Once we got back to Andy’s store we took turns pumping air into his new mattress.
“Why didn’t you go home went the store got looted?” I asked while stepping on the pump.
“I live on the other side of the city. South of Rio Grande street. I was too scared to walk. No one would come get me so I just hunkered down and hoped it blew over.”
“No one would come get you?” he shook his head, “No came for me either. Facebook, text messages, phone calls and no one answered. Were your parents in the city?”
“Yeah, I was still living with them. Hoping to move out soon.”
“I’ve been on my own for several years. Lived in a crappy one bedroom efficiency for a while before a friend of my roommate told me she need a new roommate. I pay less than I did in that efficiency and this is way nicer. You worried about your parents?”
He looked away from me, then down at the air pump. “Yeah, kind of. I don’t know. I try not to think about it. I hope they got out of the city or someplace safe. What about you?”
“I don’t talk to my parents that much anymore. It’s hard when they won’t call me by my name,” I said.
“That sucks,” he said
“Yeah.” We continued for a few more minutes in silence. “I do worry about them, though. Have you thought about trying to find them? Your parents I mean?” I got up and took over pumping.
“Maybe. I’ve kind of been waiting for someone to show up and save me. The military or other survivors.”
“Yeah I was doing the same but I got worried about food and water.”
“You think anyone is coming?”
“Maybe. It can’t be this bad everywhere. And it isn’t even that bad here. We see two or three on average and if we’re careful we can avoid them.”
“Shouldn’t there be hoards of zombies?”
“I don’t know. Maybe they’re in another part of the city. The “outbreaks” were centered on hospitals. The one to the west of us is almost on the edge of the city but the other two are in the middle of the city. Maybe the zombies snowballed down there but not out here?”
He got up and took over pumping. “Maybe,” he said.
We finished inflating the mattress after a few more minutes. I reset my watch to match Andy’s before I headed home.
The next day I had a migraine. Thankfully I wasn’t meeting with Andy that day and could take it easy.
I woke up to a pounding ache in my head that quickly coalesced into a spike over my left eye. I struggled to my feet. The world felt tilted and unstable. Light stabbed my eyes and I shut them, walking through my apartment by memory and touch. In the bathroom I popped open the bottle of over the counter migraine medicine and palmed three pills. I made my way back to the kitchen, again with my eyes shut, for some water.
I stumbled back the living room and laid down. The pain would either be gone in an hour or I’d have to deal with it for the rest of the day and night. I pulled a pillow over my face to block the light.
A few hours later, I woke up, still with a dull ache behind my eyes. I pulled the pillow off my face and carefully cracked one eye open. No spikes of pain, no vertigo, no nausea. I sat up slowly. The stabbing pain over my eye was gone and I could stand to open my eyes but I now had a more general ache across my forehead and a vague feeling of pressure in my ears.
I got up and padded into the kitchen where I got some water to drink. I really wanted to take more pain relievers but I knew I really should wait a couple more hours. I grabbed a couple of breakfast bars and went back to my bed. I ignored the slight nausea I felt while munching on the bars. I wasn’t particularly hungry but it was better to eat than let my blood sugar get too low. I drank some more water and laid back.
I drifted off again and when I woke up my head felt better for a bit before the general pain reasserted itself. Two more pills and water. It was mid afternoon so I pulled the blackout curtains to the side but didn’t sit in my watch chair at the window. I sat upright on the sofa breathing slowly waiting for the pain to decrease. Several minutes later I felt well enough to get up for a late lunch. I opened a can of Spagettios and ate half before covering it with foil and setting it aside for later. It would keep for at least a few hours on the counter beyond that I was safer of throwing it out.
I returned to the living room and sat down in my watch chair. The apartment complex looked clear. I picked up the last book I had been reading. Tomorrow Andy and I had planned on heading over to the nearby pharmacy. Hopeful I would be clear headed; I tended to get migraines in clusters.
The rest of the day was uneventful.