Wednesday, 3 May 2022
Something happened today. Something very unexpected, thrilling, and terrifying happened today. I feel like everything is happening way too fast, which is not how I’m supposed to feel, in this place of all places, where so much effort is put into making sure things remain always the same.
Leaving was definitely a mistake, although I shouldn’t be thinking about mistakes when we’re so near the end, these are the kind of thoughts that fill up one’s head and we are looking for the kind that can make one dissolve. Why did I ever leave? Why is a stupid word. It shouldn’t be in my vocabulary anymore, but it feels like half of my vocabulary consists of it. Things are going wrong.
Before I left I was so close to joining the Us.
Jonah and I were In Love. We could have done so much together.
Leo knows, about everything. He knows that Jacques and I went in the kitchen on Saturday morning. He knows why. He knows we have a portable stove. He knows we haven’t been doing any work on the dormitories for over a week. He hasn’t told anyone.
He approached me after lunchtime, when I was washing my plate in the centre of the big Sunflower Field. He just said “Hey,” and then he said, “Can I talk to you for a second?” I said, “Sure” and didn’t move an inch because why would I, I just carried on scrubbing a stubborn little bit of tomato sauce on my plate, but then he said, “Can we go somewhere else?”
I was so startled. A request for privacy is something I hadn’t encountered in years, even before I moved here, privacy is not something most people seem to care about anymore. I just turned around and followed him. What else was I going to do?
“I’ve seen you and Jacques.”
“You know, cooking. Licking each other’s ears.”
“We have fun.”
“It looks like it. Also, I saw you go in the kitchen Saturday morning.”
“Look, it’s fine. I was just walking past and happened to see you guys. Sometimes I like to hang around there on Saturday mornings, when no one is around. I heard voices and looked in and saw you. It’s fine. Did you take anything?”
“We took some salt.”
“Fuck, seriously? You’re not allowed to take anything from the Kitchen, you know that. They know where everything goes. They’ll definitely notice.”
“We only took about a cup.”
“They’ve noticed already. Jonah told me about it. Don’t worry, they don’t know who it was. They think it was probably Newcomers, they’ll just make an announcement at lunchtime and leave it at that.”
“I think so too. I hope so.”
So – here it comes. It turns out the reason why Leo hasn’t told anyone about us taking the salt is that he wants us three to run away and cross the fields, the big, gigantic, colossal fields, all the way to the Outside, and he wants us to never come back again.
I asked him, “But Leo, what about the Bomb?”, and he said, “What bomb?”.
Then he blushed and said, “Oh.”
He stuttered for several seconds and then he said, “The Bomb is going alright.”
Thursday, 4th May 2022
Things keep happening. As it turns out, I am leaving on a trip with Jonah today. He wants my company on a trip to what used to be the capital of what used to be the national territory we live in. He needs to get some new materials for the Bomb. You can grow all the food you need in the vegetable gardens, but I don’t know what they use for making a bomb that can wipe out humanity. In any case, Jonah needs to go meet a guy who can get him some of the stuff they need, and he said it would be great if I could come with him. He said I’m “just the sort of person who could help him on a trip like that”. I said yes, I think because when he touched my cheek this morning I felt such a wave of relief come over me. The kind of relief you feel when you finally put your feet on solid ground after a very long bus journey. Truly all I’m longing for, at any given moment, is for Jonah to touch my cheek, so if he wants me to go on a trip with him, well, what else am I supposed to do?
Thursday, 4 May 2022 - A Few Minutes Later
This is what I’m bringing with me on the trip:
2 pairs of jeans
1 kind-of-see-through dress
1 pair of overalls
10 pairs of socks
10 pairs of underwear
1 hair comb
I don’t know how long we’ll be gone for.
I don’t know how long it’ll take us to walk across the big fields. The great, walloping, enormous fields.
Incidentally, I found a board game behind one of the empty beds in my dormitory, just now as I was looking for one of my socks. It’s a very odd thing to find around here.