The day passed with the clouds as it always did to Stan, he gazed out of the window to the apartment hoping the glass would burst and he would grow wings and breakaway from this place. He was fed up of being stuck here, in this tiny cramped place which was so high off the ground. His knees hugged his chest as he stared down into the city below which had gone still.
He seemed to have gone still inside too.
The constant arguments, conflicts, near death experiences and the worry of supplies all weighed on his mind. So although he could pull off a happy face when required when he was alone like this his thoughts became increasingly negative. He used the palm of his hand to roll his football next to him. He didn't feel like playing today.
"Stan! Dinner's ready!" Stephanie called.
Stan got up slowly dreading what the mood was going to be like in the "Centre Hub Of Operations" as Quincey had labelled it. (The main kitchen) although his parents were silent, the rest of the group seemed pretty damn upbeat. Oliver was having a quiet word with Camden in a corner an apology no doubt, judging by Camden's nodding. Yet this just made Stan feel worse.
They'd apologised and fought more times than he could count. It was too predictable and he was sick of it.
Speaking of sick, Bradley was sick as well. Again. Well would the group vote to kick him out? Bradley was a bit of a nutcase, then Antonio was a carrier, this time next week he could bet someone else would be seen as a "threat" to the group and removed. Despite his jolly exterior on the inside Stan was beginning to analyse and notice the patterns and problems that plagued the group that his parents wanted to shield him from.
"I swear that's the millionth time those two have apologised to each other" Rose said as she noticed Stan was watching them with cool blue eyes. "They have to get on now, what else could they fall out about?" Stan mused a merry smile on his face covering his inner feelings very well. Rose smiled and turned back to devouring her food.
Yet she smiled weakly at him. Deep down he knew that Rose was sick of the fights too and was noticing things that the adults didn't want them too.
"Don't underestimate us kids, or I'll get Bradley on you" Stan thought as a genuine joke. Yet it rather grim and dark thing to even think when he looked back on it.
Victoria stared at the bottled water in the fridge once she had finished cleaning the dishes, (Heather had helped her with it today) despite the fact they were running out of fizzy drinks this water should have lasted a while. She smiled at the supplies as she closed the fridge door, as she did Heather filled an old dusty bottle with water from the tap.
"You're gonna use that?" Victoria asked with a raised eyebrow, the goth teenager turned to her "Well duh, we need every drop we can get if were gonna last as long as we can up here" she said as the bottle overflew, she turned of the tap with fat hand and sealed the lid on top before placing it into the fridge.
"Although you never know this might go too fast, like the food" Heather stated sadly, Victoria looked up at her "You've seen the pile then?" she asked dreading the answer. "I saw half a pile if that's what you mean" Heather replied causing Victoria to lean against the kitchen counter and sigh to the celling.
"You know I thought that zombie nail game was stupid, but were gonna have to be down with them soon and so far that game was the closest we've come to facing them" Heather thought aloud, as Victoria turned to her, she already knew what the girl was getting at "You want us all to take zombie killing lessons?" she asked in awe as Heather nodded, always so straight to the point.
"Think about it if this would have stopped it would have days ago. It won't and I'm just preparing for the worst" Heather explained, Victoria had to admire the girl's forward thinking but she shook her head "I honestly think you're onto something honey, but don't go blabbing you don't want to be the next one I have to sign a petition for to keep you in here"
Heather laughed loudly at this and even the upper lips of Victoria's sullen face jolted upwards as Heather began to walk off "That's was good one Vic!" She shouted back to her, as Victoria laughed in response. As she did Heather set her eyes out in front of her. Mariam would agree with her plan, or hear her out.
They had a lot of planning to do.
It was the next best thing to zombie nail throwing games. It was Snap. Rose, Quincey, Delilah, Camden sat around Bradley's bed, after hearing he was sick they set up their own sort of red cross foundation to come and aid him.
Rose had smashed her fingers down onto Bradley's kneecap as the two queens were matching cards, beating Quincey's hand, a tremor of pain shook through Bradley, he grimaced and only Camden looked up in time to see it "Are you alright?" he asked Bradley as Bradley put on a brave smile.
"Fine" he muttered, he just wanted them to go away. To leave him, he liked them even more that they were trying to make him laugh and feel better but they couldn't be here they simply couldn't.
Meanwhile Camden eyes rested back on his cards as he shuffled them in his hands. He wondered how they in the apartment may have been shuffled like cards by Antonio. However the more times he labelled Antonio a "traitor" the more degrading it sounded. As Victoria has wisely said there were no sides. He simply had to accept that Antonio was a scared teenager.
He thought of this and Ian walking in, not knowing anything about the game, well at least Ian was know...
Wait, he did know.
It hit Camden like a ton of bricks, yesterday he had asked Ian permission to let Bradley play the game. Even though Ian had never been playing the game Camden just assumed Bradley had told him about it and the peaceful Ian had approved of a harmless game.
He dropped his cards, as the truth dawned on him.
"Are you alright?" Quincey echoed Camden's earlier question to Bradley as Camden stood gawping like a fish, his eyes seeing nothing, yet he spoke "Bradley, you told your dad about that game before didn't you?" he inquired.
"Yes" Bradley replied.
"And Yesterday, he knew about the game because I asked him if you could play and he said yes" Camden recited.
"Yes" Bradley replied, not sure where this was going.
"Then why the hell did he come down there claiming to know nothing about it" Camden said aloud to the group.
Rose wasn't listening, however everyone else's eyes went wide at the suggestion, no one seemed able to draw an answer "He lied" Camden summarised. But as he did Delilah came up with a logical answer "I guess he was just scared and didn't want to take the blame for knowing about it" This seemed to reassure Quincey and Bradley.
"Yeah, that's what he told me later" Bradley quickly interjected as a cover up.
Camden's theory burnt out as quickly as it had flared up yet he spoke on "Still we all took the blame he should have too..."
"Camden" Quincey stopped him "Ian's a good guy, I wasn't there either and you took the blame for me, so I'm kinda with him on that hell I can hardly blame him" Quincey spoke calmly and clearly and Camden eyes found the floor, he was strangely disappointed.
"Sorry, I was just... being paranoid" Camden stated sadly knowing full well the group would question if his wound had truly healed. Or worse he could tell by Delilah's look she feared "Carl" or his "Problems" were resurfacing.
"Doesn't matter, let's enjoy the game" Bradley muttered as he bent over and scooped up Camden's cards for him.
As Camden took up the cards, he knew he may have been growing paranoid but...
Ian had lied.
He knew he would bearing the mix of suspicion and jealously towards Ian by himself. Yet he would hold his tongue, people would see Camden as a jealous maniac if he started raving about Ian being a liar and evil. People knew Camden and Bradley were close he could almost hear Stephanie shriek...
"YOU'RE JUST JEALOUS AND TRYING TO STEAL HIS SON FROM HIM!"
He was, that was him in a nutshell. A sad, lonely pathetic man who had latched a bond onto a child also socially awkward and so like himself when he was eleven.
Yet Camden would bite his tongue, knowing deep down Ian was up to something.
He would play this game of cards and win.