Sunday, 6 September 2009 - 9:24 pm

Food for thought

Posting isn’t easy at the moment. I don’t dare let anyone know about the laptop – I’m afraid that it’ll end up ‘requisitioned’ and that’ll be the last I see of it. So I have to wait until I can squeeze myself into somewhere private to do this.

I still need to, though. There’s so much going on and I’m still trying to unravel it all. I’m afraid that if I don’t write it all down, I’m going to miss something important. There are a lot of changes happening to me and to the Seekers, to our lives, and right now it’s hard to see where it’s all going to end up.

I have a sneaking feeling that when I look back on these posts, they’re going to make a pattern I won’t like. Recording them seems important.


So I guess I’d better get on with it. Where did I get to yesterday, before I was interrupted? Oh yes, the General and his little chat.

He drew me away from the others to talk. He asked how I was, if I was feeling better. I didn’t like the flavour of his concern and told him that I’d feel a lot better if his men hadn’t smacked me in the head and I could see my friends whenever I wanted to.

He explained that he had a delicate operation set up here – they had rules, necessary for the good of everyone. Rules like the segregation. I still wanted to see my friends.

“And our gear?” I asked him. The theft of our supplies still rankled. “That justifies taking everything we had?”

“Yes,” he told me. “We have to use everything we can, so that everyone survives.”

Greater good. It’s one of those really annoying arguments that’s hard to counter. It’s just not fair.

“What if we want to leave?”

He spread his hands. “You’re not prisoners here. You can leave any time you want to.”

“Really?” I looked at him sideways. I couldn’t quite believe it was that easy.

“But you came here for a reason, didn’t you? You were looking for something – hope, survival, a new home. Are you really so ready to turn around and leave it behind?”

“I never said that. I just like to know my options. And your men haven’t exactly been welcoming.”

“These aren’t safe times. We have to keep our guard up, or we risk losing everything we’ve built.”

“We weren’t armed.”

“Even so.”

I wasn’t happy with his answer. I wasn’t happy with any of it – how we were brought here, the way we’ve been split up. I know he was trying to explain but it didn’t seem good enough. Maybe it was the niggle of the headache at the back of my skull, tainting everything the way the clouds turned the bright sun ruddy. I wanted to give him a fair chance, I really did. I wanted this to be what we hoped it was.

“So what are you doing here?” I asked, watching the bustle of the place. Just watching it made me feel tired.

“Starting to rebuild,” the General said with a smile. “We’ve got supplies and we’re reinforcing the structures. There’s a school in one of the outbuildings – we don’t have many children right now, but we hope to have more. You met our medic, Simon – he’s training up more medical personnel. We have some engineers working on a water recycling system.” He gave me a look that was both proud and bashful, as if he was warring with his own modesty. “There’s lots to do, Faith. We need all the help we can get.”

It bothered me that he knew my name – I had never told him. But it sounded wonderful. It sounded exactly what we were looking for. After the struggle of the past eight months, it seemed too good to be true.

I couldn’t bring myself to tarnish his picture by putting my feelings into words, not to his face. I needed time to process it and figure out what this all really is. It feels too big for me, as if my hands are too small or my skull too tight to wrap around it.

Instead, I let the General hand me off to the girls’ dorm, where a portly, middle-aged woman directed me to a bunk. Halfway there, Tia jumped on me, so excited that she almost knocked me over. She asked if I’d seen her brother, then eagerly showed me where everything was.


I’m still getting used to it. Waking up in a bed on my own, in a room full of other beds. Not daring to leave certain things out of my sight for fear of someone else stealing them. Regular meals.

There’s a lot to figure out. I guess there’s no rush for now, right? We have time to work out what we want to do. For the first time, we have time.

I’d better go. They’ll wonder where I am.