Life is never like you intend it, plans that were made become somehow rearranged or fleeting, staying just out of reach. You tell yourself to take a break, you’ve tired from chasing the ever elusive dream, reality is a reminder that what you’re chasing can never be real. There’s this battle that’s repetitive, you chase after the dream to make it a reality , reality reminds you that it isn’t possible, and since the dream is just out of reach you take a break for a little while because you need to catch your breath. But each time you take a break from chasing your dreams it moves just a little but further away from you but you don’t notice until one day you realize that your dreams are too far away to catch, and that you’ll never catch them. Sure the dream never gets so far ahead that it is out of sight but that’s the irony of it all. You’re always reminded that you failed because you see your dreams off in the distance in front of you. Maybe at an earlier time you could’ve caught up, or if your determination was stronger. Life did a number on you distracting you from accomplishing your dreams always keeping them out of reach. All of those years I was a gay man, bound and determined to tell someone. All of those years I waited thinking love would knock on my door but it didn’t. And around every corner there was something else keeping me from being free. And once I finally got the courage to tell my mother she was taken from me and I was tossed into the hell. You see? Funny really how reality reminds you that what you always planned for isn’t what reality really wanted. I never fell in love, was it so wrong to want to? Sometimes I wondered if God even cared. If he did maybe I’d already be in love a long time ago. I found myself depressed, this wasn’t my usual self. I’d cleaned up Eric and changed his clothes and put some new shoes on him, but he was too weak to walk. I let Eric rest, he had been sleeping for a many hours now. I was leaning up against the wall staring blankly at the window, the sunlight was getting weaker. We had to do something before it got dark. Walking back now was out of the question, as slow as Eric could walk we’d be lucky to make it back before dark. I fought down my depression fighting to think of something, that’s when my mind started working again. Standing up I walked over to the guy I’d shot in the face, squatting down I started checking his pockets and sure enough I found car keys. I didn’t have to question if these were the keys to the car outside because they were indeed. All one had to do was put two and two together. Just in case though I walked to the window pointing the clicker toward the car. When I double tapped the locking mechanism I see the back tail lights flicker twice before hearing a beep, beep. About time something goes my way. I guess I shouldn’t complain, I’m alive for what it’s worth. Everything up to this point was nothing but luck. I was in the right place at the right time when the infection took hold. Sure there were people getting sick, more than usual, but nothing that the hospitals couldn’t handle. At least that’s what the news was reporting. But then the hospitals were overrun with sick people, so much in fact that hospitals started to turn people away, telling them if they showed signs to stay home away from others, and that a doctor would contact them. The news finally started calling it a pandemic but it was too late by then. The initial outbreak was fast but it was slow to causing anything noticeable, at first it was just a bunch of sick people. I’ve seen people get infected now and it only takes a matter of twenty four hours before they turn into a Zed. The first infected it took up to a week, that’s why it was such a shocking surprise because from the start so many were already infected. I think everyone knew something bad was going to happen, but we all just kept hoping it wouldn’t. I hadn’t taught martial arts lessons all week, there were just too many people sick to attend sessions. There was this feeling of foreboding, I couldn’t shake it. That’s what motivated me to call mom and tell her I had something I wanted to say before it was too late. It was too late, before it was too late. The virus worked too fast and couldn’t be contained. It just seemed like the flu at first, but now, well it’s different and more aggressive, people are becoming infectious killers. All of those kids that looked up to me that I used to teach? They’re all dead now, and you know they all died horrible deaths. They were either already infected and became the first Zeds, or worse they were killed or infected after the first waves of Zeds hit the streets. I never got to tell anyone that I was gay, and now it didn’t seem so important to do so. Eric would never know, he’d more than likely start acting differently toward me if he ever knew. It’s funny, at the end of civilization I was ready to break out of this, I wanted to be free, to be myself. That would’ve happened if I got to talk to my mother. And now? Well now I get to hide from myself all over again. No one needs to know, they’re all mostly dead now. I heard the sound of a vehicle driving, it came from the right side of me. As the sound drew nearer I kept my gaze on the road until I a pick up truck pull into the parking lot slowing down then parking beside the car outside. A fat guy jumped out grabbing a gun off the front seat. Once he got around the truck he looked inside the car before turning and yelling. He was tall, wearing a red plaid long sleeve shirt that was rolled up to the elbows. His fat round belly protruded from his unbuttoned shirt. He wasn’t very attractive and I bet his hygiene was like this before the infection, with my luck he was most likely gay. I squatted down out of sight when he looked my direction. “Tony!” He yelled glancing about. I looked over at the guy I shot, that must’ve been Tony. When the guy turned to yell out again I got a better look at the gun he had. It was an AK 47. Just great I was outgunned. Eric started to stir upon hearing the guy yelling out for Tony, I hustled over to him placing my hand over his mouth as he woke from his sleep. “Shhhh, we got company!” I said softly. Eric looked at me nodding his head. “Can you get up?” I asked. With out responding Eric sat up placing both hands on the ground his face grimaced before he let out a loud gasp. Instinctively I glanced over my shoulder waiting to see if it was heard, for a moment it was silent. “Tony?” The voice sounded much closer than I thought he would be, and I could hear him just outside the window.

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