We traveled in silence for awhile. Everyone was exhausted, tired from our gun battle and the general stress of suddenly being thrust into the world of the walking dead. Eventually, Mom, Molly and I put away the food we had acquired from the store. As we worked, Dad and Mom recounted what they had been told by Ben, my father in law. As we finished our task the cabinets were overflowing but we found a place for everything nevertheless. It seemed like a lot of food but I was afraid it wouldn’t last as long as we would like it to. Afterward, I collapsed onto the chair at the kitchen table. Mom headed into the back bedroom to lay down. Jay was sitting on the sofa, his head back, hand over his eyes. I could just make out the salt stain of tears on his cheeks. The day had taken it’s toll on each of us. The adrenaline was gone and the fatigue and reality of the situation was settling in, now that we had some quiet time to reflect on everything. For awhile there was so much happening so fast there was no time to consider the details, to think too much about the loved ones lost, but as Dad piloted the RV up the lone and empty interstate toward my brother’s home we had time to come down, to settle and begin to ponder our situation. Molly was curled up on the opposite side of the sofa from Jay. I stared long and hard at her wondering who she was, how she was feeling how she was going to handle the loss of her family. We were good folks but we all knew each other. Jay and I go back years and then there are my parents. I’ve got lots of people I’m close to and my parents think of Jay like another son, so he has me and them. Then there’s poor Molly. She is with us but in a way she is all alone in this new world. I know she is attached to Jay because of their experiences together earlier but having said that this has all just happened today.
The sun was just beginning to shift in the sky. It was late in the afternoon now and we still had a ways to go. The sun was cutting through the windshield at a sharp angle throwing a lot of light in my direction. I looked toward the sky. The blue crispness was beginning to fade into the orange and reddish hues representative of the close of the day. It was then, as I contemplated the sky and what lay beyond, that I decided it was time to do something I hadn’t done yet today despite all the horrors the day had presented. I spun the chair away from the table, rested my elbows on my knees, bowed my head and began to pray. I suppose I was muttering under my breath which served as enough sound to attract Jay’s attention. “What?” He said, “Are you talking to me?” His muffled inquiry drifting from beneath his hand. I guess when I didn’t respond in a timely fashion he looked out from under his hand. He blinked his eyes, wiping away a few remaining tears from them. “Are you….praying?” He asked with some confusion in his voice. I didn’t answer him immediately but could sense he was waiting. He wasn’t a believer but always respected the fact that I was. In the past I had spoken to him about Christ at least a couple of times. I had done my part but ultimately the conviction comes from the Holy Spirit and I have no way of knowing if that had happened yet other than he hadn’t said anything to me about it. We have always respected one another’s beliefs and never let that interfere with our friendship, he’s my brother and I love him like one, regardless, but I always like to think one day he’ll accept Christ. He waited patiently until I mumbled “Amen” and looked up. “Yeah I was praying.” I said with a smile. “Really?” He replied. “You still think there is a God? After everything we’ve been through today? I mean, it’s the end of the world? And He’s making it happen. He’s letting the dead walk the earth and destroy everything. How could you believe in Him and even want to talk to Him?”
I smiled. “Funny you should ask.” I noticed out of the corner of my eye, Molly had woken up upon hearing Jay’s voice but she chose to remain still, with her eyes open and I could tell she was awaiting my answer. “I think we need God now more than ever. He doesn’t cause bad things to happen, I suppose you could argue He allows them, but this is not His fault. Remember what Dad said awhile ago, this is some kind of man made bomb attack thing gone awry.” “Yeah but He let it happen He let so many people die.” Jay responded. “True, but God doesn’t say we won’t die, we’re human, we’re all gonna die sometime. The real question is have you accepted His son before you do? That determines where you’ll spend eternity. We’re all gonna go, someday, somewhere, somehow. I guess zombies is as good a way as any. Not that I’m in any hurry, mind you.” I said with a smile. “God gives us free will, which is important because He wants us to turn to Him on our own, by our choice, that way it’s genuine, not motivated by worldly benefits. The only true benefit is our salvation which He guarantees if we choose Him.”
Jay smiled. “Still holding on, huh?” “If you’re gonna hold on to something I can’t think of anything better.” I said returning his smile. Dad piped up from the driver’s seat, “You can say that again, WG. ‘The way the truth and the life,’ now, more so than ever it seems.”
Breaking the subject Mom appeared from the rear of the RV inquiring through sleepy eyes and a weak voice, “How much farther?” “Not long now.” Dad replied, “We’re turning off the highway now. Should be about another 20 minutes.” I rose from the chair and approached the front of the cab, patting Jay’s knee as I passed by, shooting him another smile. I sat down in the passenger’s seat next to Dad with a springy thud. Mom followed and stood at the back of my seat, leaning into the space between us. We three stared out at the road ahead as 460 East bound came into view. “I wonder what we’ll find when we get there.” Mom muttered in her weak, still groggy voice. “We’ll have to wait and see, and just have faith.”