Word Count: 1,001
I had heard Rayn shout out the name ‘Luca’ moments before the first zombie had latched itself onto the side of the car. At first, I was confused. But then it hit me that it must have been Cancer’s real name. I wasn’t entirely sure if he knew that his friend had shouted it out, or if he had been too focussed on getting us out of there alive. I chose to ignore it though. Cancer had made it very clear on which name he wanted me to use.
‘I wish we had music.’ Music was one of my favourite things about living in the safer world. It brought on so many emotions and it was the greatest gift humanity could provide for itself. It’s funny how you take things for granted.
‘Feel free to raid a store from some CDs next time we’re in,’ Cancer responded.
‘We wouldn’t even be able to play it; it’d attract too much attention.’ I resorted to staring miserably out of the window.
‘Could have it on quietly.’
It was a half assed suggestion and we all knew that it couldn’t happen. You had to be a million times more careful in this new, harsher world. It was always better to be safe than sorry from now on.
I leaned my head against the back seat and tried getting comfortable. I wanted to be alone with my thoughts and my grief and my shock. I needed a good hour or so to deal with everything. Shutting my eyes, I let my mind wander.
My mind decided to give me a brief replay of my entire life, right up to the point that I boarded the plane with my parents for the very last time. It wasn't an overly brilliant life, the only love I had in it were from my parents. They were two of the most supportive, devoted people I could have asked for. They were both wildly protective and yet also provided me with the space that any teenager needs. I think they knew what had been going on at school but they also knew that I didn't want them to do anything about it.
If you think about when an egg hatches, the chicken or whatever's inside has to push through a hard wall when they're only a few seconds old. Every single one has to do this, and although it's difficult, they have to do it so they're not weak for the rest of their lives. If someone were to hatch that egg for them, if they were to pull it apart bit by bit, the chicken wouldn't know what being strong felt like. They'd never be able to be independent; always relying on others to pull them out of a difficult time.
That's kind of how I felt with school. If my parents were to pull me out of it and put me elsewhere, or if they were to complain to the headteacher, I'd never feel as though I could cope by myself. It would feel as though it was always my parents that rescued me. I knew that I personally couldn't live with that. I needed to be strong, for myself.
There were days when I never wanted to get out of bed, of course. I remember a particularly nasty day; a Monday morning. It was a couple of weeks before we finished and we were in the middle of our GCSEs. I arrived to school half an hour early to get extra revision crammed in and was actually feeling pretty confident. Harry Acker though, ruined it all for me. Him and his friends decided to lock me in a cupboard in the old toilets on the other end of the school, where no one ever went. Of course they couldn't halt the exam for me, and had to carry on as planned. I missed out on a qualification because of it. It was my Science GCSE; my favourite subject. The teachers said they had been looking for me all over. I couldn't say anything to them of course, just had to make up some lame excuse about being late.
When I confronted Harry about it (I was feeling stupidly brave), he punched me to the ground and kicked me hard in the ribs. Then he spat on me and walked away laughing.
I think you get the gist of how my school life went.
That wasn't by far the worst he did to me though. I had a little bit of a thing for his girlfriend. Her name was Laura Ramona and she was the epitome of beauty. She was nothing like Harry; she was actually a nice person. Harry caught me looking at her once and obviously didn't like it, as the next day him and his friends corned me on the school field and started pushing me around a bit. I braced myself for the same old stuff, but then Harry had reached into his bag and pulled out a knife. I remember the sheer terror that pulsed through me as I thought that he was finally going to kill me.
He had pushed the blade against my throat, hard enough to draw blood, and told me that if I ever so much as even thought about Laura, he would 'end my pathetic life.'
Thinking about it now, I really hoped that he hadn't survived this thing. That was if the plague had even reached England. If it had, it meant the situation would be a million times worse; it would only be a matter of time before the entire world was infected. At least now, we all clung to some hope that there were survivors who knew what was going on and how to fix it. There would be a safe haven where we would have security, food and water. If this wasn't the case then I had a pretty good idea that humans were becoming vastly outnumbered.
Then things would really go to shit.