When his hand recoiled violently the speaker quieted once more, engulfing him with silence and questions.
Waves of forgotten memories beat against his haggard mind in a sudden, dizzying rush.
He could see her face again, her features soft against the afternoon sun as she sat by the window reading a book.
He remembered the way her hair fell upon her shoulders, and how she would bite her lower lip during the particularly suspenseful passages.
But that had been another time, another life, one that he didn't relish reliving; so why was he succumbing to this strange nostalgia?
He shook his head. That time and life had died with the invasion and he couldn't let his senses become clouded by those bittersweet memories. He cautiously cast his eyes about to see if he was being watched. Braving the risk of discovery, he gently tucked the radio into his bag. He would wait to hear her voice again, or perhaps hear one of those other voices that had been silent for so many weeks now. Glancing at his watch, Zachary suddenly remembered that he still had to make it to the pharmacy before it closed. He took another furtive look around, to check that he hadn't been observed and then hurried off towards the pharmacy.
Ever since the attack, his step-mother was dependent upon the anti-radiation drugs to keep her alive. She had been working at the hospital that day, and had risked her life evacuating the patients from her ward to the basement shelter. Through a shattered window she had witnessed the nuclear sunset, glittering in an array of almost other-worldly colors that day. "It was beautiful," she told Zachary later. The sky would never be so bright again. The sun was rising. A gray dawn, the color of ash and partially burned newsprint. There was no line: the pharmacy was closed.