Kim’s Earth: Louisa: Meeting Edward

This entry is part 2 of 10 in the Kim's Earth collection

The knock was unexpected to say the least. If it was someone who’d come looking for another house to ransack it was far more likely they’d have just broken in. As I stared at the door, wondering if I was stupid enough to answer it, the letterbox opened. “Is anyone there?” The voice was male, and I was almost certain I recognised it. “I need help.” Everyone did after what had happened, so that wasn’t going to make me do anything I might end up regretting. “I’m looking for someone to talk to.” He sounded almost like he was about to start crying. “Please, if you’re in there, all I want is a friend.”

Biting hard on my lip I made my way over to the door. I knew I was making a mistake. There were too possible options: he was a really good actor, or he was someone who truly did just want a friend. Neither of those things was good for me. Dealing with other people was something I wasn’t good at before the end of the world. Actually living through what had happened had made me even less comfortable with the idea of dealing with other people, especially those who needed something from me, because I knew how difficult things would be in the future. Sighing, I unlocked the door. When I opened it he was standing on the doorstep. He smiled at me, even though it was obvious he was hurting. Nodding, I stepped to the side, and when he was in the house I looked the door again, not wanting to make it easy for anyone who made the decision they wanted to try to steal my supplies. It would also make it far harder for him to leave if he was just a really good actor.

Slowly, because I had recognised the voice, I turned to look at him. In the old world he’d been a pop star. I remembered watching him walk in to get the injection, in London with all the others, so I had no idea how he’d ended up nearly a hundred miles away… unless he’d been stupid enough to drive. Our eyes met and I tried to appear welcoming, although I was certain it didn’t work all that well. “Hi.” He looked down at the carpet, and then back at me. “Thanks for opening the door. I didn’t know what I was going to do if I didn’t find someone else who was alive.”

“You’re welcome.”

“Are you the only one here?”

“For the moment.” I studied him. “Why were you looking for someone to talk to?”

“Do you know who I was?”

Nodding, I sat down on the sofa. “Edward Clark, the lead singer of Romeo Rising, who was meant to be in London at the time of the injections with the rest of the band.”

“That helps.” Edward brushed a hand through his hair. “I paid someone to take my place, someone who looked enough like me to be able to pull it off, because I wanted to be with my family when I got the injection. I couldn’t imagine being miles away from them at a time when I believed we’d need each other more than we ever had done before. The only thing I wish now is that I’d been wrong. My entire family is dead. I’m pretty certain all my band mates are dead, as well as the guy I paid to impersonate me.” He shook his head. “Before I passed out I helped my sister home. She wasn’t dealing with the injection at all well. I thought maybe it was just her. I hoped it was just her, until I started feeling the effects myself, and that was when I knew things were as bad as they said they would be in the papers.”

“I went through the same thing.” I shrugged. “Now all we can do is learn how to survive.”

“Yeah, I guess you’re right. I just… I never expected to be doing this without anyone I cared about. I didn’t want to believe it was possible that the injection was really going to do what it did.”

“Most people didn’t, Edward.”

“No, they didn’t, and almost all of them are now dead.” He looked at me. “You know me, but I have no idea who you are. Are you willing to share your name with me?”

“That would be fair. I’m Louisa, but my friends and family mostly called me Lou.”

“Mum hated it when anyone called me Ed, but I found it far simpler than being called Edward all the time.”

“What are your plans?”

“Honestly, Lou, I don’t have any. All I knew was that I needed to find someone. I don’t think anyone is going to be able to survive this world alone, although I have a feeling you were going to try.”

“Being alone is simpler than trying to work out who I can trust. I wouldn’t have let you in if it wasn’t for the fact you were making too much noise. The last thing I needed was for someone else to make the decision to try my door.”

“You’re going to stay here?”

“At least for now. I have no reason to move on.” I stood. “You can do whatever you think is right for you, but don’t expect me to follow you.”

“Why would you stay here?”

“The things I need to survive are here.” I moved over to the window that looked over the garden. “My parents were into growing fruit and vegetables, so I’ve got plenty out there to harvest when the time comes, which means I’m one step ahead of a lot of people. They taught me how to do the basics, because they truly believed it would be important in the future for everyone to have their own way of feeding themselves. I know they weren’t talking about this. Before the injection they were talking about the plans they had for next week. Waking up to find them both dead…” My emotions did almost get the better of me. Not thinking about their deaths had been what was getting me through, and talking to Edward about it was bringing it all back. “That was when I made the decision I was going to live my life as best I could, for them. No matter how hard things were they wouldn’t have given up.”

“Mine wouldn’t either.” Edward stood next to me, staring out at the garden. “You don’t want a companion, do you?”

Had I not answered the door the answer would have been different. As I had opened the door I knew the last thing I’d be willing to do was kick Edward out when I had no idea of what might happen to him if I did. “Things change. We might be able to make this work, but I’m not making an promises.”

<<< Kim’s Earth: Bethany: Waking Up***Kim’s Earth: Matt: Changes >>>
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