fourteen: not normal anymore
"What the fuck, Aleks!" I say the moment Felix finished barricating the front door to Romero Foods, the local supermarket the size of a two car garage. I quickly notice it's already been raided.
"I'd like to remind you I'm the one with the gun" Aleks says, and the tone is nothing close to friendly.
"Whoa. Let's chill out." Felix chimes in. Everything I thought about him before; the strong jock, the confident guy, all of that disapeared with the rest of humanity. He's nothing but a scared little boy. Funny how our roles reversed from our first day out of Del Rio. He still hasn't come to grips with this. We are our only way out. There is no plan B.
"We will not chill out! Aleks, what the fuck did you do? You killed those kids! You shot them!" I'm borderline hysterical, clutching at my brown curly mane, my eyes twisted in anger. I can't stand looking at her.
"They could have harmed us! Taken our guns! I've seen shit nightmares are made of, Charlie. You think it's those beasts, those pour bastards that you need to worry about?" She says, pointing at the ghouls that are banging against the storefront window. "It's not them you have to fear it's us. Humans. Men will rape you before they help you."
"Oh Jesus Christ, cut the crap Aleks. Those kids wouldn't have raped any of us. If you don't give me your gun, I want you to leave." I say, crossing my arms against my chest. I'm tired, I'm hungry and I want to find a place of safety. It's not here and it's not with her. I'm even doubting Felix's ability to survive.
"You want me to leave?" She laughs and it doesn't come from the heart nor the soul but from somewhere dark. Aleks is seriously unstable. "Do you want me to leave?" She asks, looking over at Felix.
He looks at me then back at Aleks. His reaction time is dissapointing. I thought Felix would have been with me on this, supported me in this decision. We both knew it would come to this it was just a matter of time before it did. If we wait, she may turn on us with those guns.
"Don't even bother, I'll leave." I don't even look at Felix as I make my way towards the door. I don't know what will happen the moment I open it, but I figure it's better then waiting for my turn at the receiving end of the pistol's barrel.
"Wait!" It's Felix, he has his hand against the door. His eyes staring back into mine. "Don't go," he says in a whisper, barely audible. The smooth skin of his cheek caresses mine. He turns and confronts Aleks. "We don't want trouble. But since you have the guns, I think it would be fair for you to leave. Give us time to gather some stuff."
He isn't super confident and I can hear the break in his voice. This world isn't the same. The sooner he realizes that, the better. We can't be pushed aside. Aleks looks like a young girl. But inside, she's an animal like the rest of us. That thirst for blood, for suvival, it always manages to find its way to the top. I don't want to be anywhere near her when it does.
"You guys are pathetic." I was expecting her to threaten us, force us into a corner and kill us point blank. She just struts over to the door and before walking out she turns to us. "You won't make it to California. You don't know this world any better then you did the last. Best of luck to you both." She winks and flips her blonde hair back and simply walks out into the streets.
As Felix runs over to secure the door again, I hear gunshots outside and my heart finally begins to find it's rythm again. She's gone. "I feel so much safer already" I say, sitting down in one of the aisles. I reach for something, anything and settle for a family size bag of peanuts.
Felix sits across from me with several chocolate bars. The place was looted and anything consistent or anywhere near nutritious had been taken. From the looks of it though, we still could walk away with several bags.
"Still want to go look for David?" Felix says, biting off a chunk of his Mars bar.
"Yes. I think going home will do us good. We have to make a decision, Felix."
"And what's that?"
I scoop up a handful of peanuts and chow them down in a second. I still have bits of peanuts in my mouth when I answer.
"We can't walk around forever. And I don't want to be anywhere near that crazy nutjob ever again; if she is heading to Cali, I say we look for David and head north. The west coast can't be the only safe place. It can't."
I make myself believe it. I've seen zombie movies before. Who knows if California is even safe. If anywhere is safe. As we sit and eat in Romero Foods, I finally take it all in. I will never see my family again. I drop the bag of peanuts and begin to sob.
I will always have to fight to survive.