That's the town in Missouri this whole "Faceless Angels" thing started up in. We've just been driving around for the last couple of weeks, from urban settlement to urban settlement. Without a real direction, we've not gone far - we're currently in upstate New York. I will admit, in my ignorance, that I did not know there was a state outside of NYC itself until I was actually in it.
We've been here for just over a month now. It's getting chilly in the northeast regions, but to be honest I doubt we'll get anything better as we head south. Movement patterns the same as back home - travel for a few days, rest for a few days, rinse, repeat - but the scale of this country is so unlike anything we've ever come across that we've spent this whole month having gone to a small portion of the north-east tip of the country. I mean, our entire home country is the size of a modest state - more densely populated, but nowhere near as huge as most of them. It literally stretches from one side of a continent to the other - I can't think of many countries which do the same.
For the first time, we're not just fleeing from something, but going towards a goal; looking for answers in this small town in the middle of a flyover state. Everyone feels like they have a renewed sense of purpose right now. We're not aimlessly wandering anymore.
That's not to say the trauma has faded. The deaths of Stephen and Lianne still aches terribly, and I'm not sure, but...Rachel has what seems like panic attacks at particularly loud percussive noises. Sometimes I think she's zoning out, reliving...something. Post-traumatic stress disorder, I think it's called. I read a book about it once.
Natalie, however, is flourishing, as of late. She really took charge in the period where the shock of the deaths unbalanced Shannon - it was her idea to come to America - and since, she's been incredibly headstrong and assertive. She's been doing her best to keep an eye on Rachel, who seems to prefer her company - I guess having another girl of a similar age about, and such a strong person too, makes her the obvious choice.
In the meantime, Roland and Shannon have retreated inside their roles in the group. They've detatched emotionally from the group a great deal; I know Roland and Lianne were close, and Shannon having two of "her" people die must hurt hugely. I don't blame them for trying to stay aloof. Shannon was always distant - after Richard, I guess - but it's intensified massively. I guess they feel like they can't take another loss like this.
Still, we're all getting by in our own ways. And as is, we are, for the most part, feeling better than we were. That's something.
It'll get better. That's what we need to keep telling ourselves.