Dear Diary,

It's been one whole week since I've been with Marvis. He's a pleasure to travel with, actually, which is surprising considering his awful habits. I have no doubt he'd gamble his pants off just for the thrill of it. We met with a larger man, Brad, I think. He seems nice enough, if not in the least bit unstable. I don't worry about my safety at all. I begin to wonder why they haven't attacked me yet. We have a common goal, yes, but still. In this day and age, even I'm smart enough to know what happens to people like me.

We walked a ways and talked about this and that, nothing too extraordinary, plants and dirt and things. The walk itself was enjoyable, at least for me. Nothing exciting happened until about an hour down the neglected road, we heard a ruckus. From afar, it looked like someone was being mugged, but as we moved in closer, it felt more malicious and intended than a mere robbery. I stood in place while Marvis tried to sneak up behind the burly attacker. I found it kind of funny, Marvis sneaking. He's not very good at it, but I didn't have the heart to tell him. Maybe someday he'll learn that bit on his own. Unfortunately for us, the man saw Marvis' obnoxious hair and came barreling at us. Trying to decide what the best course of action would have been, I simply stood motionless, as if time itself had slowed up just enough for me to make a decision. I remembered the slingshot I had found last month in a mailbox in front of a sad-looking house. My parents would always say that the world ending like this was a good thing. That they didn't have any bills to pay anymore. I didn't understand it when I was younger. They would always say words like 'debt' and 'credit' and 'bankruptcy'. I remember seeing letters lying around the living room, like subtle reminders of what life used to be like. I remember coloring on them with ballpoint pens, drawing sloppy pictures of houses with the happy little sun behind them. Why was the sun always smiling? What did it have to be happy about? The fact that it was going to burn alive until it would finally burn out? Everything burns out eventually. Even the sun.

I realized I was daydreaming quickly and took a shaky shot at the attacker coming at me. Needless to say, I missed. The uneven little stone whizzed right over his head. The one time I could've proved myself, and I failed. I was too busy reminiscing on useless, stupid things. Is this how it's going to be?
Marvis quickly caught the man in the back of the knee with a crowbar Brad had tossed him. It sounded painful from the cry he let out. I suppose it's a good thing, better him than us. Brad pounced on the opportunity like a cat on a field mouse, jabbing both knives into the man's ribs. I'm surprised he lived, the man, that is. He slumped to the ground in a heap of blood and sweat. We gathered around him, ignoring the other crumpled man we had originally came over for. He begged for mercy in the most pathetic way. We all stood around, waiting to see who would suggest what we all were thinking. I didn't feel like wasting time.
“It'd be cruel to let him suffer like this, wouldn't it? Given his wounds, he'd be infected and sick within the day.”
It sounded meaner than I thought it would. But it's true, no person should have to live in a world like this with injuries like those. It would just be kinder to...

My thoughts had been interrupted. He had gotten up and started to wander away, trying to keep on his feet as he blubbered from the pain. Marvis thought it was best to let him go, though, I'm not sure why. Why would you let a soul go like that? I'm in no way religious or anything, but wasn't there something about treating your neighbors like you treat yourself? At least, that's what my dad would always say. It kept me humble; kept me from being mean like the other kids. I never liked the other kids anyways. They were always out for themselves. Always robbing and hurting and pushing and throwing. So destructive. Were kids always like this? I wish I knew what my parents were like when they were little. They would know. Maybe kids are like this because of what happened to our earth? Maybe they are just defending themselves. But I defend myself, and I don't need to steal or hurt anyone. I thought children were supposed to be innocent, you know, small-minded and simple. Children are supposed to dream of little things, like tree houses and candy, not looting and fighting. Or, maybe it's just me? Am I just the odd one out? Am I faulty because that's what I dream about; animals on farms and the golden color of hay bales? My mom would tell me that when she was little, she lived on a farm. She said that when cats had kittens, they would always find themselves cuddled up with the cows because they were warm. I always wished I could see something like that. Something so seemingly simple, but primal and natural. I suppose that's impossible though now. I will still dream about it though, no one can stop that from happening.

Maybe that's why he chose to kill himself. To treat himself like his neighbor? Or, his wife, rather. It seems backwards, but I guess I will never really understand. That's okay though. I'm sure everything will work out for the best, right? If everything happens for a reason like he said, then it will. I mean, there's a reason we found this guy on the side of the road. We saved him it seems. Welcome, Roland. What a mess of neighbors we have here.

-Bindi