(G2) Chapter 10: The World
When we reached the surface, it was dark. We had read about day and night, but it was a different thing to actually experience it…and to see stars. There are no words to describe the experience and seeing and experiencing these things for the first time. Generations before us took these things for granted and accepted them as things that would always be there. I wondered if they could imagine living in a world where they were taken away.
On one hand I expected so many things and on the other I didn’t know what to expect. This was a world that once seen life and was now almost void of it. The roads, the street lamps, the road signs, they all still stood but the buildings and people were gone. There was nothing but open land and trees as far as the eye could see. What was once our parents house, the place where they had met under unusual circumstances so many years ago, was gone. The land was in ruins. As sentimental as the two of them were, it was probably a good thing that they weren’t alive to see what had become of everything.
The garden was dead and overgrown with weeds, the fence was broken and there were ghosts of those who had died. These were people we didn’t know but their spirits were alive on our property. It was a lot to take in. It was also a bit overwhelming to know that this was now our world and we had to rebuild it. Was it safe topside? Were there other survivors? We had no idea but we were going to find out.
Over the following days we cleaned up the yard and built what amounted to a fancy lean-to. It was better than living in the bunker. After spending what I am guessing to be around twenty years underground the sun and the fresh air was a huge welcome. We couldn’t get enough of either and in the beginning that is why we didn’t bother to finish the house. Later it was because we were too lazy. We moved everything from the bunker to the lean-to and blocked off the entrance.
Life was very different. Claire had mellowed out some, but the newest member of our family, Jason, was going through the normal mood swings of a teenager. I have no idea what it is like going from toy to imaginary friend to real boy but if anyone were to ask me, I would say that he had adapted well. It’s just that the mood swings got so bad sometimes that Claire didn’t even want to be around him, and she was the one that brought him to life. I think that some days she regretted that decision.
Speaking of Claire, she was the first one to venture into what used to be downtown.
When she came home she told us about the park and how there were tents everywhere along with salvaged furniture. She didn’t see anyone but there were signs that there were people about somewhere. She also came across a deer. Both of these things were promising. It meant that whatever happened, nature was able to persevere. That meant that things couldn’t be too bad, didn’t it?
We really had no idea what to do other than just be.
I don’t know how it happened but Beans and I started having more and more disagreements. It took a great deal on both of our parts to remain civil with each other. Maybe it came from spending too much time together. Maybe we just ran out of things to talk about. Who knows. We tried out best to remain civil with each other, some days we succeeded and others we didn’t. He started spending a lot of time digging around in trash piles to see what he could salvage.
I decided to start spending time at the park to see if anyone showed up. Some days no one was there, other days a number of people would come and go, taking naps in the tents, bringing more furniture. Where they went when they left I don’t know, and I never asked. This is where I met Greta Currie and May Flowers.