Thursday, 1 October 2009 - 8:17 pm


I can’t believe it’s October.

In the weird limbo of this After world, it’s so easy to lose track of time as it slips past us. With houses and stores still decorated for Christmas, it’s hard to remember we left the holiday behind us months ago. We’ve lost summer and passed through a frozen winter since then. Now, we’re coming back into warmer weather; there’s no more ice and it should be warm enough to actually dry the rain up properly soon. Soon, we will have moved full circle and the decorations will be timely again.

So much has stayed the same through these long months and roads. The orange tint to the sky, staining everything an eerie, Mars-like colour. The low cloud-cover creating a ceiling that weighs on us, heavy with shifting threat. The rain falling in the afternoon and eroding everything in its path. The more recent additions of the Sickness and the mindless husks that it makes us.

A lot has changed, too. The landscape is scoured down, stripped of everything green and growing. The infrastructure that let us live in accustomed comfort is gone, shattered into useless chunks of brick and metal. Fresh water cannot be trusted. There are no protections except what we make for ourselves.

More than any of that, we’ve been changed. We’re not the same people who stumbled out of the wreckage after the bomb hit. Soft edges have been replaced by lean lines, through hunger and fighting and struggling and walking, so much walking to try to find something better. All of us bear scars from our battles; some, only on the inside. They can show more clearly than the skin we cover up.


Last month, I turned twenty-three. Despite keeping this journal, I completely missed the day. It’s sad, like the sound of a single party hooter blowing in an empty room.

I feel a lot older than that. I don’t feel like the girl who was still skipping around on Cody’s arm a year ago, with no idea that he was screwing my best friend. I don’t even feel like the girl who floundered after his image shattered, trying to find out how to be someone without him. She went out and got a tattoo on her back; I keep forgetting it’s there.

Dad hasn’t seen it yet. I wonder what he’d say.

My best friend Matt has changed a lot, too. Not the bruises or his pale, thin look. That’ll fade as he gets better. Not even the scars he doesn’t think I’ve seen, from the time before the Seekers found him. It’s the things that matter to him that have shifted..

I haven’t seen his natural hair colour since he was old enough to buy his own bleach, and once he discovered gel it was short spikes all the way. Now it’s dark and shaggy, down past his ears with little blonde tips. He was always meticulous about how he dressed and showered more often than I did, but his jeans are torn and stained, his shoes have seen better days, and his shirts smell as good as mine do. He doesn’t take longer to get ready to go out than I do any more.

He doesn’t seek to stand out, either. He isn’t so eager for attention, not the way he was, though not even the end of the world could make him a shrinking violet. I guess we’re all dented in our own way.


The hard part about looking back is turning around again. When I contemplate the future, I feel even more lost and disconnected. The past stuns me – I see the path we’ve walked and can barely believe that we’ve made it all this way. But when I look forward, I struggle to see even the next step. I don’t know where we’re going any more. I don’t know if here is all there is for us – I hope not. I desperately hope that this isn’t it.

There must be more. I didn’t pick the name of our group, but I believe in it. It’s who I am now: a Seeker. It’s foolish, but I miss the road. It was always more than just surviving for us out there. It’s the striving for more that I miss.

Maybe I’ll never be happy in one place. Maybe I’m looking for something that doesn’t exist any more.

I don’t know, but a part of me wants to find out.