We were finally about to pack up camp and head home. We still had a few hours before we left and I was really itching to go and see if there was anything else I could possibly find out about the day of the impact. This empty city was really overwhelming to me because I always wondered how the city would be like if it were filled with people. I wonder how I would be today if this never happened, what would my purpose be in this life? I wouldn’t know but I do know what my purpose is here and now in this year.
I wandered about this empty city one last time, wondering why I didn’t bother with any of this before. I guess I should have but I let my thoughts escape me as I found another little shop to go in and explore. It seemed a little “modern” for the time it got left behind. How strange how no one wanted to loot this little place but I am grateful they didn’t. I found newspaper articles leading up to several months before the impact, reading the world government is behind the lies and that they know of other life on a new unnamed planet. Now my thoughts were racing with questions that I absolutely needed answers to. Why wouldn’t the world government want to save us all from extinction?
I knew I had to find answer and I knew I was going to have to find out which government building I was going to have to go to and I knew I needed a map and probably a history book, which a book store was conveniently down the road which would take a possibility of maybe ten more minutes of my time then I really needed to get back to camp before my folks noticed I was gone for too long.
I decided to sleep on the trip back since I couldn’t read my papers in front of my family or they would take it away from me and tell me not to worry about such things and focus on just our survival. But I’m tired of just waiting around as the world continues to fall apart. I want answers as to what really happened and if they possibly left most of us here to be destroyed. This yearning inside me to solve this mystery was just going to have to wait because there were other thing that needed to be tended to, such as my birthday and the fact that I had to check the garden to see if I had anything growing by now since I had just picked the last bit of vegetables before we left.
While sleeping I dreamt of Jack and wonder what he does to survive and what his people were like. Were his people nice and do they hurt and steal from others? I wanted to see them for myself and I knew the only way that I would be able to do that is if I could see him again, but when? I had to find him I just have to and I wouldn’t rest on the trips to town until he came back. Where were they hiding? It couldn’t be far I wouldn’t think they were far since he found me that night unless they all split up into sections to scope out who was in town when visitors came in. Probably so to make sure no harm was done. Either way it will bug me til we spoke again.
I was nudged awake by my mum as we were pulling into the yard. I was grateful the house never got broken into while we were away. Dad put to the horses back in the pasture so they could rest and mum and grandpa took the supplies into the house and I went to my room to start my fine tooth research to see what I could find out about all that was going on leading up to the day of the impact.
One article read that the government had plans to ship them and anyone who had millions of dollars to the other planet but no one could submit proof that it was real and that it was happening. Some people must have passed it off as bullshit news and went on about their daily life and I really wondered if anyone had paid any attention to what may be going on but obviously a few had kept it in mind and made plans because there were still survivors like my family. Either way there was more that people didn’t speak of and I wanted to know why they didn’t talk about it.
A new day had approached and it was the day I had been waiting for, my 18th birthday which was October 30th. That was the only day we celebrated and I never knew why but mum did a really good job with keeping up with what day and year it was, we had clocks that were solar operated so we never lost track of time and we already had several so we only ran one at time just in case one gave out. Mum always tried to make sure my birthday was a special occasion and since sweets were hard to come by, she made sure to make brownies on that day and it was always my favorite. She always made some kind of pasta dish to go with it because apparently noodles were easy to make and mum seemed to have a good hand in the kitchen. Dad was never really allowed to cook cause he always seemed to burn stuff and mum believes he inherited that from grandpa and I could only hope that I didn’t have that kind of luck.
As mum was finishing up dinner I decided to go to the barn and see what grandpa was up to and see if he needed any help. I also wanted to ask him a question or two. Would grandpa tell me anything? hes always been a little more private with his past life and feelings. Very stern when it came to things he didn’t want to talk about, but how could he get away with not talking about what was going on in the world back then? Didn’t he suspect fowl play with the government or did he just turn his other cheek and decide they were all crazy?
“grandpa?” I asked, “yes Alice I’m by the horses, is everything okay?” he replied ” I was just wondering a few things since I was seeing newspaper laying around town and I wanted to know what you knew about the asteroid?” I asked. “now don’t go worrying about what happened that day, it’s your birthday and you have other things to worry about other than that day, now you run along and go help out in the kitchen” he replied. I was angry at that point that I just turned and walked away, I know he’s hiding something and won’t give in no matter how many times I asked. I wasn’t a child anymore and I knew what was going on and I was going to find out the answers eventually and I knew just how I was going to get them.
I decided to go ahead and head back to my room to do further reading before dinner was finished. I read that someone leaked possibilities of the asteroid but it was pushed aside as a hoax. I guess I can see why people brushed it off as a lie because the world was full of them.
Dinner was pleasant as always with it being my birthday and all. Mum and dad were somehow proud of me for growing up as smart as I could be since I was never in any formal kind of school, they wished the impact never happened or I would be having a lavish royal ball to celebrate my day and I wasn’t sure if I really wanted that kind of thing or not. Would I be able to fit into that kind of society? Would I be able to wear some big fancy dress and have people, some I knew and some my family knew at a party to have fun with me? I really didn’t feel like I was that kind of way but mum says I would have fit in just fine if balls were normal like they should have been growing up like she did. She wasn’t really royalty growing up but her parents were prime ministers who were loyal to the kingdom and that’s how she managed to meet my dad. They were at the same ball one night when they were teenagers and they just happened to run into each other and he spilled wine on her dress. She was so mad and didn’t want to forgive him and after that it was all history. He had one of his men take her home in one of his cars and take her dress to be cleaned and he delivered it himself and admitted it right then and there that he had to see her because he couldn’t stop thinking about her and asked her on a date.
My parents really were two peas in a pod, they hardly fought but really just had minor disagreements and I had hoped that maybe I could find a love like theirs, is this world still able to find love within itself? I hope to find that one person who makes me realize that the world isn’t so bad even if it still falling apart.
I decided I needed to start finding little bits of supplies that I could smuggle back into town to my little hideaway house and I had to make sure not to get caught by mum because she was usually really good at knowing what went missing and I had to try my hardest to get past her. I had smuggled some peanut butter because mum was real good at making it and a few loaves of bread helps too. I wasn’t sure just yet what I was going to do as far as meats for nutrients but I was sure to find something maybe but I was a hunter at heart so I knew how to find food and cook it. There was also a lake not too far from where I would be staying, so I know I could go fishing too and I could make a net if I couldn’t find a fishing pole thing that I’ve seen in books.
As the night was approaching I noticed grandpa wasn’t feeling too well, mum was already alert. “dad I think grandpa might need your assistance.” I said aloud. He stopped what he was doing and made his way over to grandpa and said it appears he has a fever and we already had just a little medication so mum put warm rags on his head to try and bring it down. Dad decided after a few hours that he would try and run a few more tests to find out what it could be.
“he has malaria, Nora.” he said to my mum in a whisper, “we need to get him some kind of medication, but how?” he said. I sat there in silence, I loved grandpa even if he was stern. I never wanted anything to happened to him so I knew I had to speak up because not too far from the makeshift house I was planning to use, there was a pharmacy about a block away. So I decided I would tell them where but not letting them know how I knew. “I know where a pharmacy is in town, I could take a trip on my own and bring it back.” I finally found the words to say. They stared at each other but I guess by mutual eye agreement they realized they had no choice. “Alice you do realize how dangerous it is out there don’t you?” dad asked, “of course I know how dangerous it is and you’ve taught me how to defend myself and grandpa needs us, I know where to go I just need a ride to get me there.” I replied “you can take the motor bike its safer and easy on the fuel that we have left, but don’t stay gone for more than a night.” dad replied.
It was time to pack an overnight bag, mum was preparing a meal for me to take on my way out. They hugged and kissed me and I told grandpa I was going for help. And I set out to town by myself for the first time in my life I was going somewhere truly by myself, I knew where i was going to stay and I told them I wasn’t scared. Oh course I couldn’t tell them the truth I was in fact quite frightened at the thought that something might actually happen to me and I wasn’t strong enough to fight them off.
I wasn’t exactly sure how long it would take me to get to town on this little bike but it moved alot faster than the wagon so I knew I would definitely be there soon.
It seemed like a short ride but I was finally approaching Elm street and it was not as busy as the weekend trips. I made my way to the little apartment house that i had the key to. I went to the door and it appeared untouched from the last time so I took that as a good sign that no one was there. I carefully tucked the bike away so it didn’t get stolen and I decided I would rest a minute and have a snack before venturing to the pharmacy.
The city was a ghost town more than ever as I made my way down the empty street. I still had more than enough day light left so I wasn’t much worried about time until tomorrow came. I really hope that the pharmacy has what I’m looking for because if I remember dad had asked me to find chloroquine, he said it wasn’t hard to find and to grab anything that looked like it may help as well. I was almost to the empty building now and saw that there was still medicine, dad said get the liquid form if it was possible. I browsed the shelves and nothing was coming up and I started to pull everything off the shelves and I could feel myself panic. I didn’t want to go home empty handed, I needed to save my grandpa and they trusted me to find what they needed. I was yanking each bottle I could find and I could feel myself wanting to cry as last resort til I heard his voice, the one person I had wondered if I would see again. It was Jack and I was grateful to see him.
“i was wondering if I would ever see you again I said.” I said a little breathless
“you seem a little frustrated because you can’t seem to find what you’re looking for, am I right?” he asked,
“yes my grandpa caught malaria somehow and I can’t find the medicine to take home to him.” I replied feeling myself calm down just a little bit.
“well i’m pretty sure the cure isn’t in here like it would have been back in the day, but you’re in luck. My people have a medicine cabinet for anything we may face and we have the antidote.” he replied.
“please would you be willing to help me?” I half begged
“yes i’ll help and you can make up for it later since we seem to be running into each other a little more these days.” he answered
“thank you so much.” I hurried out my reply. I really was running out of options it seemed and I had no choice but to ask for help.
“go back to that little house above the shop you’re staying at and wait for me there. I will knock two times and you should know its me.” he said and I did as he said because if I wanted this medicine I suppose I had to listen. I thanked him again and we departed. I wondered how long it would take him to get the medicine. I went back to the house and decided I would just continue to look around the apartment for more clues as to what may have happened to the mother and her children before they left. I entered the house and it was getting later and I wasn’t ready for the sun to go down. I feel like since I don’t have the medicine yet that I have not completed my mission and I forced myself to be patient or it would feel like forever if I didn’t keep calm.
Tap tap and there it was as I jumped quickly out of my chair to answer the door.
“thank you so much!” I said with happiness “i was so worried I wouldn’t see you again.” I added.
“no worries I just had to make sure the others didn’t notice me digging around to find what I was looking for.” he replied
“are they strict?” I asked
“not really but since you aren’t within in the group, then you are still an outcast and we aren’t supposed to help. But the way I see it is that everyone needs help at this point in life.” he answered. He sat down to relax I suppose.
“Can I ask you something?” I decided why not since I have the time
“sure.” he said.
“do you know anything about the day of the impact or whether it was a government secret?” I asked.
He sat there for a minute to ponder his answer and looked up and sighed “alot of us believe the warning was there right in front of us and we didn’t take heed to it, some of us did prepare but it was almost not enough.” he replied.
So I was right I sat there for a little bit deciding on my next question. “do you know where the world government is or any idea of where they were located before it all happened?” I asked.
“the last time they were located was in Arizona, they used to located in Washington DC but it got too crowded so they moved it. It’s not far its just a much of desert or it used to be from what I was told. I heard that they all got shipped to the new planet just minutes before the impact but we aren’t sure” he replied.
I was stunned, I knew something like that may have happened. “do you ever wonder if your family made it?” I decided to ask
“i hope at least one of them is still safe.” he replied with sadness “are you going to stay in this place tonight?” he asked.
“well it’s already dark and it would be pointless to go back til the morning.” i replied. I went ahead and found candles ahead of time and I was able to light one up. “are you hungry?” I asked
“sure, what ya got?” he asked
“mum made some potato soup. Is that okay?” I asked and he was already searching for bowls without a minute to spare. He seemed a little hungry and I had enough to share. “you can stay here tonight.” I offered.
“i would but they would notice if I didn’t return but I plan to watch over you so that nothing happens since it’s your first night away from home without your folks right?” he asked
“yeah and I really appreciate that.” I replied. He left after he ate. He wished me a good night and hoped that I slept well. He had very beautiful blue eyes that mimic the sky above. They were very calming.
I dreamt of my family that night and I heard thunder cracking in the background. I opened my eyes a little bit and it was raining which made me sad. I wished Jack was here so that I could talk to him and I wondered what he was out doing in this awful weather.
I felt like I enjoyed his company since it was different than what I was used to. He had a calm sense about him and it made me feel safe. If it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t have this medicine right now and I really owe him now and I hope I see him again soon. I felt myself falling back into a slumber and let my dreams take hold since I knew I needed to rest before I got back tomorrow. I knew I couldn’t tell my folks about his help or they wouldn’t trust me to do this kind of thing again. But they were gonna have to let up at some point because I will be heading to Arizona soon to see what I could find.