Time passed slowly. Steve and I shot a cow and awkwardly butchered it. We made numerous trips to the library and other bookstores for more entertainment. We shot our guns at the neighbor’s house to develop familiarity with them. The guns, that is, not the neighbors. We even raided a firework store and shot fireworks for several days. We had hoped this would attract other survivors, but none appeared. One day, though, Steve had something to say.
“I’ve been thinking about it, and I’ve decided that I’m going to move.”
“Huh? Move where?” This threw me a little bit.
“The library. Set up a tent or build a little shack in there to keep warm. I’ll have all the books I could want, and it would keep us from having to waste fuel going back and forth.”
“Oh . . . well . . . I guess that’d be fine. I mean, you can do what you want, but it’d be nicer to have you here.”
“When you want to move?”
I considered this. It would be more convenient for both of us, and he was an adult and could make his own decisions. “Okay. I’ll help you move.”
And so he moved into the library. I made a few foraging trips for boards, plywood and some insulation, and we built him a crude shack in the middle of the library. He also took some propane heaters and lanterns, and also some electric ones. I hooked up a solar panel I had found in a mall a few towns away, and also some windmills from the same place. He’d have plenty power, but I also installed a generator and some fuel. Just in case.
“Well . . . see ya around, Steve.” I stuck out my hand and Steve shook it.
“Take care, Todd. Stay safe.”
“You too. I’ll check in on you every couple days.”
“You do that. See you!” I left, heading out to the Deuce, which we had christened ‘Sky Blue.’ The fact that the truck was dark green had not dissuaded us. As I drove home, I decided I was just going to have to cope without Steve. Heck, I’d been doing that before I found him, right? I’d be fine.