Drops in the Sky

One foot in front of the other. That's all I knew. Just keep walking. Get water when you can. Get food when you can. Just keep walking. For 92 days, that's all I knew. And then, I met Amber Jeffries. And, by God, that girl became all I knew. All I wanted to know. But the War was all that mattered. Fighting is all that matters.

In World War Four, 10 billion people were killed. I'm one of the lucky two billion that survived. So was Amber Jeffries. Unfortunately, 1.9 billion people live in Europe. Mostly France, and a couple areas just outside of it. I'm in the hundred million left in what used to be the United States, which is currently in the midst of a Civil War. And I'm right in the middle of it.

We're kind of a mess. My life's messy. But Amber... She keeps everything together.

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4. four

"Tommy, I don't know about it..." 

"Why not? He's right, you know. You would be good in the army. And we both know you'd hate working at the plant with me." 

"I wouldn't hate it!" 

"Yes, you would," he says. "You'd get so bored. Fighting is what you live for." 

"But we'd be so far- I just don't know how it would work out." 

"Amber, it's only a couple hour's drive. It will work." 

"But we had everything planned out... I just don't want to ruin it." 

"Literally nothing in our lives so far has gone according to plan. Amber, everything's going to be fine. I know you want to go. Just go with him." 

"The random guy we picked up on the side of the road?" 

My brother gives me a pointed look. "The random guy we picked up on the side of the road? That's all he is?" 

I roll my eyes. "Yes. That's all he is. Just some rando." 

"Rando?" 

"Rando." 

"Whatever you say, Amber," Tommy says with a laugh. "You are going to join the army. You hear me?" I nod. Jeez. My brother's a bossyboots

He gives me another pointed look. 

"What now?" I say with an exasperated sigh. 

"Anything else you want to tell me?" He asks, clearly hinting at something. I want to slap that stupid smirk right off his stupid face. 

"Like what?" I ask, playing dumb. "What are you suggesting?" 

"Like the new hot guy in the back of our truck?" 

I rolled my eyes. "He's not hot." 

Tommy stares at me. "What? He's not my type."

Another pointed look is aimed in my direction. "Okay, fine. He's okay. But you're the one who thinks so. Not me." 

My brother laughs. "Girl, you're into him." 

"Please,I scoff. "He's about as appealing as a rubber tire." 

"Rubber tire?" 

"Mhm."

"Whatever you say, sis." 

"What in the world makes you think I'm looking for anything remotely related to romance?" I demand.

"I dunno," he says. "Anyways, you're stealing my focus. Gotta keep my eyes on the road. Go sit in the back," he says. He gives me a sideways smirk. 

"Fine!" I say. Tommy stops the truck. 

"Everything okay up there?" Justin calls. I open the door and jog to the back, hopping in and sitting across from him. 

"My brother was being an ass," I mutter. 

He laughs. I notice that his grey shirt still has a fake blood stain on it from earlier. 

"Do you have a different shirt to change into?" I ask. He shakes his head. "I'll grab one of my brother's. He won't mind." 

"Thanks," he says. I stand up and make my way to the crate that contains Tommy and my belongings, and rummage through it until I find a plain black tee shirt. I ball it up and toss it to Justin. He catches it easily. I glance down and notice I'm still wearing my white tank top, as well. There's a giant blood stain on my stomach. I pull out another one of Tommy's shirts to wear, too lazy to find mine which are trapped on the bottom. I turn around and see...

Abs. Very nice abs. I turn quickly. 

"Sorry," I mutter. 

"No worries," he says. "You can turn now." 

I turn and notice that his shirt's a little... small. Although he's much taller, Tommy's a string bean. The shirt is stretched tight across his chest, showing the outline of his hard abs. Damn it. 

"The shirt's a little tight," he states the obvious. 

"Just a tad," I say. His eyes catch mine; his deep blue eyes stare at me. They look like the ocean. Millions of colors and layers.

He glances at the floor awkwardly and runs his hand through his dark brown hair. I bite my cheek.

"So..." he begins. "Glad you decided to join the army." 

"Tommy and I are still talking through some kinks, but, yeah. I'm pretty sure I'm gonna do it." He smiles a genuine smile; a dimple appears on his left cheek. Wait. His right, my left. Right? No, his left, my right. No, no, I was right the first time. His right cheek. Whatever. 

He sits, perfectly relaxed, against the edge of the truck bed. His posture is so... comfortable. I squirm, noticing my muscles which are sore from being constantly tense. It's hard not to always be alert when you've been through what I've been through. One minute, you're eating ice cream, watching movies, and talking about boys with your best friend. The next, she has a gun to your forehead. After that, you hear two gunshots from upstairs, and here the soft thud of two bodies hitting the ground. You throw your friend off of you, run upstairs and see your parents, dead on the ground. 

Yeah. Hard to trust people. 

And I don't. I don't trust anyone except Tommy. I sure as hell don't trust Justin. Well, maybe a little. Maybe? I'm not sure. I definitely wouldn't trust him with my life, but I think there's something genuine about him. The other night, when he told me his story, what happened to his family... there's just no way someone could fake that. 

I admire how he can be so carefree and joking, even in the face of impending death. 

Okay, fine, that's a little dark, but with the Service killing everyone they see, how can you not imagine your future gruesome death? With lots of blood and gore? Or electricity? Maybe just a gun. Yeah, that'd be quick and painless. Hopefully it'll be a gun. 

"How much longer till we're at base?" Justin asks, breaking the silence. I look up. Our eyes meet. 

"'Bout a day," I say. Tommy's going to drop us off at the base and then drive to the plant. "What do they even do in the army, anyways?" I ask. 

"Nowadays, it's mostly trying to stop the GWRPS and shutting down their plants," he explains. I think it's... strange? Is that the word? Anyways, irregular that he calls them the GWRPS. I've gotten so used to just calling them the services. Anyways, they'vebeen creating water plants that emit toxic water, so anyone who drinks it will die. They think that by limiting the population, the rest of mankind will have a better shot at survival. 

I think they're wrong. And so does the army. 

"Sounds like fun," I say sarcastically. He stares at me, as if trying to figure out if I'm being serious or not. I'll be honest... we didn't exactly have the most pleasant meeting. What? I grew up in a crumbling world. I think it's excusable that my manners are little rusty. Okay, okay. I admit, tackling someone to the ground and pinning them down may not be the most polite way to say 'hello,' but it's better that than receive a bullet to the head. 

I know I put on a tough act, but I doubt anyone buys it. Well, except maybe my brother. Yeah, that guy is terrified of me. 

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