Dear Planet Earth,

Our escape from LA drags on. Lieutenant Halston tells me it’s barren out there. The entire city seemed to just pick up and leave. They’re going to continue searching for at least a couple days more. Our group came to the consensus that we’d stay in places for no more than a week — any longer than that, and we’ll get lazy and vulnerable.

Mrs. Bing’s slowly improving, or so Maria tells me. They were in one of the suites for six hours together this afternoon. I sat outside the door with my laptop, trying to find any useful news online. Apparently, China tried to bomb one of mole people’s drills in Beijing back when they still had bombs and a military. It didn’t work.

The door opened suddenly and Maria emerged with her usual stoic face. She took a long, deep breath and didn’t seem to notice me sitting on the floor nearby.

“She needs rest.”

“She needs a straitjacket,” I said.

That got her to look at me. She gave me a hard stare, a glare really, filled with an intensity that usually only comes from a mother, not a potential girlfriend (as I’ve been laboriously working on).

“Maybe you’d need a straitjacket too, if your husband and two daughters had been killed in front of your very eyes. Maybe you’d try to off yourself when you realized that everything you’ve ever accomplished in your life was gone forever. Maybe you’d develop a fucking heart and realize that you’re not the only person in this crumbling mess of a world.”

She let that sink in, and I guess I did too.

I whispered, “Did she really try to kill herself?”

“She needs rest,” she said again. And she walked away.


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