"Have a safe trip, sweetheart. I love you. Call me when you land!"
The call never came. I waited and waited, but then the news of the end spread. I knew that I would never get the call I was so desperately waiting for. Despite that, I never let go of the sliver of hope that she was still alive. How else are you supposed to react when the love of your life has unwittingly stumbled into the midst of the darkest moment in human history? I clung on to that hope like it was the final strand of rope keeping me from falling down the face of the mountain of sorrow and despair. That hope, that damned, wretched hope carried me through these past two years. It led me to the very place I stand right now. Following this hope took me far astray but somehow I actually ended up where I originally set out to be. When Pandora opened her box, she released all the sorrow in the world, but she also release hope. My mistake was believing they couldn't go hand in hand...
I'll start from the beginning.
Even though our country was at war, it never felt like it. The was an air of ignorance everywhere you went. People knew that our soldiers were in a foreign land, fighting people full of hatred, shedding their blood to protect us, and yet life carried on; business as usual. That is until a huge flash of light brought the war home. Actually, it was multiple flashes of light... they spanned the globe. Cooler heads did not prevail and the world suffered. Everything humans had worked so hard to achieve, wiped away by a few politicians and generals and nuclear physics. Now there was just rubble. Rubble that spanned the country. Rubble that I had to conquer to find my love. I, like countless others, mobbed the closest stores for supplies. Luckily, I got there before most. I got most of what I needed and headed home to prepare.
I packed my truck with as much food as I could eat before it would spoil, gallons upon gallons of water, gallons of gas, a tent, all the maps I could find, my rifle, all of my ammo, and a few other miscellaneous supplies. Then, I set off into the unknown.
My wife was about to board a flight from Seattle to St. Louis the last time we spoke. I had half the country to search. Half the country was nothing more than radioactive dust; a wasteland filled death and despair. I had to cross all of that while searching half of the entire goddamned country to find my wife. I was determined. I thought I was ready. I thought I was prepared. I thought I was doing the right thing. I was wrong. So very wrong.