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Xehara

Call Me Stan

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Home is a memory of roasted pumpkin seeds and smiles, warmth and love. A time when the family was a phone call away and a hand was readily available for holding when walking down the street. Now all that's left of the faded memories, is the white seed packed away in a simple paper pouch. Everything else has dissipated over time and trauma with only that simple memento left. There's little room for sentiment in the apocalypse, but it's hard to let go of who we once were. 

I've been in hiding for so long. From you, from the world. I've lost bits of myself in my seclusion. Perhaps it's time to sow a new memory, to find people again. To figure out what normal is in this new world and how to be that. Austin had a point, I need to be quieter. Maybe it'll help to observe those around me and mimic them until it feels natural.

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John. John. If I write the name enough I won't forget it I am sure. He was my second attempt at making a friend and I think I got it right this time. I had more alcohol, wasn't as hyper as when I met Austin. I need to find Austin. He was lost like me, but not like me at the same time. I'll show him I am willing to learn to shoot, as much as I hate it. John will like him too I hope. 

I met my first celebrity today too. A boxer, champion even. Can't say his name, he was nice as long as I don't say his name. I liked his accent though. I think accents are my weakness. 

Edited by Xehara

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Saw the champion again yesterday, only he had beaten up a man I had been talking to throughout the day. He beat him to death, then cut off his arm. This place is madness. This is why people make me nervous, they hurt each other for no reason but because they can.

I also seem to have found my freedom, but it feels more like I just changed the owner of my shackles and added blood to my hands. I want to live, and there was only two options, my husband or me. I may deserve better, but his death on my shoulders is still a heavy burden. Maybe I can work off that debt with good will or... something. 

Edited by Xehara

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I'm alone again. There's a man outside the door where I reside who didn't give me an option to say no to the bed. It wasn't chivalry, it was a command. Subtle, but I know commands when I hear them. The edge on the end of the sweet tone that is meant to disarm but remind me that I am not in control. He asked if I was strong or weak, same thing Joe asked. It's a matter of perspective I told him. Those who are strong think themselves weak, and those who are weak think themselves strong. I am in the middle. I know I come off as meek, very likely odd to people, but I have also survived through a lot of things I shouldn't have. 

Two people "asked" me to be "their girl" today, but I don't think they meant it. Pretty sure they were making fun of me. People usually are. I don't understand it, I try to listen and observe and mimic but it doesn't ever seem to be the right actions I am mimicking at the right time. I wish my brain worked the way it's supposed to and it wasn't so hard to just be normal. I don't want to be alone anymore.

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You would think a knife to the throat would be scarier. Odd way to enter a family but maybe I don't have to be alone anymore. I know they patronize me, assume me simple because I ask for pumpkin seeds. Maybe I will get rid of them like Joe suggested but, I'm not ready yet. 

I lost my secret weapon, which I will have to see as a blessing. If I had gotten caught it would've been worse. I just liked how it felt, and the scope. It was more efficient on ammo. 

John and Emla are cute together. He doesn't know he likes her yet, or maybe he feels guilty because he made me promises I can't help him keep. I can't trust anyone, even myself. How can I let myself be vulnerable again to run head first into a relationship? Hes more human than me in that regard. I can't be the one to save him and he needs to stop trying to save me.

Edited by Xehara

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Moving on is... weird. Lailya said he was a decent guy so I guess we will see. He doesn't seem as set on making me his reason for living like John, that's a lot of pressure in the apocalypse. Still, he was nice after he asked. Didn't make fun of me so that's a plus. I think its cause I didn't give him the backpack. 

I fed a friend today, then we went on a walk. He doesn't seem to trust the people who wanted me to be in their family. To be fair I wasn't able to say much about them anyways. He told me I was strong and gave me an S on my arm. Being cut doesn't hurt as much as cigarette burns. 

I am going to find a proper journal and write down songs. I need to start taking requests. 

I still can't find Austin. I hope he is okay.

Edited by Xehara

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Strength is all a matter of perspective I suppose. Depends on the variables. John is strong for surviving but weak for being unable to stick to his word. He is a man of will but not conviction. He didn't get my hand and he left. He played himself and theres not much I can say on that. Promises are broken everyday, gotta move on from that.

Clyde affected me more than I realized. He was weird like me, and we connected as friends. He listened to the need to organize, grew all of those pumpkins, he... got me in a weird way. And when people wanted to dismiss him I would tell them to ask him about weapons. He loved them, he was like an all in one reference guide to them. I don't know if he was a snake or not, but his death hurts. I broke my rules because he was important. I'm breaking them for Elliot too. 

I can't bring Clyde back, as much as it hurts, so I gotta be there for who I have left. I have to get my head straight, keep out of Dragon business for Elliot's sake, or help if that's what is needed. Theres only him and Joe. Protect them both, cause that's who I can trust and who matters. Not sure I have room for anyone else right now, those two are risky enough. 

That's strength though, isn't it? Knowing that people are temporary and those who aren't are affected by my own ability to live on my own. Can't be a liability. 

Edited by Xehara

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Family is a funny thing, especially when you get to choose. I thought he was dead but hes not, and he keeps showing he cares in his own way. Just because he can't express himself doesn't mean emotion is absent, or that's what I think anyhow. He saved my life today. I was at his store looking in my bag for ammo to trade and behind me I hear someone say to put my hands up and then count down really fast from three to 1. I turn around to hear bullets spraying and at first I think I have been shot, but I wasn't. The robber is there on the floor and Clyde just says "No. I gotta go." And runs. He saved my life. Our lives. Then he ran but... when he got to his destination he radioed me asking if I was okay. I met up with him and tried to assure him he wasn't in trouble, then I escorted him to Kab because that's where he wanted to go. 

While I was off searching for Clyde, someone else was on my radio and in my ear. It was a roller coaster of a call. I thought I was losing a family member at first, he was mad over something stupid and I felt like I had wasted my time investing any kind of emotion in him. Then he caught me off guard. I am not sure what to think of the things he said, I don't ever consider those emotions as a possibility when I see someone or befriend someone. I didn't even think Elliot felt that way until he said it and I still questioned it then. 

I wish I could see myself from other people's eyes. I mean yes, I am pretty awesome, but having romantic feelings for me seems weird. Does it seem weird for everyone else? Either way... I am surprised he cares as much as he does. I just have to be respectful and not take advantage or abuse that information.

Also, it took Elliot five hours after getting off bedrest to get into another firefight. He won though and I had a front row seat. I gotta keep practicing so I can start helping him in those.

Edited by Xehara

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Numb. That is what I felt after the adrenaline wore off and the image of the brain matter flying from his skull faded. I felt... nothing. Maybe I'm still in shock or processing. I didn't know him. I don't know if he was innocent or not, but I suppose no one really is. Put some things into perspective I suppose. The people around me, the conflicts that exist, who would really care if I was gone. I found myself switching the frequencies on my radio, wanting to check in on family members to see how they were doing. Each time I got to one they would be on, I found myself pressing the button and releasing, questioning if they would miss me or if I would just kind of disappear into the back of their mind and fade away. If my marriage taught me anything, it's that love is temporary for some people. I may be loyal beyond when it's reasonable but I am an exception, not the rule. So... I finally pressed the button, and I sent a simple message to my family. 

Just checking in, seeing how you're doing. 

I guess what I was really saying... Was please don't forget me.

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Clyde told me how he missed having friends and he wanted somewhere he could just sit around a campfire and roast marshmallows. He said that he doesn't know if he's ever been happy, or if he's able to feel happy. He just feels well or bad, and I make him feel well. I want to find that place for him or build it if I can't find it. He deserves some peace. I guess we all do. I think I look out for him so much because I wish someone would look out for me. Maybe people do and I just don't realize it. Someone says I'm a good singer and I feel warm for a moment and then it gets overshadowed by the redundancy of people saying how useless or worthless I am. Why is it easier to believe those words than the kind ones? I guess it's like that saying, we accept what we think we deserve? What if I don't know what I deserve? 

I like climbing to the highest point I can sometimes and sitting on the edge of it with my feet dangling over. I get lost in my thoughts sometimes, peering over the edge and contemplating the line I am literally straddling in those moments. I don't think I'd ever jump and dying isn't really the point. Sometimes you just have to put life into perspective. Being used to being alone doesn't mean I'm not lonely, and with no one to live for you have to find reasons to keep going for you. Some days are harder than others to find a reason. 

Maybe not being good enough wasn't the greatest fear. Maybe I'm scared I won't matter. Is that the same thing?

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I set out today with a goal, help Clyde find a place he feels safe. We ran all over and finally, he settled on a place he could feel at ease. He was excited, in his own way. It's going to be a lot of running between here and where Elliot and I meet up, but it's worth it. Clyde has my back, and I plan to have his. It'll be good to have something to work on, a project of my own. I can't be following Elliot everywhere, especially when he gets so much flack about it. I'll keep practicing and I'll become more useful but until then I need to have something that's mine. 

I was thinking today about those around me, friends and ones I call family. Who of those people actually has my back? Trust is such a hard thing to offer. I expressed my emotions towards Elliot the other day without prompting and he mentioned it being the first time I had done so. I had to take a step back to consider because I was sure I had said it before, but he was right. It's all be echoes up until that point. He'd say it and I'd throw it back at him. It's a scary thing to confess much less to feel. Last time I gave my heart to someone and put my all into the relationship, they tore me down. I know he's not the same man, I get that, but the mindset is still there. 

Only one I can depend on is me. Gotta handle my own shit. Does that make me weak or strong? 

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I thought my day was done but then I ran into Morgan and Jimmy. Jimmy could be useful I guess. He knew that Karmen chick though so, big yikes. I'm glad I found Morgan again, or rather he found me. He had an episode today and went up on the roof to be alone. He dropped his SKS and the spear I made him, and then he had this bear. He had been hearing voices, triggered from meeting all the new people and the rain. I named his bear Freeman and told him when he heard the voices to talk to Freeman as though Freeman was the source of the voices. Maybe it would help him not feel so crazy. He said the voices were a man and a woman. The man told him to jump and the woman said to kill us all. He was surprised that I didn't seem scared but... Now I'm starting to question why. I guess I'm numb to the idea now. My husband tried to kill me so many times that I no longer respond correctly I suppose. I had him pick a house and told him when he felt overwhelmed he could go home to relax. I also told him I was proud of him because he didn't jump and he didn't hurt himself. He disarmed himself and he got away from us so he wouldn't hurt us. Baby steps. Jimmy took the SKS and held it for him until he was ready. 

Reminded me of the mute I met the other day. I need to find him. I can't lose him like I lost Austin. I feel like... I keep finding the hidden gems left in the world that everyone assumes is just a rock but is really a diamond. They just don't know how to nurture them. 

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I waited a few hours, things must have come up. Tower runs were the usual, except for the group of ten that ran right past me and scared the shit out of me. I recognized Ragnar, some of the others recognized me. They kept going, didn't bug me.

Met up with Morgan and his new friend John. Always a John. I like John's accent, found him an SKS so he could drop the shotgun. I sang for them as we traveled up north to meet Clyde, but John kept stopping for various reasons. One of the moments without him Morgan asked me if I was happy and I said the first thing to come to my mind as I usually do, no. I'm not happy. I try to be. I fake it most of the time and hes the first to ask me if I actually was. 

It's weird being called out or noticed. I don't know why I am not happy, and sometimes I feel like I have no reason to be unhappy its just how it is. Guess I have to work on my acting more. 

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