I'm a bit rusty, so I hope you'll forgive me. I don't know where to begin.
Almost four years ago I said my goodbye. My intent was always to come back to this space, to update you on how things were going for as long as I could. That obviously didn't happen. There were a lot of reasons, ones I can't and won't detail here. They're split between being unimportant or too private for public consumption, and they have no bearing on what comes next.
Many, probably all, of you are aware of the changes that have taken place in the world since we left Haven. I'll be touching on those larger shifts in the near future, but for the moment it's a smaller story I want to focus on. That's going to require some explanation. Some prep work.
You see, I'm not writing here to start again on a project I consider complete. When I wrote my goodbye years ago, I considered the job done. The end of the world had come, and I chronicled my life and our experiences through the darkest of it. When Jess and I went out as settlers with our crew of people, a new dawn for humanity was just in sight. We'd passed through the most dangerous part of the bottleneck. We were going to make it.
And we did. We as in the human race, that is. On the smaller scale, things took a turn. That's why I'm not here to tell you about my daily life; it's unimportant. I will touch on that, too, but only in small ways that give you context. I'm here again not to tell you what is happening, but what has happened. My current circumstances are a direct result of events over the last few years.
The state of affairs is simple. I'm alive and but for one other person, I am alone. That person is not my wife. For all practical purposes, I am a prisoner. A pampered one to be sure, but a prisoner nonetheless. Why am I allowed to write freely? How am I able to upload these words to our small but scrappy attempt at an internet? We'll get there. I promise.
You need to know these things to understand what comes next. I've been working on this story as a means of therapy. You might call it grief counseling, which in a weird way it is. The point is that yes, I will be updating on whatever schedule I can, and yes I will be talking about what's happening with me now if not in the way I used to. But I'll also be relaying events that have already occurred.
In short, I'm going to tell you a story. I've been working on it in my head for a while now. To make it easier to consume, I will present it as just that--a story. A first-person account of the twists, turns, and tragedies of my recent history. The only spoiler is that I lived through it, and I can't honestly say it's a blessing.
Will the words spoken by the other people, the characters if you like, be exactly what was said in reality? No. No one has that sort of memory. But the spirit of them will stay the same. The larger purpose will be to expiate my own grief and loss by finally putting pen to paper, or at least its digital equivalent.
We live in a world where the dead have risen, where humanity still fights a daily war (which we're winning so far) against the zombies shambling like a plague of locusts across the land. There was no species-wide epiphany in which all people everywhere suddenly realized that decency and respect would pull us together and make survival a safer prospect. Which is a pretty way of saying that for all the good in humanity, there are still a lot of selfish, murderous dicks out there looking to get theirs at the expense of whoever is in their way.
We are together at this moment, you and I, because I have another story to tell. I don't know that it's necessary for my mental health for anyone else to read it, only that I have to write it. I hold a slim hope that at least one of you will find something in these words that touches you, helps you, or reminds you of the basic decency we all sometimes have difficulty holding onto.
Consider this post a preface to that story. I will certainly move in and out of the narrative I've been building in my head, updating you on my circumstances. A slow drip of explanations about how I'm living now is required; I won't leave anyone in the dark about the specifics.
But these are secondary things. The chapters explaining how I got here are the larger purpose behind me finally returning to this space.
I hope you'll stick around.