Since we've returned from the station, everyone has been in a good mood. We felt like we really accomplished something special. We did. That was definitely the most intense experience I've had. Everyone thanked me for the help and paid me with a pistol and two magazines. They thought I earned it. I couldn't argue. I had no more bullets left in the one I got from Richmond, and a new one with extra ammo wasn't all that bad. Anyways, they had like, ten pistols and a thirty magazines. I knew if they gave one of each away, they weren't going to miss it.
I explained to everyone I needed to get back on the road soon. James told me that everyone has their own mission and he's not going to get in the way with mine. They wanted something to remember me by, and for me to have something in return. We came up with the plan to write out names on the handguns in sharpie. I left the empty handgun I had with them. I had written my name along the top. I proudly holstered the new one with the names Emily, Ben, James, Steve and Bernard written on it.
After giving everyone a hug, James told me he would drive me back with the gasoline to my car on the other side of the campground. I packed the rest of the stuff I had left behind for when we went to the station and joined him. James hauled the heavy containers up the stairs and onto the back of the golf cart. On the way back, we discussed a little about our pasts.
I told him I had lived in Richmond with my mother and father. We were a happy family and had a lot of fun times together, along with my school life. James told me he was an electrician before the apocalypse. His wife had left him about a year ago and he was lonely. Steve was his best friend and they decided to spend the summer at this campground just to get away from the city a bit. James and Steve were from Ohio. They had met Emily, Steve and Bernard while staying at the campground.
Our conversation carried us all the way to the other side of the campground and to the exit. I spotted my car parked across the road. We both got out and James refilled my gas tank for me. After looking at the map together and finding a route back onto the highway, James said I was welcome back anytime. They planned to stay around here for a long, long time. We hugged goodbye one more time and told each other to "Take care of yourself." And with smiles, I got in my car and drove off waving goodbye. James walked back into his golf cart and started to drive back to his friends. I was on the road again. This time with a full tank of gas.
And I was heading for Kentucky.
End of Part One