The Run (2)

Jesse followed me down toward the kitchen. The apartment was getting dingy and dank. Weeks had gone by since the power was shut off. We never opened the windows out of fear and the October sunrise was obscured by ominous clouds.

“Da-dee, why can’t we go outside?” He started again.

“We just can’t!” I got short with him, which I hate about myself. The poor kid didn’t deserve anything but a bright sunny day outside. What did he know anyway about life? Nothing but a warm day outside. All of it lost now to him.

I rummaged through the bags of food in the pantry. It was nearly bare and we would need food today for sure. I found some Cheerios, mostly crushed and stale. A handful scooped into my mouth, then another handful into a purple plastic bowl for Jesse.

“Can I watch TV then?” Every day Jesse started the same, no retention of what our world had become. It killed me to repeat no over and over to him. I envied him, forgetting the world each night.

“Sorry, the TV is broken, remember?”

“Oh yeah, Daddy.”

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