May managed to go two or three days before her food ran out. There was no way she was going home. She knew they’d be looking for her but she wanted them to worry.
On her fourth night in the barn she heard some scuffling outside the barn door. She wasn’t scared – it was probably rats or mice. A young boy crept into the barn shutting the door behind him. It took him a few minutes to see May. He had a big smile on his face and stuck out his hand. May looked up at him relieved and shook his hand.
Billy was 13 although May didn’t think he looked much over 12. He had also run away from home. He was from a family of six children and his parents had become sick in the last couple of weeks. A social worker had been to the house to collect the kids and Billy had decided he didn’t want to go with them.
May and Billy became the best of friends. After a couple of months of not being discovered at the barn they decided they had better move on before someone did find them.
They managed to hitchhike to the next town and found themselves an abandoned warehouse to stay in. Each night they would sneak out and raid the local stores bins out the back for food and jump into the recycled clothing bins to see what clothes they could find.
A few days later Billy had gone out for an hour or so to see a friend while May stayed at the warehouse. He came back looking a little dazed and confused. He’d been told about a virus that was infecting all the adults around the world. He guessed that that’s what must have made his parents sick.
May began to worry. She liked hiding out with Billy and living to her own rules but the thought of her parents dying was awful. She discussed it with Billy and decided that she would go and see her parents and let them know she was okay but that she wasn’t moving home. She would meet him back at the warehouse in a day or so.
She’d been away from home for almost three months now – it felt a little strange to see her old house. She noticed there were no cars in the driveway and the lawns looked a little overgrown. She knocked on the door…..no answer.
She peered through the windows and saw that the house was empty – no Mum, no Dad, no Lisa, Mark or the baby.
A neighbour spotted her and came over to see her. He had to break the news to her as gently as possible.
Her father had got the virus about 2 months ago and soon after that so did her mother. They had moved into the hospital and left Lisa and Mark the house to care for their baby and hope and wait for May to return.
Unfortunately Mark must have been just old enough to get the virus and it wasn’t long before he was gone too. Lisa was left all alone with her baby girl. She had managed to stay in the house by herself for a while – hoping that soon May would come home so that she wasn’t all alone in the world. In the end she had decided to leave, there was nothing left for her or her baby.
May stood on the doorstep brokenhearted. She wondered if she would ever see her sister again.