It was a new day. Xavier and I ventured out to the front of the store. The world was a foggy green.
“Well…that doesn’t look good at all.” He commented with a huff.
“We can’t stay here.” I crossed my arms over my chest and shook my head “We’ll need more supplies soon. We should get out before the fog gets too bad.”
“Yeah, this is insane. Carter said there’s a supply truck out back.” he turned away from the window and began walking back to the store room. “Let’s mask up and go take a look. We can take some people and drive around.”
I caught up with him. “No.”
“What, why?” he looked confused.
“I’ll mask up and take our SUV and drive around.” I told him.
“No! You can’t go by yourself, it’s dangerous.” He pleaded.
I denied his help. “I promise, I’ll be fine. We need to conserve the gas in that thing until we know where we can go, anyway.”
Xavier let out an exasperated sigh “What if something happens here and we need you?”
“Well,” I chuckled “I guess you’ll just have to be in charge of our group while I’m gone.”
“I’m not a leader.” He rolled his eyes.
I nudged him “I’ll be gone for three hours, tops. Don’t worry.” I reached into the pocket of my coat and pulled out my face mask and goggles. “Maybe Carter has some walkie-talkies we can borrow.”
Carter did, in fact, have eight walkie-talkies to use between the group. “Stay on channel four while you’re out there, okay?” Xavier insisted.
I turned the dial on my walkie to four and nodded my head after putting a new mask and a pair of goggles on “I’ll be back in three hours. Do not come searching for me. If you guys have to up and leave for some reason, try leave me a note or a trail if you can’t get to the walkie in time.”
He nodded his head and held his hand out, wanting me to shake it. “In case something does happen, thank you.”
Taking his hand, I said “Don’t mention it, Xavier. We’ve got to try keeping one another alive.”
I ventured out into the still, dreary wasteland and got into the SUV. For the first time in so many years I realized I had no solution; I couldn’t think of a single method to solve this dilemma.
Driving out of the parking lot I felt a familiar sensation wash over me. My body thrummed and my vision deteriorated until I could no longer see my numb hands gripping the steering wheel.
“Failure,” I heard. “Yet again.”