It’s gone quiet outside now too. I hear nothing on the other side of the door. I fling it open to find the hotel in disarray and the girls gone. How did they forget me? Did they not hear me yell? Did something happen?
All power is gone now, the only light is the dull grey-white light coming through the window from the overcast sky outside. It looks as ominous as it feels.
I consider all possibilities and am filled with a slow forming panic. I want to call home to see if my family is ok. I want to talk with my mum but I can’t. My iPhone is just an empty battery cell – no internet, no service. I’m racked with guilt for not calling when I still could have. Now I’m alone.
Except there’s Bundy, right where he always is, to my left. I don’t know how he’s allowed to be in this hotel but here he is. We need to leave, I know better than to try the lift so it will have to be the stairwell.
I’m scared of leaving though – I don’t know what I’ll find out there. It could be chaotic and dangerous – fires, looting, maniacs taking matters into their own hands. Or there could be just nothing – everyone and everything gone leaving just a void.
I look down at my dog, he tells me he trusts me with his eyes. I know I have no choice because we can’t stay here.
As I start for the door I hear the whoosh and feel the rhythmical vibration of rotors. I turn back in gob-smacked amazement as a military helicopter slowly rises into view through the large window. I throw my arms over my face as the window shatters with the pressure of the air. Glass rains down around us, it’s deafening and the wind is threatening to drag me out over the edge.
A faceless army dude in a harness hollers to me and throws me a life line. I move to tie Bundy first but the guy waves his arms madly and screams at me over the noise “there’s only room for one, you have to leave the dog”. I see the pale, scared faces of other rescued people behind him.
I look down at Bundy and back at the chopper. I know they are not going to save us both, ever. I see their will to survive and sense their frantic resentment of my intent to fill their precious space with a dog.
It’s not even a conscious decision I have to make, it just is what it is. I wave them on and scream “I’m not leaving him, I’ll do it my way”.
Faceless army dude just shrugs and retracts the lifeline.
Bundy and I run from the room toward the exit, the fear is still there like a barely caged tiger but we’re going. We have no choice, I have to find my way back. Strangely I feel stronger for knocking back the life-line and I know with all certainty I did the right thing.
As my hand touched the door handle, thoughts are flashing through my head faster than I can keep up with them. Are the girls ok? Why did they leave me? What could I use to protect myself? Would the streets be riot-like or empty. How would I make my way home? Will there be anything left when I get there?