Chapter 4 – What Do We Do Now?

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Marie’s Journal Entry: 1

So, this is the first time I’m writing in this thing. When I was moved to Zone C16 they gave me a new journal and told me to start over. I know I should have expected it, I mean they told me when I was younger that sometimes people in the breeding program were transferred zones, but I never thought it would happen to me. Neither of my brothers were chosen for the program and my own mother stayed in her original zone. At first when I got here, I was livid. I had just been torn apart from my family and made to live with this guy who was a real…a real ass face. His whole world was about him. I could tell instantly that he was an Outsider (someone born outside of the Waste) and I was pissed about that. If I had to be paired with someone I was hoping to get a guy who was born here, like me. Who knows the struggles and hardships that come from living in the Waste. For Caleb, this is all new. He doesn’t see that people have lived like this for generations. Decades of no technology or medical breakthroughs. He’s had to survive off fruits for a few weeks, we’ve had to live off fruits for our whole lives. This isn’t just something he can come in and fix. He told me that he was mad that he was put in the service sector. Does he not realize that food is just as important as other things? Without a way to properly store our food, we have no way to save it. It just gets thrown out. And wasting food is one of the worst things that we could do.

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Now, I’m not saying that he’s a horrible person, he’s just…like a baby. I’ve had to show him how to properly fish. How to stop the areas in the water that are more likely to have the bigger fish. Bigger fish means less time spent outside fishing. And I showed him how to properly clean the fish in a way to maximize the meat. He’d been throwing away half the fish! I with the outside government would make these people take survival courses before sending them here. Caleb was so ill prepared, I couldn’t believe it. He told me that he didn’t any sort of training, they just sent him here.

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Beyond all the help that I’ve been trying to give him, I’ve noticed that he’s become interested in me and my past. We talk at lot. More then we did when I first got here, anyway. I’ve told him about growing up in the Waste, how you never know if you’ll have enough food to survive the day. I never understood how my mother did it, have three kids. Getting enough food to feed the whole family was always a struggle. I asked her about it once, and she just shrugged and said there was no way to prevent it. But I’ve seen the way she looked at my dad, she loved him with all her heart. We weren’t accidents. I had hoped to look at my partner like that .

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Sure, when Caleb and I fool around I can feel something small that might develop, but I don’t know if I’ll ever look at him like my parents looked at one another. And I know that as part of the breeding program we’re forced to make at least one baby, but I still don’t think bringing a kid into this world is a good idea. Especially with Caleb. He’s a great guy and all, well he is now. Now that’s he’s not being a complete ass face anymore. But he’s still an Outsider at heart.

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He always is having some sort of problem. He’s even managed to catch the ground on fire with roasting a fish. I’m trying my best to help him out, to help keep him afloat, but he’s not making it easy. You know, as someone who works around stoves and grills all day long, you would think that he’d be capable of maintaining a fire. I guess the only thing I can do is to keep helping him. My mom told me that I had a knack for being patient with people. She told me I would have made a great teacher. But since we have no schools, I guess I’ll have to settle for Caleb as my student. At least for now.

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At least until my own child is old enough to teach. Yes, you heard that right, my own child. Looks like Caleb and I have fulfilled our “quota” (I hate to think of my kid like that) in the breeding program. Caleb was…less than impressed. I’ve been telling him all about how hard it was growing up in the Waste and I think that scared him. And now we have our own little one to try and take care of.

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I told him that to really help our baby, he should throw himself into his work. If he’s able to help us get a food storage system, then that will help our baby tremendously. And he listened. I’ve never seen him work as hard or as often since I came to live with him. It’s actually pretty amazing. He’s amazing. I never thought that he had this side to him. I guess the looming threat of parenthood changes a person, and for Caleb, it’s changed him for the better.

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He’s so into his work that everyday he comes home just covered in dirt and grime. And then when he cleans up, there’s always a mess in the sink. I don’t mind that so much, since a kid is going to be pretty messy and it’s something that inevitable when you live in the Waste. He’s admirable for working so hard for his kid, though. I find that pretty attractive. Don’t tell him I said that though.

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He’s actually inspired me. I’ve thrown myself into my work as well. While I don’t necessarily think my work is as important as Caleb’s, I want my child to have all the tools that they need to help the city when they grow up. The thought that someday my child might develop a clean water filter or help repair our atmosphere because of the textbooks that I helped create…it’s an amazing thought!

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It been great seeing the reactions from the neighbors. Most of them are actually really excited about baby. Of course about half of them are still first generation Outsiders, so they don’t really know the risks, but their excitement is good to see. Though, there is this one guy, I don’t know his real name he just goes by GRPGE-05012, that is really pissed that I’m pregnant. He just scowls at me every time he sees me. Does he not realize that being pregnant isn’t the easiest thing either?

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You know, I don’t know how my mom did this pregnancy thing three times. The number of trips I’ve made into the bathroom during a day is amazing. I swear I’ve spent about half my day in the bathroom, whether at home or at work.

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And the back pain! It’s terrible! And there’s no relief for it at all. It hurts when I stand and it hurts when I sit and it hurts when I lay down. There’s no relief. Caleb does give me back massages and that helps for all of two seconds and then the pain would come back again. Sometimes it’s so bad that I can’t sleep. Which doesn’t help me at all. The other day I actually passed out because I didn’t get enough sleep the night before. And let me tell you, that did nothing to help my back problems.

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And the pregnancy cravings? Ugh. I keep asking Caleb if there’s anyway he could sneak me a cheeseburger or something from work because there’s just no way I can eat fish again, but he says no. Which is dumb. He should know that when he says that it just pisses me off and I’m always on the edge these days.

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I mean even right now as I write this! He’s hovering next to me asking me if I’m all right. I’m not all right damn it! I just want a cheeseburger! Is that too much to ask! Even my baby is hungry! It just keeps kicking me! I feel like I’m about to explode! Wait…that might be labor! I think I’m having my baby!

~Marie

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5 thoughts on “Chapter 4 – What Do We Do Now?”

  1. I really like Marie’s voice. She offers a very interesting perspective since she’s grown up in the Waste.

    I’m curious; what are you going to do about the gourmet cooking requirement? I assume that Caleb is going for the culinary restriction. I’ve had to delay that restriction until gen 3 so that they can order skill books.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree. I was super excited to write this chapter because of Marie’s point of view of the situation.

      I’ve read a few options on how to deal with the gourmet skill and I think that the best option would be to order skill books. So That’s why I’ve got Marie in the Author career so that we can order skill books.

      Liked by 1 person

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