afraid of what she had to tell me.

“I’m pregnant.”

My response was a stare and an eloquent, “Oh.” Of all the things she might have said, I wasn’t expecting that one. Of course, I probably should have, considering the unsubtle activities that happen in the dark. Ben and I have been careful about protection, and I had assumed they were as well.

I glanced at Sally’s face and realised that she looked very young. Unsure of herself. I summoned up a smile and patted her arm. “Well, that’s great news.” It’s supposed to be good news, right? She looked at me like I was crazy and she’s not wrong; the notion of bringing a baby into this world is terrifying. “Does Masterson know?”

Her eyes widened and she shook her head. “I only told Sax.”

I felt like I was holding onto a can of worms with a loose lid. “Are you okay?”

She shrugged, her head drooping, and she didn’t reply. Matt was looking in our direction and I waved him off, moving to put an arm around her. She’s scared, of being pregnant, of what Masterson will say – and he’s a doctor, he’s going to notice soon – of what the rest of the group will do. We would never abandon her because of something like this; she needed to hear that, and I obliged. She tried not to cry and failed, and I stayed with her until she felt better.

“You have to tell the others,” I told her when she was calmer. “They deserve to know.”

“I will,” she replied. “But not yet.” She trembled at the idea.

I let it go. I hardly know what to think – a baby. I can’t think of a better symbol of hope for us, a sign that we’re going to survive all of this. I gave her a big hug before we rejoined the others, and by then I had got over my shock enough to look pleased for her. We’ll work it out, I told her.


Today I’m going home. Soon, we’ll have a new addition to our group. I feel like I could sprint all the way home, I’m so bouncy.