Day Two - Evening

We found a place to spend the night! Our first night in the Outside. Dinner will be served in a few minutes. It smells like roast chicken. I think we’ve found a really nice place – a very old lady, probably into her nineties, answered the door. She lives here with her two daughters and their husbands, and each couple has three small children, four girls and two boys in total. Red-doored houses are often packed like this. It seems that when people are not travelling, they often like to be together. I think it’s great. At least one thing I can be sure of – there has never been a better time for everything to be coming to an end.

Not every house is a red-doored house. In some parts of what used to be the city, it is actually quite difficult to find one. There are blue-doored houses, black-doored houses, yellow-doored houses. It doesn’t mean anything. Some people are still living the way they did ten, twenty years ago. Maybe even most people. It’s hard to tell. Normally the only people from the Outside we ever get to meet are Newcomers, and almost all of them are travellers. We see the world from their perspective. We hear about roast dinners in red-doored houses and about watching the sky turn pink from the top of a mountain, and we say, “At least one thing we can be sure of, there has never been a better time for everything to be over”. But to be honest, it’s hard to tell what has really changed. There are no newspapers anymore, no telephones, no internet. Sometimes I think the idea is to not know for sure, but to know that, in any case, it will all be over soon.

Jonah is upstairs having a nap. He hasn’t had chicken since he left the Outside. Maybe not even then. He can be very fussy about food. He gets frustrated because people in the Outside don’t understand what being the youngest member of the Kitchen Staff means. I worry about him. I’m starting to think this trip is going to be very hard for him. He still won’t tell me what his plans are, I don’t know where we are going to get the materials for The Bomb, and to be honest I’m not sure Jonah knows, either. Maybe he’s as lost as I am. I still think it’s odd that they sent him and not someone who is actually involved in building The Bomb. I know he would just laugh nervously if I asked him about it, though.

Dinner is served. It smells delicious.