I don’t know if Xavier was expecting guests but he didn’t really look surprised when we entered the gym. He had a sort of, “Welcome to the festivities” grin on his face. It was a bit unnerving. There was a sharp pain in my stomach as I announced that we were demanding he leave Central with his goons.
The room went silent. Xavier let me speak. I felt my face turning beet red. Xavier stood up from his chair and smiled as he suggested we leave or die slow agonizing deaths in the cage. He motioned for his goons in the gym to surround us.
We had subdued the outside goons before making our entrance. I nodded at Matt and then stared Xavier in the eyes. “I didn’t bring just a few of my friends. I rallied the community!” It was then the outside doors opened and in rushed my allies.
The preparations for the naming ceremony are going well. Casey is getting so excited. The baby is nursing without difficulties. Casey is tired like any new mom would be but she is doing well. I am so happy for her. I have witnessed so much tragedy in the past. It’s so nice to see a baby thrive for a change.
We still have not heard from Matt. When our runner came back empty handed again today Jonas and Pete went to sneak around the Central Campus . I am on pins and needles waiting for them to return. I am terrified the boys are going to get caught. The anxiety has given me a headache. Marty suggested I drink water, as if I hadn’t already thought of that.
Matt has been inside Central for a couple of days. I hope he hasn’t done anything stupid, he can be a bit of a hothead. Matt and Jonas are our two best fighters in Bear Country. They chose who would win and loose the fight at the plaza. Tony also fights well but he is still recovering from injuries and wasn’t an option for the mission inside Central.
I was hoping we would have a note from Matt by now. The runner we sent out came back empty handed yesterday and today. This is worrisome. Matt either can’t get a note to us or he is unable.
Jonas has spent most of the last couple of days working out in the gym. I know he is anxious about his brother. We are all anxious. The wait is killing me, but we can’t do anything until Matt gives us intel.
I am undating our allies tonight on our progress. I am disappointed I have nothing to report. More than one person will not be happy at the meeting.
In the beginning, after the world threw itself into chaos, survival was a struggle. Death was everywhere. Attempting to survive alone often meant an early death. The smart ones joined gangs and made alliances.
My friends and I moved into this school. We are a family even though sometimes we are loud, annoying and dysfunctional. Yay, for dysfunction.
It has been an awful day. Tony is avoiding me. He won’t look at me. He won’t talk to me. He won’t enter a room that I am in. I wish I knew what to say. I have tried to apologize. I have never seen him this angry with anyone before. I don’t know what to do. This cold shoulder he is giving me is breaking my heart. I keep hoping the Runt will walk thru the front doors but I know that isn’t going to happen. He has probably been killed or captured by a rival gang. This also makes me sad.
By noon, Casey was in hard labor and begging for the pain to stop. I put on a happy face and reassured everyone Casey and her baby would be fine. I kept my fears to myself. I prayed a naming ceremony would be on the horizon, not a funeral.
There were moments I feared Casey wouldn’t have the strength to push her baby into the world. With every contraction Lizzy, Gretchen and Cecelia would yell, “Push Casey… Push!”
Casey responded with screams of pain that resonated through the school.
At 3:07pm, the baby arrived with a loud wonderful cry.
We all cheered as midwife Lizzy placed the crying baby girl into Casey’s awaiting arms.