I consider myself lucky. Yes, I was blinded, but I have my fiance and my laptop, which I am typing in now. Our house was destroyed, so Daniel is looking for a new one while I stay here in the asylum. He is not a True Survivor. He lost his sense of smell. But he said that was a small thing to lose compared to what could have been lost: each other.
Daniel is trying to find a new house. I wanted to follow him but he said that I would be better off here. So I stayed. The Asylum is one of the few places that still has electricity, so I can still write my poetry. He visits once a week, but I feel it is not enough.
This place is depressing. I like listening to the World Builders though, and today one of them was telling me about the children playing in the street, how they were using the burned out cars as hiding places, and that one had pick a lone dandelion to give to her mother. She told me how the sun was shining and that the blue sky was poking out through the dust. She described the patches of wild flowers that were blooming in the cracked earth and the sparrows perched in the trees. I listened attentively, typing away, until finally I had to speak up.
"That is quite a nice yarn you're spinning there. A bit more realistic than some of the others."
"We both know there are no children, or sparrows or flowers. I doubt that there are even any trees. Now tell me, what is really out there?"
"But there are!"
I cocked my head towards the window. "Then why can't I hear them?"
Silence. "Um, there are some dead trees. And cars. And dirt."
I nodded. "Now describe those to me."
"But I'm only suppose to describe..."
"Good things. Only, there aren't any good things, are there?"
"I thought so. There aren't any good things because there are people like you who have given up."
"I haven't given up!"
"Is that so? My fiance is trying to find people who haven't given up hope, who won't cling to lies. They want to change the world and take charge. They are trying to start up schools and stores and farms. You call yourselves World Builders, but what are you really building? You are simply describing children that don't exist to people who don't know better to build false hope. And false hope is not nearly as valuable as the real kind!"
"Don't get me wrong. I like the way you describe things. It is the inspiration for my poetry. But it is this clinging to the dreams of the dead was that depresses me. Now..."
"Now Inara, why don't you join our cause and become a True World Builder? Anyone we can get would be very helpful." I reached into my pocket for the pack of stained napkins Daniel had drawn maps on. He told me to hand them out while I was here. I held out on to Inara.
Nothing happened at first and I thought that she had refused, had decided to live in the past. Then I felt the napkin leave my hand.
I smiled. "Thank you."
"I haven't made a decision yet. I need to think about it."
"Of course." But as she left I felt the happiest that I have been in days.