Chapter 2 - Entry 2
I woke up to the smell of coffee brewing and Mary humming cheerfully in the little camper. There was a moment of confusion as my mind raced to catch up with recent events. Thankfully I remembered what was going on before squeezing the trigger and managed to return the Glock to its place beneath my pillow before Mary noticed.
It was still dark outside and my watch told me we had an hour before sunrise, not that there would be much of a difference. Our world was just a series of transitions between deep darkness and varying shades of gray. My head was hurting as I sat up and stretched. Sweat had soaked my tee-shirt and made it cling uncomfortably against my back.
“Morning sunshine,” Mary offered, practically bouncing over to kiss me quickly on the lips.
I blinked in surprise but she turned away and started making hot oatmeal before I could comment. She had a shit eating grin on her face as she worked in the little kitchen space. Shaking my head, I crawled out of bed and went into the bathroom to take a shower.
The camper’s bathroom was one big shower stall with a sink and toilet that folded up and out of the way. After I’d done my morning business, stripped down and set up the shower, I noticed my ribs no longer stuck out and a bit of chub had returned to my stomach. The door opened and Mary leaned against its frame, watching me bathe. “What the hell are you doing?”
“Watching you.” She replied with that same goofy grin.
“What’s gotten into you?”
She blinked in confusion and reached out a hand to tuck a loose strand of hair behind my ear. “Nothing. Just… after last night and all I thought. Well…”
The look on my face made her verbally stumble and close the door. There were two steaming bowls of oatmeal and a fresh cup of coffee waiting on the fold-out table when I finished my shower.
“You don’t remember what happened last night do you?” Mary asked as I padded over.
My legs were still dripping wet when I sat down and adjusted the towel under my arms. The coffee was good and my stomach twisted painfully at the scent of food but I forced myself to wait. “What the hell are you talking about?”
She blushed and fidgeted in her seat, flicking hair to cover her face as she squirmed. “Last night. I woke up and you had your hand under my shirt. Then I felt you kissing my neck and shoulder. I thought you were awake.” For a moment it looked like she might chew through her lower lip. “I thought that…you…you know. Since you were in prison and all.”
My jaw nearly hit the table. “I was asleep.”
Mary nodded too quickly and focused all her attention on the oatmeal while I sat watching her. Relationships were not my strong suit, though I’d never exactly starved for attention in the Navy or prison. Flirting just wasn’t something I knew how to do. Most of my encounters had been blunt and straightforward. As I watched the brightly blushing girl before me, I pondered how to handle the situation. In the end I decided to go with what I knew best. The sledgehammer approach.
“I’m bisexual, but if I was trying to fuck you, I’d have fucked you.” A shrug as I started eating my oatmeal. “I guess my body was responding to yours. Do you like girls or are you straight?”
“Oh, I…well I’ve made out with a few girls in college but I’ve never gone all the way. I mean. I’m not a virgin. That was with a boyfriend during my Junior year in high school. A few guys after that.” She blushed hard and stared deep into her bowl as if trying to divine the future from the oatmeal within.
She nearly jumped out of her seat when I reached over and grabbed her hand. “Mary. Relax. I’m more than a decade older than you are. I think you’re cute and I like you, but I doubt you’d be after me if there were other options around.”
She nodded and I watched her shoulders relax a little. “Don’t get all weird on me. There are fuckin zombies running around, a volcano just took out a big chunk of the country, and I have no idea if the sun will shine again. Priorities hun. Priorities.”
“Ok.” It sounded a little sullen but at least she picked her chin up and ate. Later I caught her looking at me as I got dressed and for some reason I moved a little slower so she could enjoy the show. What the hell? Priorities? Might as well add cradle robber to my long list of sins.
I studied the laptop’s map for awhile as Mary took a shower and cleaned up after breakfast. The rest of the trip would be back roads passing through farms, woodlands and residential areas. A mile here. A mile there. In many ways it’d be the most dangerous part of the trip. Not enough room to maneuver and no real way to backtrack to find roads around any obstacles. The semi would be up to the task but I was still worried.
“Mary, is there a way to call up police stations and National Guard bases on this?” She pulled the laptop across the table and started doing magical computer stuff but the expression on her face showed me the mojo was running low. “What?”
“The little GPS unit came with some maps on a CD that I loaded onto the laptop but to get updates I’d need to connected to the internet. If the power’s out everywhere then those servers can’t connect and the ISPs aren’t online to use their pipes.”
I frowned, sipped my coffee and punched her hard in the arm.
“Ow! What the fuck Jaeger!”
“None of that made sense to me. Take it down a notch Einstein.” She frowned and rubbed were I’d given her a love tap.
“Ok. The maps we have on the laptop now are basic street maps that came with the GPS. Like you’d find in a road atlas.” She began, literally slowing down her speech.
I nodded my understanding when she looked at me, and cringed. Almost gave her one for flinching.
“So they don’t have stuff on them about the buildings. The only way to get that would be to download updates from the internet. Without electricity, there’s no internet and no way to connect to it.”
I considered that for a few moments, sipping my coffee while watching her. A question popped into my head but she spoke before I could ask.
“The GPS isn’t working very well. It’s spotty. Clouds are probably blocking most of the signals from satellites overhead.”
“Ok then. We need to do it the old fashioned way and find some paper maps. Maybe a phone book. And more ammunition. That’s why I was asking about the police stations. Let’s get dressed and have a look around town here. Keep an eye out for civilian trucks with NRA stickers and crap like that. Might be a gun owner.”
She nodded and we both got ready to explore all the wonders beautiful Ledyard had to offer.