From a dream...
Darkness loomed over me
in the hallway. I'd been leaning against the wall, but my strength was
beginning fail me finally. It had been too long, to many days, too
little sleep. I was amazed I had survived this long. I had no idea how
I would keep going.
The world had gone to Hell
outside, and somehow I found myself standing in the hallway of an
ex-boyfriends home. It was all but abandoned now. The home once
teeming with life and people felt empty; abandoned. Tears burst from my
eyes and silent sobs shook my aching, tired body. With my back against
the wall dividing the hallway from the kitchen, I began to slide.
Slowly at first, my knees finally buckled and I collapsed in a heap on
the cold hardwood floor, hugging my knees.
about all the people who had died already as I stared at the wood grain
in the floor. I wondered if I would ever again see anyone I knew, or
even if I would survive another week. The world was ugly now, people
had progressed past killing one another for water into killing one
another just to have less competition for survival in the world. I
stared at the mud on my shoes and ankles as I asked myself over and over
in my mind why it was I had decided to come to this particular
location. I knew I wouldn't be welcome there. I knew they would have
turned me away if they hadn't been gone already. At one time, I had
adopted them as though they were my own family. But that was long ago.
I was a stranger to them now - another bit of competition for
survival. I was another obstacle, another easy target. I meant nothing
to my ex, and I was pretty positive I would mean nothing to the rest of
the family. Just another mouth to feed.
But the door
had been open and I knew the family was long gone. They had packed up
their RV's with the dogs and survival supplies and were gone. They were
probably hundreds of miles away by now, avoiding the main roads,
searching for isolation, escaping the madness. They were doing what I
knew I should have done weeks ago. They had gotten out. And with them
disappeared my last inkling of hope that I would survive that night.
hadn't seen my ex's nephew in a few years, but without looking, I knew
it was him. He always towered over everyone at well over 6' tall, and
yet he walked with a quiet grace so rare in the noise of the world. His
heart was just as tender as his steps, and as he crouched low to put a
kind hand on my shoulder, I realized I hadn't known another human's
touch in months.
I had no friends or family. I had
nobody in the world I could rely on but myself. The only souls I'd
known any form of love from were my furry companions - two cats I lived
with before everything went to Hell. But here was Jeff, offering a hand
of friendship, a touch of compassion and caring in this world where
such things had completely disappeared.
I leaned back
against the wall, not wanting to look him in the eyes. The relief I
felt at knowing there was still kindness and life in this world was too
much to keep in. In a maddening moment of great depression and
exaltation, I burst into fat cries of joy and sorrow. My lips curled
back in a childlike grimace filled with the confusion and pain that came
with emotional outbursts. He put his arm around me, I collapsed my
head into his shoulder and sobbed great, increasing, hulking, massive
sobs. And Jeff, my former boyfriends nephew, did nothing but hold my
shoulders and let me cry.