Saturday, August 9, 2014

Part 34




It is a good thing it was me and not Jace who she snuck up on or Sunny wouldn't have lived very long.  Jace's temper isn't the only thing that is quick on the trigger.

Long story short - and I absolutely refuse to write out the whole long lecture Jace gave me about stranger awareness and how angry he was at me for just striking up a conversation with someone even if it was someone like Sunny - Sunny is a little slow in the mental department if you don't mind my saying so.  And since this is my notebook I'll say it any way I dingity dang well please.  I'm just saying it, not saying it to be hurtful or rude.  I don't care if Jace did have a snit because I told him using the same words to explain Sunny seeming a little light in the IQ numbers.

I wasn't being catty.  I don't mean she needs to be labeled like they would have at school.  I just meant that she seemed ... I don't know ... slow about some stuff like math, amounts, and people's personal space.

Explaining in her kind of sing songy voice she said, "They put signs up all over the place.  They said if you wanted to be evacuated then you had to get here by two weeks ago and that the military would move us to a safe facility."

Jace asked, "A safe facility?  What does that mean?"

Sunny just shrugged.  "I dunno.  Just someplace where there aren't any infected people.  That's what Gran told me."

"Gran?"

"Yeah, we're from Madison but there were people here from all over.  My uncle and his family had been visiting us from Detroit when things went bad.  First he drove us to the FEMA camp in Rochelle but when that place got destroyed by those people that tried to take over and be boss we all came here."

I looked at Jace to give him an I-told-you-so-face about reading the "clues" we had found but he wasn't paying attention.  He asked Sunny, "Where is everyone else?"

Like it was almost no big deal she answered, "I'm the only one left.  They wouldn't take anyone that looked like they'd been infected.  I was babysitting my niece and she bit me and left a bruise and when someone saw it and started screaming they threw me off the bus.  I don't mind though, they wouldn't take Gran either because she was dying without her blood pressure medicine.  She had a heart attack two days after we got here and they put her in this place called an infirmity.  When they packed everything up to go they were just going to leave her because they said it was limited resources and something called triage.  I don't wanna be with people that are like that.  I stayed here with Gran when those that weren't evacuated ran off to try and find someplace else to hole up for the winter."

Trying to get the rest of her story out of her Jace carefully asked, "Where's your grandmother?"

Again like it wasn't a huge deal Sunny answered, "She died.  I buried her the best I could.  I need to find some more rocks though.  Something keeps trying to dig her up.  You look big and strong.  Can you help with some heavy rocks?  I've got food I can trade."  So, more proof that either she is blocked up mentally or blocked up emotionally.  I just hope whatever it is doesn't come unblocked in the middle of a situation.  Reason why I say this is because Guard Dog Jace caught me off guard.

Jace didn't even look at me but started lecturing Sunny on talking to strangers but he did it a lot nicer than the way he'd done the same thing to me.  Apparently he is partial to playing hero to people he thinks are helpless.  I think he is learning I'm not helpless, just need a little help to get me going the right direction and it has left a whole in his plans or in his ... I don't know ... in what he needs to keep his head on straight.

Without even asking me he agreed that we'd stay and help Sunny.  I left him sitting by the fire with her, lecturing her about how she needs to do this, that, and the other.  Got news for Jace.  Sunny may be a little simple but that doesn't mean she is stupid.  She can cook just as good as I can, maybe better.  Her soup was so good not even Toddie would have complained about it but she fell on my cornbread like she hadn't had any in a long time.

"Your own cooking gets old after a while," she told me when she saw me noticing how she was wolfing the bread down.  "And Gran never would let me do much baking.  I always forget about when things need to come out of the oven and it set the smoke alarms off alot.  Those things would make Gran's hearing aids scream and she hated that.  She also got mad about wasting food.  We only lived on her social security and my SSI 'cause she didn't like me leaving the house to work.  But I used to work in the convenience store on the corner but then they closed and they stopped the bus line that ran close to the house."

I shrugged disregarding most of what she'd said and told her,  "As far as cooking, it depends on how hungry you are I guess.  This past year I've been so hungry that my own cooking was just fine for every meal."

She nodded like it was an accepted fact.  Out of no where she asked me, "How old are you?"

"Uh ... fifteen," I responded cautiously.

"Hmm.  That guy your boyfriend?  Your brother?"

The idea was slightly nauseating.  "Ew.  No.  To both questions."

She nodded with a satisfied look on her face.  "Didn't think so but its always polite to ask first.  Mind if I see if Jace wants to be my boyfriend?"

I shrugged realizing that Sunny was older than she looked, at least in the experience area, and if I'm being honest smarter about some things than me ... or at least than I chose to be.  Still, just because I didn't want Jace that way is no reason to throw him to the wolves ... or wolf.  I told her, "Just be careful.  He's been hurt.  A lot of people he cared about have died.  Even a girl he was going to marry."

"Oh," she said biting her cheek looking concerned.  "He's the marrying kind.  That takes special handling.  Gran said you didn't just fool around with guys like that.  They take things real serious."

Sunny made me want to laugh the way she saw things.  Put the way she said it I could see it but I still didn't know exactly what to make of her so I just shrugged and said, "Uh ... yeah, I guess so."

She nodded and said, "Gran was the one that told me all about men and she would know.  She'd been married four times and was working on getting number five to come around before the monsters got him on the way here.  She always said that a real woman needed a man by her side even if they were a lot of work to keep up with."

Well, there's not much to say to something like that.  She made guys sound like a pet or an accessory or something.  Suddenly I wasn't feeling much like laughing anymore.

After we all cleaned up Sunny went to ... well whatever she is doing with Jace.  It's not like I begrudge her or anything.  I'm not looking for a boyfriend.  I've got other priorities that come first.  But I'm not sure that I want things to get the kind of interesting they are bound to get if Jace and Sunny ... shudder ... gotta get the pictures out of my head.  Waaay too much TMI.

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