Today is the day, the day I will leave my town and everything I've ever known forever. I try to stay optimistic for Emily's sake, but as for my own, I know we will never be able to return unless we're desperate. Even if the Plague were to subside, we probably wouldn't be accepted back into their lifestyle. Anyone who deserts civilization id deemed a traitor by the High Priest, which leads to prison or even death by beheading.
I pull out my tiny journal, scribbling in the date so fast it might as well be scribbles.
I'm leaving this journal behind. If you are reading this, I will either be dead or far away. Keep my secret until completely safe, then do what you will with it. All I ask is that the world be rid of all this mess by the time my writings are found. Emily and I are leaving for good, and I wish not to carry such a burden with me. Hold close what I can hold no longer.
Sincerely and forever more,
I glance around at the men burying bodies, making sure none are watching. When all is safe, I throw the journal into a pit with only one body, my mother's. By law, if someone were to find her in her own spot with no sharing room for the thousands of others that must be put in the ground, I would be imprisoned for dishonoring the dead. It basically means every body should get equal share of what land we have. I saw her body just laying in a pile, and I couldn't help myself. She was too special to just lob into the dirt like trash. I even put some flowers down there with her, shed a tear, and said a prayer. Of course, the other men saw me do this, but let me play out my little scenario while it lasted. They know what it feels like.
I throw all the money I own in the sack. Seven Gold, eleven Silver, and three Bronze. I spent tow Gold and six silver on food this afternoon. I now have a block of cheese, five sleeves of crackers, a box full of dried meat jerky, and about a three months supply of apples. Not to mention the twenty nine flasks full of water that cost me an entire Gold. Anyway, it should keep Emily and I going for almost four months, if we use it right. I've calculated that we will last five months and three days if we drink a quarter flask a day and eat two meals that consist of a cracker and a strip of dried meat as long as my forearm. Hunger shouldn't be a problem, we're used to it. It will be better eating then any day here, that's for sure. Plus, we have the cheese and apples for the first few days, so they won't go bad.
"Ready?" I swing the sack with most of our food in it over my back, then grab the two other burlap blankets that have served as more sacks. They will make good means of warmth in the winter, if we even make it that long.
"As I'll ever be." Emily comes out in her new thick pants and light non-sleeved shirt I got earlier. Her other dressings are in the sacks. I did buy a winter cloak, but nothing fancy. Emily can't go running through the forest beyond the tree at the graveyard in her skirt anyways. Just one more thing left to do, and it's not a pretty one.
I snatch up the knife that I always keep in my pocket, grab my shoulder length hair, and start sawing it off piece by piece. Emily watches in horror as I smile in triumph of the lice while cutting off their only source of life. When most of my hair occupies the floor of my old home, I wave the knife in Emily's shocked face. She violently shakes her head no. I laugh.
"Only a few inches, it won't by a boy hair cut." Her hair goes don to her waist, she can afford to lode a few inches. She steps forward cautiously and I grab her braid, sawing it until it only reaches her armpits. She smooth's it down, braids it back together again, and we walk out of the door hand in hand for the last time.