missives from nowhere

pg-13 | major character death

I don't even know what day it is.

When my watch stopped working, Josh broke into a store to get me a new one. A lot of the stores we stumble upon were looted, vandalized, burned, but this one was almost immaculate. He picked up a piece of concrete and threw it through the window. It shattered and the alarm went off. It shocked both of us. He just stood there and stared until I said his name. The alarm stopped ringing while he was inside; he had smashed it. He came out with what was probably the most beautiful watch I'd ever seen. He put it on my wrist with such a flourish, with this huge grin on his face, and it made me want to cry.

Eventually, we stopped wearing watches.

CJ was the first staff member to die. Leo lasted almost a whole day after he started coughing up blood. Toby shot himself before he even showed symptoms. He might have been immune, too, for all we know.

You get used to the stench of dead flesh after a while. People died everywhere. You get used to it. Even Josh has reached the point where he can push aside a corpse without blinking an eye.

We've thought about settling down, but there doesn't seem to be much point. When we find a decent place, we crash for a while, until our resources dry up. Then we load up our bags and go. We drive when we can. I can hot wire cars in my sleep now. Stealing gas is harder, sometimes, but we manage. When the gas runs out or we reach a block in the road, we get out and walk.

We're not even really sure what month it is. We know it's winter. It might be February.

Everything happened so fast. It was just some isolated thing in a few cities, and then it exploded. I remember everything being on fire.

We know for sure that Josh's mom is dead. She died early, when people still bothered to call their neighbors' families when their neighbors died. When that happened, Josh was going to let me fly home, but my parents didn't want me there and, frankly, I didn't want to go. My dad called me, and I could tell he was infected. I could hear Mom stifling her coughs. It wasn't like you could get a flight easily at that point, anyway. The clout of Josh's office didn't mean much by then.

I said my good-byes. I watched everyone die. I went home with Josh. I think we had sex because there wasn't anything else to do.

I think he would have fucked anybody, really. Me, CJ, Abbey, Sam. It wouldn't have mattered.

We're living in a Wal-Mart right now. I stole this notebook from the stationary section. I'm not sure what Josh is doing right now. We figure we can stay here for about a month, maybe more, if we ration out our food carefully. I really don't know why we didn't think of this before. We've got the doors barricaded, even though we haven't seen another person since we left the District. I'm sure there are other survivors out there. There have to be, right? Maybe?

The initial estimates said that up to 50% of the human race might survive. Then it dropped to 25%. Then I remember Katie Couric losing it on The Today Show and telling everyone that we were all going to die.

Josh says we're in Tennessee. Ostensibly, eventually, we intend to make our way to Wisconsin to check on my parents. I'm sure they're dead, though. I don't think we're going to get up there.

We stole a portable CD player from a store in Maryland. It keeps us sane on the road.

We have sex a lot. I feel a bit silly writing that down, but I don't even know if anyone's ever going to read this. There are times when I really still can't believe that we both survived. I almost expect to wake up in a pool of my own blood, or find him hunched over in a corner, coughing up a lung. I worry that we're not really immune, that it's just a resistance, and eventually, the virus will overpower us.

Sometimes, I desperately want to see someone else. And sometimes, I don't. He says he loves me, and I think I love him, but I can't be sure of either. I mean, we're the only two people left on the planet, maybe. Of course, he's going to say he loves me. He needs me to hot-wire the cars. Maybe he just fucks me so I'll stay with him. Maybe I just let him so he won't leave me.

Okay, that sounds pathetic, but did I mention we're maybe the only people alive on the planet?

I just wish I knew what day it was. I don't even know why I'm writing this.

(fin.)