Wednesday, 7 October 2009 - 10:29 pm

Girls’ domain

It’s easy to forget the other parts of Haven when you can’t see them. I’ve spent so long in the infirmary, only leaving to fetch food and supplies from the kitchens, that I had forgotten what it was like in the dorms.

It’s still weird. It’s full of people I don’t know and faces I can’t attach a name to. But a lot of them seem to know my name and I got more than one hello when I made my way to my bunk. It’s disorienting.

My bunk. It doesn’t feel like mine. It’s a place I slept for a few nights weeks ago. All my gear is in the infirmary, along with everything else I care about. Except for the laptop – with the infirmary so full, I can’t get enough privacy to post, but a tiny storeroom off the dorms after lights-out works well enough.

There are a couple of familiar faces here. I managed to catch up with Jersey – she’s doing much better, and she’s found herself a place in this gaggle of girls and women. By standing up to a man trying to force himself on one of the girls, she has secured the approval and affection of everyone here. The guys might not be too impressed with her, but no-one here cares about that. She’s still healing from the fight, but she’s so much more relaxed than I’ve ever seen her. She’s pretty when she smiles now.

Tia is doing all right, too. She a gaggle of friends now – they erupt into giggles frequently. She goes quiet and rabbit-eyed whenever anyone mentions the deal with the guys, though – no-one talked about it before, but it comes up in conversations now, after Jersey’s fight. It was enough to make me draw her aside to see if she was all right. For a stomach-churning moment, I was afraid of what had happened to her when I wasn’t here.

At first, she tried to assure me that everything was fine. She caved all on her own, though, and told me that she wasn’t sure that she wanted to do it. The others say that she should do her part to keep the peace here; most of the women agree that the giving the men sex in their own way is better than having it forced upon them. Jersey tells everyone that they should refuse and disapproves loudly of the whole thing. Tia doesn’t know which way to go.

I didn’t know what to tell her. I hate the deal; I hate what it makes us girls. Every single part of me rebels against it. But I feel bad that another girl has to go in my place to keep this fragile truce in place, and my safety is ensured by someone else lying on their back. So what advice should I give Tia?

Go with your gut, I told her. Do what you feel, and don’t let anyone pressure you. Don’t, for goodness sake, let anyone pressure you into something you don’t want to do.

I think Terry would be upset with me if he knew that I didn’t tell her to just say no. He wouldn’t want his sister even considering it. I don’t blame him; I don’t want to think of anyone I know or care about taking part in it. Neither the girls here, nor any of the boys on the other side. Not that Dale or Thorpe would be interested.

Now I’m wondering if my dad has ever taken part in it. It wouldn’t be like him – he never sought out women after my mother left him. But the end of the world has changed us a lot, made us do many things we wouldn’t have before.

And Matt–

I really don’t want to think about these things. All it does is make me feel ill.

The strangest thing is I feel welcome here; there’s an acceptance that was missing before. I still feel out of place and lost, but the girls all act like I’m part of the furniture. Like we might be friends. Like we might become friends.

That part about being here sounds good. It might be the only part that does.