It should be a relief; ok, it is. Sort of. I’m sleeping some now. Not much and the dreams are bad. There’s that to be said for insomnia. The kids are happy here, though, and that’s going to be a problem.
We left long before most others got it that there was a real problem. I’m never one to duck a reality that doesn’t suit me. Denial is for children and people who haven’t been kicked hard enough yet. I check everything several times a day. The boys like to help; it’s still a game to them and I’m ok with that.
Others are still streaming in and I wonder how long before a decision has to be made. This is one of the better places out here; plenty of clean water although the vegetation is taking a beating.
I see that someone has started a wall over near the main spring. That took longer than I expected but I know what it means. It means that it’s time to go. I have maps that I don’t trust and a compass that I do. We’re going to have to pull out at night. That woman will try to stop us if she sees us packing up.
I used to be more open to people being friendly, being helpful. I don’t like being this cautious, but this is just the way things are now. I was never rude to the woman, but I tried not to encourage her. The kids, though, the kids just glommed right onto her especially Nikki and, yeah, I get it. Mothers and all. Quietly I’m organizing what we’ve got left. We get a couple of bad nights; too much wind, too much dust. I get as ready as I can without drawing anyone’s attention.
Maggie figures it’s just a matter of a day or two now before Quentin bolts. He’s like a not quite tame animal. He’s obviously a good dad but he’s jumpy and paranoid. Maggie’s been really lucky so far, but man it would be good to have another adult to navigate this wrong new terrain. She’s just a suburban mom. She’s making it up daily and never shows how scared she is.
After several unsettled nights, a day dawns gloriously mild and bright. He’s going to go soon. She knows it. She sees the wall going higher over by the spring and sees alliances being struck.
She gets her girls ready. Two months ago they’d have fought it, but now they just move along obediently. By midday it’s gotten hot, not a breath of a breeze and her preparations are not going unnoticed. There are a couple of other families who are also quietly getting their stuff organized.
One more night.
Maggie’s sure she never fell asleep but it’s the first pale hint of the new day when she opens her eyes. Sure enough Quentin and his kids are gone. There’s nothing for it but she still hesitates. Not that she trusts anyone here but at least there’s some semblance of people cooperating. Is she really ready to walk away into who knows what with her girls?
Yes. Yes, she is.
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