Overnight, a dozen people fell ill. Four others got up and walked away from the clinic as if they'd never been sick. Two died.
We're facing an uphill battle against an enemy we can't fight. I know I've said that before, and recently, but as I helped prepare those bodies for their funeral this morning, the cold truth of it hit my right in the gut. One of the dead was a kid. Nineteen, but to me that's a kid though I'm only a decade older. He was a handsome boy, dark hair falling around his face, a complexion that hinted at Spanish or maybe Italian heritage not far in his family's past. There were scars, too, and I saw them all when we cleaned him and dressed him for the pyre.
Not even twenty, but a veteran of many battles in what seems to be a constant state of war. A thin line on his jaw that Evans tells me was from a knife wound at the hands of a marauder from before we even called them that. Justin was his name. He was one of the first to come here. I barely knew him, to be honest.
There are a lot of things I could be writing about at the moment, important stuff. But again, as I've said recently, I find myself less interested in the outside world right now. Yeah, the Exiles are hurting so bad from the plague that they've given up manning their guard stations and have withdrawn into the fallback point itself. And the New Breed have been bashing themselves against our walls off and on for most of the night and morning, I guess pissed that we got our mission done the other day without becoming dinner. They're losing some of their self-control, which just has to be seriously vital.
I get that. I do. And we'll look into it. I'm just having a hard time focusing right now. On pretty much anything.
See, Jess is one of the people who got sick.
I'm not. Yet, anyway. Jess isn't as bad as some people who come down with symptoms. It seems to vary a lot from person to person, and right now she's still able to function. Her breathing is more shallow than normal, there are noises in it that aren't usually there, but she can walk and talk and work, if not as much or as fast.
I feel strange about it. That first flash of fear and pain, then just a sweeping cold feeling. I think I should be reacting more. Maybe it's shock. I hope so.
God, I'm scared. I love her more than anything. That sounds so hackneyed and trite, but it's true. It's overwhelming, I guess. The worry is hitting me, but it's not putting me in tears of keeping me from something close to normal function. It's surreal. I recognize the fear but it's almost analytical.
I think something in my brain is trying really hard to process this without burning out.
Also, it's pretty obvious now what a huge hypocrite I am. I spend all this time talking about the community, the greater good, and how terrible all this is for everyone, but I lose my shit when it's my wife. And the fucked up part is that I really am worried for all of us, but the thought of moving forward without Jess is...almost inconceivable. Can't make a picture in my imagination of that world. I know on an intellectual level that it could exist and that I could survive in it.
But without her, I don't know that I can call it living.