March 21 – Finale

Posted on: March 21, 2013

Power has been back on fully for a week now.  It’s been very easy to get used to again:  water when we want it; lights in any room; the refrigerator making ice; coffee ready before we get up; and clothes washed and dried in the same day.  The internet was back on too, and I spent way too much time catching up on the Groups, reading news, and sending emails, but it sure felt good.  Watching TV at night feels surreal and mystical.  But in reality, my life will never be the same ever again, no matter how free the power is or how much is now stocked in the grocery stores; our lives have been changed, damaged; for some, beyond repair: we’ve starved, we’ve killed, some have been killed.  No, we will never be the same.


I woke during the night, heart pounding, gasping for breath, the result of a bad dream.  I snuggled closer to John for comfort.  He wasn’t there.  I stretched my hand out across his side of the bed: the sheets were cold; he’d been up for some time.  Still use to moving around in the dark, I found my robe and tied it closed while I wandered silently toward a softly glowing light in the other room.  There he was, standing by the deck-door, staring out into the darkness.  I leaned against the door way to watch him:  sweat pants slung low on his hips, barefoot, shirtless.

“I can feel when you come near me, you know.  I don’t have to see you to know where you are,” he kept looking out the window, the small battery lantern cast a soft glow; his shadow bounced off the opposite wall.  I waited until he turned around.

“Are you ok, John?” I asked as softly and as evenly as I could.

“I couldn’t sleep and didn’t want to disturb you,” I noted he didn’t answer me.  “Why don’t you go back to bed, I’ll be there in a minute,” he promised.

I turned and went back to bed.  A few minutes later I felt him shift under the covers and he curled himself around me, holding me snug against him.  We both finally fell asleep.


We made love that morning.  It was sweet and gentle and ….. sad.  Then John slipped out of bed; I could hear the shower start.  I turned over and wept.  All I could think of were all the unexplained hours away from home; all the quickly hung up phone calls when I came near. Before the water went off, I used the second bath to rinse my face and use eye-drops hoping to conceal the redness from my tears. I slipped on my usual morning sweatpants and t-shirt, both now too baggy on me.

I was already pouring a cup of coffee, when he came out, dressed in jeans and a deep green hoodie. I turned to him.  “You’re leaving, aren’t you?” It was more of a statement than a question. My hands were shaking, the coffee sloshed; I set it down on the table.

“I got a message from Green Path.  They’re starting up operations again, and I have to report back.”  He crossed the room to me.  I backed up.  “Deb………,” his voice caught, pleading; that sweet, charming South Carolina drawl that I’ve gotten so use to, clawing at my heart.

“Why can’t you stay here and still work for them?”

“They just don’t work that way,” he ran his hands over his bald head in that oh so familiar way, and I lost it.  The tears just streamed down my face.

“If you have to go, John, then just go,” I was surprised the words came out.  I hadn’t seen his duffle already packed by the door. I wanted to reach out, to hold him; keep him from leaving me.  But I can’t force him to stay; I can’t make him love me.  My hands hung limp at my sides, twitching, aching to touch him, to hold him here, I wanted to beg him to stay.  I stood silent.  Pride stopped me. He picked up the duffle and walked out.

I stood at the door, hidden by the curtain and watched him walk down the road, the duffle slung across his shoulder; a sob escaping from my throat with every step he took away from me.  He turned into the drive of the other Green Path house, likely to catch a ride back to Eagle Beach.  How could he do this to me, to us? Did the past four months mean nothing to him?

On uncertain legs I went into the bathroom, hoping to find some relief under a hot shower.  There on the dryer, all neatly folded, were the clothes I had given him that first day: sweat pants, t-shirts, socks.  The 9mm Beretta sitting on top.  He wasn’t coming back.

My world shattered.  My life shattered. Then my heart shattered.  My legs collapsed and I slid to the floor, as everything around me went dark.



7 thoughts on “March 21 – Finale

  1. thank you Kris. Your thoughts and feelings express what this was all about… teaching the upside of preparedness.

  2. Kris is steamed !!! just point me in Story-John’s direction & I’ll bring him to his senses !!! grrr !!!…hang on a sec. Why not have Story-Deborah go live in John’s house as a cook ? Maybe even get paid by Nasty Corporation, eh ? (charge ’em double, kid)….

    okay… calm down Kris… (sigh!!)..

    I must concur with my friends’ sentiments; your efforts are much appreciated & your wisdom has already changed the way we live. I hope it gives your tired brain some satisfaction to know that we’ll be passing on to others, yet unmet, what we’ve learned here.

  3. The reason it took some time for us to post, is that we don’t know what to say. In a short time, you have made us care about these people. I am consoled only by the idea that this is a set up for The Journal: Season II.

  4. sniff sniff, my eyes are running. Oh hell no…I am blubbering like a baby! Hugs to you Deborah. I can only imagine how emotionally draining this was for you to write. I thank you for this wonderful, well written journal.
    ♥♥♥ this!
    Now waiting for the epilogue…….Soozie

  5. ACK!! So not the ending I was hoping for, but every bit as expected. Life must go on, and the heart doesn’t always get what the heart wants. Thank you for all the hrad work and time you put into this. Still think (as do all your readers) that this would make an excellent book. Eagerly waiting for the epilogue.

  6. What! You’re leaving us with Deborah passed out, John hitting the road, and the world just waking back up?


    I will miss my daily dose of The Journal. Hoping that you have something new in mind, or maybe….wait…
    Finale, that means the SEASON end of a TV program. H’mmm not to be pushy or give false hope to your fans but…

    Hope springs eternal!

    Thank you for taking all the time and the effort to write The Journal Deborah, you’ve kept us all entertained and have taught some valuable lessons in your work.

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