I cannot believe he has written this much shit. It is unfrickingbelievable. There are reams and reams of files on this fricking POS laptop that he’s written all by himself. It’s astounding the meathead did all of this.
Reams. Legit. Like, fricking reams and stuff. I read all day yesterday, all night last night, and all day today, and I am less than halfway through what he’s written. I can’t believe he’s been doing this the whole damn time.
I still feel like a bit of a skank for reading it all though. Although I must admit, it is kind of fun to read through someone’s diary like this. It’s dirty. Fun.
Of course, if Adrian dies, this all stops in a rush. This becomes the last words of a dead man trying to atone for his past mistakes, and trying to do the right thing when so many of us choose over and over to do the wrong thing. This epitaph won’t fit on any headstone. From what Doc Lindsey says, he does not look good.
I wasn’t sure what to say, or where to start, but based on how Adrian has been writing in this diary, I am going to start with what just happened, and fill it in from there.
Chris Sunderman shot Adrian in the head in the apple orchard the other day. It was four days ago I think. Maybe five. To be completely honest, I don’t remember. Things have been such a whirlwind here trying to make everything happen with Adrian down. I haven’t been sleeping good when I do sleep, and it is getting harder and harder to distinguish when I’m awake from when I’m asleep. I need to string maybe 5 or 6 fricking hours of sleep together to get my fricking brain back in one piece again.
Here’s the story as I can remember it from the orchard:
We’d arrived with a huge crew of dudes and chicks to pick apples and make the place safe. I remember Adrian saying the place would be safe because it was out in the middle of nowhere, and he said that the majority of the folks we’d brought were just going to be picking apples all day. I don’t think he had any idea what was going to happen. I don’t see how he could’ve known.
There was fruit everywhere. Apples on the ground, in the trees, you name it. Fruit everywhere. It was like the Garden of Eden 2k11. Sweetness everywhere. I nearly ate myself sick on sweet little red apples that were as yummy as could be.
A few hours into our visit after we’d dropped a few zeds that were wandering in the area, Adrian was off on his own on the fringe of the orchard pulling security as he says when I realized I had a question for him. I needed to ask him how we wanted to sort the storage of the fruit on the trucks and stuff. I came around the end of a row of trees and saw Chris walking towards Adrian, calm as can be. Normal. Adrian had his back turned to the two of us, and before I could do anything about it, Chris raised his rifle, and shot Adrian in the back. Adrian went face down in the tall grass far too hard for my comfort. I remember screaming bloody murder at Chris.
At first I thought he shot Adrian by mistake. I thought holy shit, he thought Adrian was a zombie. That had to be it, right? Only way it could’ve happened.
But Chris turned towards me, and when I saw the look in his eyes, I knew something was wrong. He was vacant. His eyes were like, not focused on the real world or something. Not quite there, like he was sleepwalking or something. I know he lifted his gun towards me, and I just did what Adrian always told me to do. It was like, total reflex. I know I dropped down low, on one knee, and flicked the safety to fire. I think I yelled one more time for him to either like, drop his gun, or maybe freeze or something. He didn’t do whatever it was I asked him to, and I pulled the trigger. I fricked up though, because I thought I flicked the switch once, and instead did it twice. That’s the three round burst option, which I know Adrian hates most of the time. I guess it worked out, because I hit him in the guts with all three shots. Well, two in the guts, and one went into his ribs.
Chris went down, and I grabbed my radio and freaked my shit for help. I don’t think I even said words. Just screaming over and over as I knelt in the grass next to Adrian. The next hour or two was a blur. I can only remember a few things to be perfectly honest.
Adrian was shot in the back of the head, right at the base of the skull, from what I saw. The bullet didn’t come out either, so it is still inside his head or neck right now. I think at least. I wasn’t digging my fingers around in the hole, if you know what I mean. There was so much blood. I remember so clearly how he was on the green grass in the middle of the orchard, surrounded by red apples. They surrounded him like huge drops of blood. Surreal. Adrian kept coughing up blood as his eyes rolled up into his head over and over. His face and throat were almost black from bruising. He was in and out of it the entire ride back to school. At one point, with Mallory clutching his hand and sobbing like I was, he rolled his head over to me, and in complete seriousness, totally in control of himself, he said two sentences to me:
“Otis is my homeboy Abby. Don’t let our story go unwritten…” He laid his head down on the little pillow on the stretcher in the HRT, and that was it. He hasn’t said anything else or opened his eyes since then. He’s been out of it. Not gone, but going.
His words made no sense. None whatsoever. No idea what the hell he was talking about. We both thought he was delirious with pain, or whatever. It wasn’t until late that night sitting around his little bed with Caleb Sophie Mallory and tiny Adam in Doc Lindsey’s little clinic in that fricking administration building I hate so much that Mallory turned to me and was like, “Abby, I think I know what he meant.”
We got up and left everyone behind, which was a lot of folks. People were clustered around outside waiting to see if he’d make it. It seemed at the time that everyone was either crying, or holding on to someone who was. Almost like one of those vigils for the dying or something. It was weird. Almost religious. I dunno how to describe it. I think you just had to be there.
Mallory and I booked it to Hall E, and we went into their room. Sitting on the small bed stand on Adrian’s side of the bed was a laptop. This laptop. Perched on top of the damn computer was Otis, and I swear he was waiting for us. As soon as we both walked in he perked up, and his tail started swishing back and forth. Now I knew he’d been writing in it off and on for a long time, which was all good and all, but this is silly. Oh shit yeah so we open the computer, and it’s locked, and I type in Otis is my homeboy, and viola, the shit unlocks. It took me a bit to look through the files to make heads or tails of this, and once I did, it hit me like a ton of bricks. There are like 200+ files on here just from his diary!
He’s got spreadsheets and shit too. Maps he’s drawn and scanned in and shit, plus just random files of notes and notes and notes he’s been making. I never gave him the credit he was due. He’s such a smart guy, always thinking. It’s funny to say that though, because he still has a huge temper. Hard to think that a guy with such a rage issue can be so smart and calculating.
Horrifying when I think about it. I can’t imagine anything more frightening than Adrian mad at me. I’ve been reading about all the bullshit that went down with the Westfield folks at the school. I never really put that Sean guy’s face on it until reading Adrian’s writings. Funny that Adrian was so focused on taking that one guy out. It scares me to think what Adrian could be like when he wants blood. I’ll never forget his face the day we were attacked by the people at the farm.
When the devil has bad dreams, he’s dreaming of Adrian.
Reading all this stuff makes me miss Gilbert. Like, a lot. He was like dad #2 for me after my real dad died. I haven’t gotten to that part yet. I’m about to read it. I just know I’ll be a wreck when I read it. Sobby and shit like a little girl. Gotta be strong Abigail. Gotta be strong. For Adrian. For everyone that relies on Adrian. Gotta do this. Positive mental attitude.
Oh, the second big thing I can clearly remember is when we were loading and dealing with Adrian in the orchard, Chris was bleeding out right nearby. I went over to him, and the only thing that stopped me from caving his fricking head in was Martin. Martin grabbed my arm as gently as he could and calmed me for a second. Good thing too.
Martin went to Chris and knelt on the grass so he could talk to him. Chris was bleeding a really dark red blood out of his side onto the grass, and had coughed up a thick clot of blood on his own cheek. Not gonna lie, but it felt good to know he was getting what he deserved after shooting Adrian.
Martin asked him one question, and the answer Chris gave will sit with me until I am old and gray. Martin asked him, “Chris, why the hell did you shoot Adrian?”
Chris coughed again, and launched another thick wad of mucous and blood onto his chest. He cracked a creepy smile, and stuttered his answer, “ha. Heh heh. You said it Martin, fucking fools. (he coughed again) The Devil’s won already, we’re just slowing down the after party. I did it for the Devil you fucks. Adrian was one of the last things preventing the Lacuna from taking everything over.” (this is about what he said, I don’t remember the exact words)
Martin looked back to me like he’d heard the rantings of a madman. I think the expression on my face told him what I’d also heard didn’t seem like fiction. We’ve known Adrian was special for a long time. Gavin, my man, my love, died to make sure Adrian didn’t, and I swore to Adrian I’d do the same. Gavin knew Adrian was special, and now Martin did.
Martin looked back to Chris, and without missing a beat, punched him in the face so hard I heard his jaw break. Sounded like sticks of celery being snapped. Chris’s eyes rolled up into his head, and he was dead within seconds. Martin stood, and we all left the orchard.
Some of us have returned there already to retrieve the fruit we left behind that day, but I didn’t go. Adrian was right. Well, Adrian was mostly right:
The garden was safe for the rest of us. I’m sorry. Orchard. The orchard was safe for the rest of us.
I plan on writing here in his journal until he takes back over from me, or he dies. If he dies, I will take over permanently, and write until I die. Hopefully he doesn’t die, because I love him so much, and we need him so badly. People are already starting to unravel without his presence here. No one has his charisma, his pull, his authority. Mike is close… but it isn’t the same.
Mike is coming back from Gavin’s tower tomorrow. He will hopefully keep things on track while we figure out whether or not we are going to lose our beloved leader.
After reading all of Adrian’s writings, I felt like it was important that I share things about him he hasn’t shared about himself here. I don’t want to get into the slightly creepy habit of writing to this fictional “Mr. Journal” character, but I do feel like it is easier when I think that I am writing to someone. Who exactly I am writing to I haven’t figured out yet, but when I do, I will let you know.
So here’s an amusing fact about Adrian: he says “huh?” a lot. His hearing is fucked from concerts and gunfire, so unless you speak clearly to him, he is always asking folks to repeat themselves. Sometimes I think he asks us to repeat ourselves to give himself extra time to think before he answers, which is something he’d do.
He’s clever like that.
I miss him.