3: You're All Going To Die
"Some fucking week, huh?"
"So...you say any other words than 'yeah'?"
"Me too, man. Me too."
I'm used to waking up in a cold sweat, now. It's not every day, but a lot of the time, the dreams just...bring too much out of me, I guess. I swing my legs over and sit at the side of the bed. The gunshot just hurts now. It's not excruciating, but it still gets on my nerves. As soon as I heal. That was the deal. The people here aren't bad people—I came to that conclusion pretty fast. Jax is a bit of an ass, but the others are...fine. Stupid, but fine. I don't know if I'll ever really understand why they went out of their way to help me, but I guess it beats being dead.
That's what she would say.
Sleep eludes me for the rest of the night and I eventually give up. I walk to the living room cloaked in darkness. They don't even have a damn watch on me. If I wanted to, I could kill them all while they slept.
It's an apartment. I worked that out a few days in. I should have realised, really. No stairs, no doors outside. Flat. We're about ten storeys up and can see when anything moves below. I can't find the house I found, though, so I could be anywhere in the world.
In the dark, the living room feels eerily quiet. Two sofas face each other, the TV has been removed from where it usually would be and deposited in one of the corners. I sit on one of them, leaning my head back so that it rests on the wall. Fuck, what a mess I am. I see the door on the other side of the room and once more, I'm tempted to just go. I could probably make it further than I would have a week ago. They don't need me. I can't do anything for them.
To my left, something shifts in the air. I whirl my head around and see Thalia in the doorway. In the dark, I can barely see her face. She falters for a moment when she sees me, then continues and sits on the other sofa, hugging her legs.
"How long have you been here?" she asks finally, resting her chin on her knee.
"Not long," I say. I try to avoid her eyes, but she looks so hard at me that I can feel them on my skin.
"Where do you come from?" she says, her voice a little firmer than before. "I mean before the dead came. Where were you?" My stomach hurts and I rest my head back, closing my eyes. I don't want to answer. I don't want to think—about before, about anything.
"Fine," I hear her huff and open my eyes to see her lying on the sofa, looking up at the ceiling. "I just...I wanted to know what the rest of the world is like, now. I've not left the block since this thing started." For a moment, I don't say anything, but my curiosity gets the better of me.
"You people have been here from the beginning?" she looks over at me like she has forgotten I'm here, then nods. These...these goddamn people. I turn, laying on my sofa the same way Thalia lays on her's. "You...fucking..." I don't finish.
"We just—y'know—scavenged from what's left around here," she tells me. "There's not much of it left, though..." No shit, the stores have been shut for a year, now. "We're going to have to move. Sooner or later." Another silence follows, longer than the others, and I stare at the ceiling. We remain there for a while, until:
"The rest of the world. It's worse than here," I don't even look over to see Thalia's reaction. "You say you guys have to leave, but you aren't ready. You people..."—and it all clicks into place. Why they helped. Why they're so...optimistic. Why there's nobody watching my room or a watch outside the flat.—"You people are stupid. You won't survive out there. If you stay, you run out of food or someone finds you and takes what little you have left. Either way, you're all going to die." I don't even feel sorry for saying it. A year ago, I'd have at least felt bad. Now...
A moment passes. Then another. Then, I hear Thalia get up. She doesn't speak or look at me as she passes. I feel nothing when she walks away, not even when I hear her stop in the doorway like she is about to say something, but continues on.
Dead. They'll all be dead. They're all going to die. Just like the others.