“So, this power outage, it’s all over you said right? Even the coast?”
“And what did they instruct you to do, you know, to help us?”
He turns around to face me. I shrink but I am not shaking. My frown is set.
“What we are doing: bringing you supplies, telling you about curfew before we enforce it, and patrolling the area to make sure there aren’t any lootings?”
“But what about heat? We all need the electricity to turn on the heat even if it’s gas.”
“They are working on it.”
This was frustrating.
“Who? PECO? A lot of us don’t have access to the internet currently and we don’t have cars or CB radios. It must be hard to get all of the information out to everyone. And to get enough members to work on it at once.”
I had said too much and fell back in my seat letting silence breathe between us. It’s not that I’m impetuous, it’s that I hate feeling stonewalled. But I understand space and men and the way our eyes kept meeting in the rearview.
“This is a coastal outage,” he hesitated. “And the national guard is going to be visiting all of the major metropolitan cities in the next few days as The Department of Energy works with local suppliers, yes. It will be fixed.”
“It’s kind of scary right? How are they handling gas? Are you guarding the gas stations?”
“Yes,” he was short but added, “People are leaving, going inward, other parts of Pennsylvania aren’t affected. It’s coastal towns and major metropolitan cities.”
“What caused it?”
I was digging my nails into the fabric of my pants trying to get to my thighs to contain me.
“I don’t know.”
I could see the partner heading back.
“Does anyone?”
The little white apple appeared on my phone and I began to tremble again. My laconic companion picked it up gently without taking it off the charger and handed it back to me.
“My partner is getting that man a care package and then has two more houses to go. When he’s done, we have to go to the next street. If you want to keep charging your phone, you can ride to the next block with us.”
The case was cold in my hand and I was already glued to the screen.
“Yes,” I said without thinking. “I’ll go.”
It began: all the notifications popped up in front of me and his partner swung the door open.
“Do you need volunteers?”

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