Wednesday, 4 November 2009 - 6:44 pm


With Debbie gone, there’s no reason for me to linger in the infirmary any more. Being back in the dorm is strange, and yet exactly the same.

Most of the women don’t speak to me. I’m used to it now, but it doesn’t make the bubble around me any less weird. Luckily, I have a lot of other things to worry about, so Nadine’s glares and Mama Prusco’s grumbles tend to fall short of their mark. I do my best to ignore the mutterings of the others.

I only managed to exchange a few words with Jersey before lights-out last night. Everything’s going fine – that’s all she would say. She made a great show of huffing off, scowling up a storm. I don’t know if I’ve done something or if it was just a show for the others. I’m hoping it was the latter.

Tia tried to speak to me as well, but we couldn’t find the space. Every time she came close, one of her little friends would appear to drag her off for something – to fuss over someone’s hair or to swap clothes or something. The world might have ended but girls are still girls, I guess. I’m going to try to steal her away for a chat tonight, somewhere we can get some privacy. From the glances she was giving me, I don’t think she has good news for me. I wish I knew what to brace myself for.


Jonah is still being Jonah. He walks me between the dorm and the infirmary, and stands post outside when it’s not raining. We exchange greetings and idle pleasantries just like before, though with more sideways glances and caution now.

I wish I knew what to think of him. It’s so hard to tell what’s going on inside his head. I don’t know why he’s helping me, or why he’s keeping the secret about Matt and me. I want to ask him, but we have this strange truce between us – ask me no truth and I’ll keep telling lies. I don’t think he’s interested in being friends, though he’s friendly enough to do us this favour.

More than anything else, I’m glad it was him who found us. I don’t know what Simon would have done, but I doubt he would have kept his mouth shut about it. Glad to be rid of us, probably. And as for Peter – well, that could only have gone badly. He would have tried to sleeze a deal and Matt would have wound up punching him, and it all would have tumbled downhill from there. I would have had to make a horrible choice – giving Peter what he wants or giving ourselves up to the cutouts. I would have chosen the second and damned us.

So it could have been a lot worse. It’s going to be a while before I know the full price of our secret, but maybe we’ll be gone by then.

I’ve had no word on the escaping side of things apart from Jersey’s hurried, off-hand reassurance. I try not to worry about it all, but I can’t help it. How’s it all going? Do the cutouts suspect anything, or anyone (besides me)? How soon is ‘soon’? Will we be ready?

How do we make sure that no-one is hurt when we leave? I might be the only one worrying about that, but that doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t. Most of all, I look at the guy patiently escorting me around the compound, performing his penance for an unknown sin. He’ll be blamed for our escape – unless we hurt him. Knock him out and tie him up. It sickens me to think about, but we’ll be kinder than the General. That much I am sure about.

I wish I could tell him. Warn him. I can feel the apology queuing up behind my teeth already, muddling in with all the things I wish I knew how to ask him.

But I can’t. There’s our truce, our non-speaking pact that keeps the peace. So nothing of meaning passes between us.


I should go. The rain has almost stopped; it’ll be time to head back to the dorm soon. Time to submit to my armed escort.