I’m painstakingly dragged out of bed every morning to go jogging with Alice who’s turned into some sort of exercise nut. Even though it’s awful at first and I just want to go back to sleep, I admit I do feel great after each session. I noticed something earlier as well when I was pulling on a shirt, something I didn’t know was possible. My stomach was turning firm and slimmer and I hardly get winded anymore doing tai-kwon-do.
“How long did you say it would take for the vaccinations to start wearing off?” I ask Jackson one day while we were eating dinner together. Amelia and Alice were still out doing stuff like most nights, leaving me in Jackson’s company. I’m okay with it though. He makes for great company.
“Hmm,” he has to think for a second. “Something like a year from your last needle.”
“I wonder what’s happening with me then,” I glance down at my belly feeling worried. I hate it when I do something out of the abnormal.
“What’s going on?”
“I’ve gotten slimmer which shouldn’t be possible. It’s not my birthday for another few months.”
“Oh that. A lot of our bodies changed doing exercise. While you literal appearance doesn’t change, the skin, hair and eyes, your body starts to transition months before you’re ready for the next needle.”
“Oh,” I make it sound like I understand, but I don’t. I thought I was good at science, but it seems I’m not.
Either way, I love the way I feel now, like I’m doing something. When Alice gets home with Amelia from some nursing mission (I think there was an accident with the men digging out the tunnel), I show her in our bedroom.
“Dude,” Alice grins as she pats my belly. “You’re like, rock.”
“This is just the start,” Amelia warns as she gathers her stuff for a shower, something I’ve completely forgotten about today. “Your thighs will start toning up and you’ll get muscly arms.”
“How can you go out for supplies when you look different?”
“The Chocolate Society isn’t THAT perfect. If you look close enough, like really hard, you’ll notice that some people do have different body shapes. For example, one girl had a lopsided eyebrow at the checkout. It was only small, but you learn to pick these things up in time. Some people seem a little more squat while some seem prestigious.”
“I can’t believe I’ve never noticed these things,” Alice face palms. “You guys are so smart.”
“We have to be,” Amelia grabs her toiletries. “You guys coming? The showers shouldn’t be to crowded with dinner going on right now.”
I consider pointing out that most had dinner and finished it ten minutes ago, but I choose not too and instead grab my pyjamas that consist of drawstring pants and t-shirt along with my hair brush and tooth brush.
So some rebel camp genius had the amazing idea of building showers into the tunnel. Apparently it took them years, right from the start of the Chocolate Society to about five years ago. They had to gather tiles, showerheads and figure out the plumbing on top of it all. At first I was worried where they got the water from, but Collin, the science geek that helped Toby and Alice that day, led me to an underground tank where the plumbing was hooked up. It turns out the geniuses hooked it up to one of the main underground water supplies for TCS (the Chocolate Society), meaning as long as the Society kept functioning, they had water. I asked if they’d just happen to notice hundreds of people stealing their water, but he shook his head and told me,
“They don’t even check it. If we blew it up, yeah they’d probably notice that, but so far they’ve been to dumb to check.”
It’s not exactly reassuring, but I find myself enjoying the showers after a day of exercise and work, if we have anything on.
Basically the showers are set up like they are in school gyms, little cubicles allowing rows of people to go at once. There’s set’s of these all throughout the camp, allowing the people from different areas to shower in walking distance from their homes. The only downfall?
They’re unisex, meaning you could be showering next to a man.
If one thing needed to be changed it the camp, it would be this tiny detail. It isn’t exactly fun walking around in a towel where men could see you and not get into trouble. I have this phobia a guy will stick his head under the cubicle so I spend most of my shower time pressed against the wall, prepared to attack who ever tries such a thing.
Luckily, the men here seem pretty decent and even turn away as us girls walk around in towels to give us privacy.
A few days ago, the most hilarious thing happened, however. Alice and I left the showers at the same time, wrapped in towels. For some weird unknown reason, Toby happened to be using this block of showers instead of his own so you could imagine me embarrassment when I accidentally hit him.
Now, you can really tell Toby works out. Though pretty small, a line of abs spreads down and across his stomach. He didn’t realise who I was and I didn’t know he was myself until Alice interrupted my probably inappropriate thoughts with a bit of a squeak.
All my thoughts went out the window and instead of thinking he was kind of hot, I then started thinking he needed to work out more.
Oh the embarrassment.
While Alice works in the nursing bay most days, I work with a group of people in the supply shed, organising the stuff brought in daily. It’s like having your own store to look after.
My work buddies include Carmen (oh joy), a young boy named Michael, an older woman named Beth and a man about Jackson’s age named Silas. Michael’ my own personal working buddy. He hasn’t had his needles in two years, he says, which is pretty obvious since he’s got a head of golden curls and is the skinniest little thing you’ll ever see.
Life in the rebel camp is pretty awesome, well, that is until they find a government official running around the tunnels.