The first I knew of Alice’s baby was when Rae ran past with a bundle of bloody towels. I stopped her, asking what had happened and expected the worst. It would’ve been just my luck if one of the zombies had gotten in and hurt someone. To say I relaxed when she told me what was actually happening would’ve been a lie. I’d gone to go and see her, but Robin warned me to keep my distance. Apparently Sam was yelling the place down any time a guy tried to walk in. Well, any guy except for Riley.
By the end of the day, though, our little group had increased by one. Alice was asleep, and so was our new arrival, but everyone had gone to see him, anyway. From what Riley could tell, he was healthy, which was enough for Alice and Sam. They’d decided to name him Gabriel, and at present he was wearing a t-shirt we’d found in another apartment. As cool as he looked in it, we needed to get him some proper clothes. Come to think of it, I hadn’t seen Pet in different clothes since she got here. I’d asked around the others to see if anyone could go on a supply run the next day, but everyone was busy. Robin wasn’t but, in his own words, he didn’t trust Kat in charge of everyone else.
“All I’m saying is if she was here, in charge of everyone else, and something attacked, I guarantee you we’d come back and find only her and Pet still alive” he’d said, glancing over his shoulder in case either of them were listening.
The only person I had left to ask was Kat. Great. I’d swung by her apartment later that evening, knowing full well that I’d probably get the same response as last time. Oddly enough, Pet answered the door, informing me that Kat was free and could go. I didn’t question it, although I was a little suspicious. I headed back to my apartment, trying to get some sleep, but the zombies were out in force that night. I’d never noticed how loud they were before, and couldn’t help worrying that their noise would wake up Gabriel. I got up with a sigh, unlocking the balcony door and stepping outside, the air cool against my skin. None of the zombies seemed to have spotted me, and I said a quiet thank you to whoever had designed the building for only putting balconies on the third and fourth floor. Riley and Joe had managed to get a few seeds for some relatively easy to grow vegetables for people to try and grow on their balconies, just because it was extra space, and we needed as much food as we could get.
“Colligan?” I heard someone say quietly and looked around, seeing Rae standing on the balcony next to mine. “What’re you doing out here?”
“I couldn’t sleep” I sighed slightly. “I’m starting to wonder if there’s a point of exhaustion so severe that it renders you incapable of sleeping. If there is, I think I’m well past that point”
She laughed a little at that, covering her mouth to keep quiet. “You’re funny, Colligan”
“I am?” I asked and she nodded. “Obviously I should’ve gone into comedy instead, then”
“I’m glad you didn’t” she smiled. “D’you mind if I come over? I don’t want to risk them hearing us” she said gesturing at the zombies roaming around below us.
“Sure” I said and she smiled, disappearing back into her apartment.
I found a couple lawn chairs folded up in the corner and set them up, just as Rae walked over. We both took a seat, feeling a little more hidden than before.
“I know you’re not twenty one, but I don’t think that matters much now. Want a beer?” I asked.
“You’ve got beer?” she asked, arching an eyebrow. “There was only one crate in my shop, and it’s still there”
“These are from before you got here. Me and Robin were scuttling the place for anything value, found a few crates of beer and decided to keep quiet about them” I said and she laughed. “Your shop’s getting pretty full now, huh?”
She nodded. “I’m doing another run of the fourth floor tomorrow. I’d hoped there might be some baby clothes, but Riley tells me this was a student building”
“Yeah, it was” I nodded.
“Think you can teach me how to shoot when you get back tomorrow? I’d ask Robin, but he kinda makes me nervous. I just don’t like feeling so helpless”
“Sure” I smiled. “Does anyone else want to learn? It’s not like we’ve got a shortage of targets” I chuckled.
“Joe knows how to already, and I think he’s been giving Scott lessons, but he’s not had any actual practice. I can round everyone up while you’re out, if you want?”
“That’d be great, Rae. Thank you. Let me go get those beers” I said, getting up and grabbing a couple beers from where I’d hidden them down the side of the bed.
I popped the caps, handing one to Rae and sitting back down. We sat in silence, just enjoying the night air, even if it was filled with the noise coming from the zombies. I made a note to look for a mini fridge or something while we were out getting clothes; warm beer tasted worse than cold beer. I couldn’t help but notice Rae’s face scrunch up every time she took a sip. Eventually the zombies quietened down, most of them moving off somewhere else.
“Thanks for sitting up with me, Colligan” Rae said. “It beats sitting out here on my own”
“Don’t mention it. You know you can wake me up if you ever need anything”
“Listen, Colligan, there’s something I want to tell you”
“I’m all ears”
Apparently my ears weren’t what she was interested in. The next thing I knew, her lips were on mine. She seemed to realise what she’d done, pulling back in surprise and looking at the ground.
“Rae, I’m flattered, I really am, but-”
“But you don’t like me back. I get it. It was stupid, anyway” she said, getting to her feet.
“Rae, wait” I called after her, but she ignored me, rushing out of the apartment.