I have something to eat at home. I'll make it back. Plus, this added joy will give me strength to make it back. I'm on Montano and and the river now. I'll try to find a more direct route back to my abandoned warehouse.
It seems like the atmosphere is already clearing up. We've been breathing in this poison for too long. I'm still in kind of in disbelief that it's raining. The temperature has probably dropped by twenty or thirty degrees already. I wonder how Jack and Holly are doing. I miss them so much. I had to make this sacrifice.
It's been so long, but my heart still hurts for them. I haven't had any communication with them since the last time I saw them. The Postal Service is nonexistent. The internet is a thing of the past. Phones are too. There are some message services that carry letters, but they are unreliable and you need money to send a message. And I've tried to make it to Minneapolis to see them. My choice was to stay here and hope I can stay alive to see them, or die trying to travel solo. My only hope to ever see them was to live in this agonizing place.
It was August, 2023. I remember it clearly. Albuquerque conducting an emergency evacuation. The city was on fire. Gas lines had exploded. Any bit of vegetation was in flames, and thousands of buildings were burning with them. The entire Sandia Mountain range glowed orange that night. The Army was evacuating all women and children. They promised to come back for me. I waited for them. And I waited. They never came. And the city continued to burn.
Holly and Jack were rushed to get into this armored bus by army soldiers. Holly looked at me with tears in her eyes and said, “I love you, James.” We embraced each other and wept. I've never been in such agony. I told her I would join her soon. She gave me her necklace to hold on to. I gave her this necklace as a gift. This necklace is always with me, and has given me hope when I feel hopeless.
After that night, the remaining survivors didn't hear anything from the government or anyone else. Some tried the journey to meet their families. No one knows if they made it. As far as we knew, the entire country was on fire.
But now it's raining. This means that it could be safe. I have to make a plan. I have to see Jack and Holly.