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Page cleared the hatch and was a little surprised to see both Hank and Martin waiting for her. Martin had his stupid smile in place, but Page was in no mood for his flirting right now. She frowned to Hank. ‘Why didn’t you two warn me about that pipe down there?’ He frowned confused.

‘What pipe?’ Hank asked

‘There is a pipe on the right hand side that is hotter than hell.’ She explained.

‘That sounds like one of the hot steam pipes for the heating system.’ Martin said frowning. ‘You did not hit it did you? I accidentally leaned against it last winter and gave myself a nasty burn.’ Page looked to her arm where she had hit it. There was a half an inch thick bright red line that was already forming a blister.

‘Ouch.’ Hank winced. ‘Come down to medical. I have some cream that will help. We can go to the radio room after.’ He looked to Martin. ‘Can you go now just in case they need help once the antenna is wired in.’ He looked reluctant, but nodded and left them. ‘Actually, the same cream is in the kitchen’s first aid kit. I just wanted to get rid of him.’ Page chuckled amused and followed Hank through the mess hall to the kitchen. He glanced to her as he cleaned up her arm. ‘Kidd told me you had trouble on the path.’ She looked to him confused. ‘He thought it was your back bothering you. He told me he spotted a house in the woods and you became stiff and did not move until he took your hand.’ Page frowned shaking her head.

‘It’s nothing.’ She assured him. She liked Hank, but she did not want to talk about it. The doctor sighed spreading the cream on her burn.

‘Page, you are a good person.’ He said looking to her frowning. ‘We heard some of the stuff you went through on the radio. All of those people you helped. Of all the people left in this world, you are the last person who should have gone through what you did. Unfortunately, you did go through it. Believe me when I tell you, it will feel better to talk about it.’ He held up his hands when she opened her mouth to tell him to mind his own business. ‘It does not have to be with me. Find someone you trust to talk with. This world is harsh enough without having to suffer with PTSD on top of it.’

Page frowned confused. She had thought only soldiers suffered from PTSD. Her twin had written to her a lot while he was in the service. He told her of several cases of soldiers diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, but were sent back into the field.

‘I thought that only soldiers got that.’ She said and Hank shook his head.

‘Anyone who has survived a traumatic event can get it.’ Hank explained. ‘I have treated everyone from military personnel, to children who had been in car accidents. It happens and frankly, I would have been a little shocked if you didn’t end up with it.’ Page sighed shaking her head.

‘There is someone I can talk to.’ She sighed ‘I just can’t get ahold of him right now. Not since my phone was destroyed.’

‘Mouth?’ Hank asked.

‘Oh god no.’ Page said annoyed. ‘Knowing him, he will have it all over the damn radio. He knows that shit annoys the hell out of me.’ Hank let out a deep chuckle and he put the cream back in the first aid kit.

‘Well whoever it is,’ He said ‘talk to them. Trust me when I tell you it will help.’ He frowned. ‘How have you been sleeping? Do you still have any of those pills I gave you?’ She shrugged.

She had run out almost a week ago. Not wanting to wake Kidd, she waited until he slept and then just walked around the base, or watched TV in the common room. The base had an extensive library of TV shows and movies. Hank shook his head.

‘I am your doctor Page.’ He told her ‘Anything you tell me is always just between us.’ Page sighed and told him. He nodded frowning. ‘Once we finish helping Woody, come down to the med bay and I will give you a refill. I know you do not want your son to worry so we will call it a vitamin.’ Page nodded.

‘Can you tell me the name of it?’ She asked. ‘If I still need it when we leave here, I can find some on the road.’ He did as asked and she committed the name to memory. The two left the kitchen and went back down to the third floor. Woody, Kidd, and Martin were all crammed into the room. Woody was working at the back of the radio.

‘The new wire helped.’ He told the two as they entered. ‘We are picking up chatter loud and clear now. The problem is we still cannot broadcast. I think the transmitter is shot. I have two more, but it will take me time to fix it.’ Page nodded frowning. She really wanted to talk to Mouth so she could pass a message to Ty.

‘Thank you Woody.’ She told him ‘Unless you need anymore help, we will come back in the morning.’ He shook his head.

‘No thanks. I have it from here.’ He said with a big smile. ‘You three were great. Thanks for the hand.’ They waved him off and left. Page was happy that Martin stayed behind, but she felt bad for Woody.

Kidd did not question why they stopped at medical, or ask her what pills the doctor had given her. He seemed to be in a cheerful mood on the way up to the room.

‘I can’t wait to talk to Mouth.’ Kidd told her as she tucked him into his bed. ‘I think he will be really surprised.’ Page chuckled amused

‘Is that what has you so giddy?’ She teased. ‘Well don’t worry. I trust Woody to have the radio fixed by morning.’ She kissed is forehead. ‘Now go to sleep.’ He smiled closing his eyes. Page went to the sink and got a glass of water. She hated the water here. Not only did it have an overpowering taste of metal, it smelled like chemicals. She popped the sleeping pill into her mouth and drank fast. Fighting the urge to gag, she rinsed out her glass and put it away.

Page crawled into bed and lay there staring at the wall. She wondered what tomorrow would bring. With the storm raging outside, they would be stuck inside the bunker for who knew how long. So far, she had kept Kidd entertained, but she was running out of ideas. What they needed was some kind of project to keep them busy when they had no school or classes to think over. With a sigh, she closed her eyes. She and Kidd would brain storm about it tomorrow.

 

The sound of the Mouth talking woke her. Kidd was sitting at the table with the radio playing. The boy was almost never up before her and she went to look at her watch to see what time it was. The action made her frown. Her watch had been smashed along with her ham and phone.

‘What time is it?’ She asked Kidd who had the same kind of watch she used to have. The boy was pale and looked in shock. Page almost asked him what was wrong, and then she heard what Mouth was talking about. He was telling the whole world what had happened to her, and how Kidd had rescued her. At Martin’s name, instant rage flooded through her. She stood and opened the door to find the man himself standing there with his hand raised to knock. Hank was standing right behind him looking worried.

‘Who the fuck do you think you are?’ She demanded before he could say anything. ‘What right did you think you had to blab what happened to me to Mouth?’ He opened his mouth but Page would not let him speak. ‘My brother, boyfriend, people I love like family listen to Mouth! I did not want them to find out about it like that! You had no right!’ She poked him hard in the chest. ‘You just stay the fuck away from me and Kidd. When this storm clears, we are out of here.’ She went back into the room slamming to door behind her. ‘Fuck!’ She snapped outraged before grabbing a pot and filling it with water. She slammed it onto the stove spilling more that half of it.

‘Mom,’ Page looked to the table to see Kidd watching her. All of her anger drained when she saw the fear in the boy’s eyes. Page’s shoulders sagged and she sat across from him sighing. ‘I am sorry Kidd.’ She told the boy. ‘I didn’t mean to scare you.’ He got off his chair and crawled into her lap. The last of her anger drained as she hugged the boy close. She reached over and turned off the radio. There was a light knock on the door, before it was cracked open and Hank peeked in.

‘Is it safe?’ He asked

‘That depends,’ Page growled annoyed. ‘Were you part of it?’ Hank entered shaking his head.

‘No, I found out afterwords.’ He told her annoyed. ‘I went running to find Martin the second I heard the broadcast and told him he was an idiot.’ Hank shook his head and looked to her worried. ‘Please don’t leave Page.’ He pleaded as he sat down on the lower bunk. ‘There are twenty people in the hallway giving Martin an ear full for what he did. No one wants you or Kidd to leave. I don’t know if this is your first winter in Montana, but they can be unpredictable and harsh. You saw how fast this storm came up on us.’

Page nodded frowning. She knew what he was saying. The winter spent in Stan’s barn had been one of the roughest she had ever experienced. The storm that had gotten them there in the first place had been just like the one that hit yesterday. If she took Kidd out of the bunker, they would both die.

‘All right.’ She sighed. ‘We will stay.’ She gave him a hard look. ‘Keep Martin away from us.’ Hank nodded.

‘I will talk to him.’ He promised. ‘Mouth is on the radio asking to talk to you.’ Page shook her head.

‘I am finished with him as well.’ She told him. ‘Tell him he can go fuck himself and find someone else's life to ruin.’ Hank sighed getting up.

‘I will just leave you two to rest.’ He said ‘Page, when you are feeling better, I need to give you another check up. I will be down in the med bay when you’re ready.’ She nodded and Hank opened the door to leave. ‘Everyone just back off.’ He said annoyed. ‘They want to be left alone right now.’ He pushed his way out of the room and closed the door behind him.

‘Are you hungry little man?’ Page asked as she rubbed Kidd’s back. ‘I was digging through our packs last night and found some oatmeal and a small jar of those strawberry preserves you like so much.’ He looked up to her frowning.

‘Jimbo told me their radio frequency when he was showing me how to use the ham radio.’ He said ‘Can we call them after we eat? They will be worried about us.’ Page nodded.

‘I was planning to call them.’ She assured him. ‘I want to see if Ty and Theo have stopped there yet.’ Kidd nodded. Page stood and moved the boy to his chair. ‘As cozy as you are, I can’t cook with you on my lap.’ He giggled as she tickled his side.

Once Page cleaned up the spilled water, she went to work making them some oatmeal. Kidd had gotten up and helped by toasting the slices of bread they had gotten from the kitchen. It was one of the only foods in the bunker that did not have that strange taste to it.


Submitted: January 16, 2016

© Copyright 2021 CJones. All rights reserved.

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