Thursday, 26 November 2009 - 5:24 pm

Same old situation

The soldiers are making themselves at home and have started to teach some of the others how to use their weapons. We don’t have much ammunition, but rifles are good clubs too.

They asked me if I wanted to join in and I declined. From the look that Bobby gave me, they think I’m one of those girls who lets the boys do all the fighting. The truth is that I don’t want to hold a rifle again – it just makes me think about Ben, and I don’t want to be in a position to have to make that kind of decision again. Give me a stick and I’ll take on a shambler, but keep guns away from me.

The training is something to keep the others busy and that’s a good thing, too. We all need a distraction at the moment: from hunger; from the pregnancy about to burst overhead; from the lack of a place to go from here.

The supply situation is getting drastic. The group was struggling here when we left, and since then it has descended towards dire. Those we left behind here always found enough to get by, but only just. They’re thinner than I remember.

A foraging group goes out every day, using fuel recklessly in the hope of finding something to keep us alive; there’s no point saving fuel if there’s no-one here to use it. Every building in a ten-mile radius has been scoured for supplies – sometimes, the group of scavengers might be gone for days at a time, braving the shamblers to search further and further afield.

They were glad to see us but now reality is setting in. We brought little with us – enough for the first few meals but that’s all gone now. There’s so many of us. We’re more mouths trying to bite out of the same shrinking pie. Every time I look at it, I know that this isn’t sustainable. We can’t stay here, none of us.


The University seems to be dangerously close to inertia and hopelessness. I think they were dwindling dangerously when we got here; our return energised both halves of the group. That’s a good thing but it isn’t lasting. We’ll settle into a rhythm again, get comfortable – or as comfortable as we can be with little to no food – and then we’ll start to stop. Just stop moving, stop hoping, stop looking for that next scrap of something to eat. The days will turn over and our numbers will shrink and one day there won’t be any of us left.

It’s terrifying when I think about it like that. The walls of this place start to close in on me and I remember why I left in the first place. It wasn’t just Ben, it wasn’t just the awfulness of the days leading up to that terrible incident – it was all of it. The whole thing, piling in on me all at once. I had to get out, get somewhere else.

I want more than this. I have Matt in my life and my heart now, and that only makes the desire stronger than ever. We need a life to live and share. We need a future to build. I don’t want to just fumble in the dark and share scraps with him. I don’t want our lovemaking to be mutual comfort and a place to hide when everything else is awful. I want to have reasons to hope and laugh again.

He makes me smile just by putting his arms around my waist and kissing the side of my neck, and I’m afraid that this life will drive that simple joy out of the gesture. I don’t want the After to spoil this, the way it has spoiled everything else. I want better for him.

After everything we’ve been through to get here, I think we deserve it.


I hear shouting. Have to go.