On Day Forty-Seven, Jeevan sees smoke rising in the distance. Sometimes he hears gunshots at night. The stench of death from the hallway seeps into the apartment regardless of how much plastic or duct tape they use on the door, so they keep the windows open at all times and sleep next to each other in Frank’s bed. Jeevan thinks about leaving and knows it will be extremely difficult to navigate Frank’s wheelchair through stopped cars and all the snow.
The scent of death is a reminder that even most of the other people in Frank’s apartment building have died. Nearly fifty days into the collapse, Jeevan begins to realize that he’ll need to leave, but wonders how he will possibly be able to take his handicapped brother and still manage to survive without the benefits of modern civilization.
They hadn’t heard anyone in the apartment building for over a week, so Jeevan decides to risk venturing out of the apartment. Up on the roof, he feels exposed after being inside for so long. He sees a storm coming and decides that they will leave and use the storm as cover.
The exposure that Jeevan feels outside on the roof will become the normal feeling of fear and inconsistency experienced in the post-collapse world. Without the protective structures of civilization, humans are exposed to the elements and to each other.
Frank asks where they will go or how they will survive once they leave. He says that when he was shot while covering a war for Reuters, he spent a lot of time thinking about civilization and decided he never wanted to see a war zone again. He still feels this way, and says that he thinks there is only survival in whatever is left of the world. Jeevan says he can’t just leave Frank, but Frank tells his brother, “I’ll leave first,” and “I’ve given this some thought.” Jeevan asks him what he means, but he understands fully what Frank is suggesting.
Having seen war and been paralyzed, Frank values civilization and believes that whatever is out in the world no longer satisfies his definition of civilization. Frank implies here that he will kill himself in order to allow Jeevan to leave, a major sacrifice to enable his brother’s survival. Frank doesn’t seem to accept the notion of doing more than just surviving out in the post-collapse world, possibly because the requirements of adapting and surviving would be even harsher for him due to his paralysis.