I feel like every time I blog, I start out by saying, I know it’s been a long time since I’ve blogged…
This time is no different, so I won’t do that except to say, I think I’m finally starting to pull out of a major depressive episode I’ve been in for almost for a year, so I feel like I’m coming back to myself a bit. This is my first attempt at writing anything since I blogged last January. I hope it’s the first of many this year.
Walking into the room, I was assaulted by memories. Everything was different, but also, it was exactly how I remembered it.
“Kate, what are we doing here?”
I could hear Marie behind me, I knew she was asking me something, but I couldn’t pull myself out of my thoughts long enough to answer her. The shelves that used to be lined with books now stood empty, most of the contents strewn on the floor. Or gone, from what I could tell. That probably happened in the blast, I assumed. The hours I used to spend in here, reading titles off the spines, planning which book I would read next. All gone now.
“Hello! Kate! What is this place?”
Marie was getting more impatient by the minute and she was going to start yelling if I didn’t answer her soon.
Finally, I turned to my companion and met her anxious gaze. “This was my house.”
“Oh, for the love! Please don’t tell me we came here so you could keep looking for Matthew? I thought you finally gave up on him!” The disgust was clear in her voice.
“I have given up on him, I’m not looking for him anymore. I promised you that. It’s just…” I paused for a second to gather my thoughts. “A couple of days ago when I realize where our route was taking us, I decided it wouldn’t hurt to at least stop by here and see what, if anything might be left. It’s been almost a year, I figured it couldn’t hurt.”
Marie snorted delicately. “Right, hurt you or hurt us? If you get depressed again after this, I’m not dragging you out of here.”
I rolled my eyes at her. She wouldn’t let me forget the shape I was in when she first found me, practically comatose and waiting to die. What did she expect? My world had turned upside down, hers too. I’m still not sure how she held it together back then, and how she was now.
Looking around the room once more, I noticed a couple of books standing neatly on the shelves, the only items not on the floor. Dumbfounded I walked closer. They were my journals, of all things. I couldn’t imagine how they ended up down here, since I had always kept them in my closet, and that was where I had left them when I fled. Reaching up, I started to grab the red one, the last one I had.
“Don’t touch that.” I stopped moving at the voice, and the soft click of someone turning off the safety on a gun. “Don’t you touch a damn thing.” he said again.
Meeting Marie’s eyes, I could see she was terrified. With my hands in the air, to show I was unarmed, I slowly pivoted in place pulling back my hood at the same time. My ears hadn’t been deceiving me, I knew that voice.
“Matthew?” It came out in barely a whisper.
“Kate?” The surprise and confusion was clear on his face, I was the last person he had expected to see here.
Without thinking I ran to him and launched myself into his arms. He buried his face against my neck and I could feel him shaking as I hugged him.
“What are you doing here?” he asked, pulling back to look at me. “How long have you been here?”
“Me, what about you? Have you been here this whole time?”
“No,” he said. “I only came back through a couple of days ago, and thought I would check and see if there had been any sign of you. I didn’t really expect to find anything, or any one.”
Gesturing towards the shelf, I asked, “did you set my journals up there?”
He looked embarrassed, but nodded. “Yeah, I thought. Well, I thought they shouldn’t be hidden away anymore. Stupid, I know.”
The sound of someone clearing their throat reminded me that we had company.
“Matthew, this Marie. We’ve been traveling together, looking for, anything I suppose.”
He nodded at her in hello, but didn’t acknowledge her beyond that. “Have you seen anyone else?” Matthew asked.
“No. Marie found me about two weeks after the blast. Have you found anyone, Matthew? Anyone at all?”
“Not a soul.” The fear and confusion were evident in his voice.
Looking back and forth between my two companions I asked the question no one wanted to ask. “Are we really the last three people left on Earth?”