Always for her

She moved slowly, like her muscles wouldn’t work quickly enough. She wiped a strand of red hair out of her brown vacant eyes, she looked like she was falling and struggling to focus. I wrapped her hands around mine, ruined and cut. Her hands where slow and unmoving as she watched up into my watery eyes. My stomach’s tossing; I look into her eyes as she smiles uncharacteristically,
“I’m sorry, Lilac.” She whispered croakily in small quick gasps, her voice stuttering and her eyes attempting to smile, her cracked lips began to bleed. I nodded,
“No, Hope. Stay still.” I say worriedly, propping her head up with ripped bloody jacket, pushing her shoulder down slightly but firmly. She nodded hesitantly; the bloody gorge in her stomach stopped her chest from moving in and out. I don’t want to cry, I am strong. I was strong. But seeing her dying face in my ruined arms, made my heart collapse. She was the closest thing I had to hope, and now she was dead. Her name, Hope. I knew once she smiled

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18. Missing

 

We headed back to camp, fingers intertwined with hands. The camp looked empty. I looked at Lloyd in surpise,

“Where is Hope?” I asked, he looked at me in a shocked expression

“She needed some time.” He said, although something didn’t sound quite right in his voice. I dismissed it and pulled on my jumper me and Hope had sewn back up. I ripped the seam slightly as I pulled it over my head. I bit my lip and turned to Hope’s needle and thread set. But it was missing. So was all her other stuff. They weren’t stored in the hallow base of the tree beside her bead. They where gone.

“Lloyd-“ I said my voice shaking and quivering.

“Yes?” He asked, I pushed back the curtain of moss and revieled the hallow empty tree. He hesitated and then his eyes transformed into worry

“She left.” He whispered. I shook my head.

“She didn’t.” I replied.

“How do you know?” He demanded in despair. My fingers ran over the soft moss and into the crook of the tree, her files and her findings. Books and papers in a neat folder labelled ‘Lilac’ I blinked and shifted my weight drawing the folder out of the cupboard. I sat back on my heals, and placed the heavy folder on my lap

“She didn’t touch that whilst you where gone.” he whispered. I was unaware she was keeping these files.

“Someone took her.” I said thoughtfully holding back the tears that where in my eyes.

“How do you know?” He repeated.

“She left this.”

 

 

I didn’t know how I felt. Confused, upset and lost – were my three best guesses. Lloyd insisted we leaved immediately. I wanted to hold onto my living memory of Hope. So I rummaged through my bag and pulled out a t-shirt of hers. Wrapped it around the tree and slipped four flowers into it

“Lets go.” Lloyd whispered sliding his hand back into mine.

 

We walked for hours. My feet killed and my eyes stung, the wind hit my cheeks more painfully than before I didn’t want to stop. I moved through the forest, brambles cut my legs, but the pain reminded me of why I was still alive. So I pushed, moving forwards.

“You need to stop.” Lloyd said after eight hours of walking. I shook my head

“I can’t, Lloyd. I just can’t.” I felt tears in my eyes. He nodded and didn’t argue. My feet began to go numb, I ignored this and continued to walk. The scenery changed rapidly, we had now been walking for thirteen hours, non stop. Maybe I was going mad. Losing Hope did that to me. I felt pain inside of me, pain I never felt before. I strode on further into the woods,

“You have to stop” Lloyd told me. I nodded and hesitated. Allowing my lungs to adjust. They didn’t like it, the sweat beading on my forehead stung my eyes, my fingers felt moist and sweaty.

“You need to stop.” He said, I nodded. He extended one arm to catch me, like I was a drunken man, to stop me and the illness inside of me made me collapse.

 

I don’t know what was worse, maybe it was the nightmares I was having, or the fact I was unable to move.

“Stay still.” Lloyd insisted as I woke slowly. My eyes felt misty and my vision was blurry. “You have more brusies than I can count in your legs, you broke you wrist bone and cut your wrists.” He explained. I winced. He nodded in a told you so style. I huffed and leaned back on the uncomfortable bark of the tree. Lloyd’s jacket slumped around my shoulders slipped off. I carefully moved it back around. I noticed it was Lloyd’s old t-shirt that was wrapped carefully around my wrist, my legs where covered by my trousers. I looked away before I began imagining things.

“Easy there.” He whispered. Propping me up under my arm. I nodded and relaxed and then winced again. “Here.” He said passing me some watery liquid with a sickening sweet smell.

“What is it?” I said, the fumes made my head spin.

“Lavender soup, sip it carefully.” He replied. I blinked

“Soup?” I asked confused, my eyebrows knitting together as I looked at him.

“Yes.” He replied. I didn’t ask anymore questions and sipped the soup, the taste was lovely. I drunk it quickly, then I felt ill, my head span and I clutched my stomach felicitously.

“I told you to drink it slowly.” He said looking at me annoyed. I sighed and clutched my stomach.

“Here.” He said passing me four strawberries.

“Where did you get these?”

“Hope.” He whispered, shivers flowed down my spine. I nodded and bit my lip to prevent myself for bursting into tears. I nibbled on the sweet fruit, soon my stomach began to settle and I felt instantly better. 

“Can you help me check my wounds?” I asked. He nodded. I rolled up my trouser leg and examined the cuts and bruises, he pressed the solvents against my skin. 

“The lavender helped.” He said startled. I blinked in confusion and peered at my rolled up trouser leg and down to my cuts. My skin was a faded yellowy colour, but it didn’t look to awful. I sighed in relief and looked at Lloyd with a tired smile.

“Thanks.” I whispered, we seemed to speaking a lot in whispers since Hope was no longer with us. He nodded. I rolled up my sleeve and we pried off the tattered t-shirt. I gasped. Lloyd froze. Black lace circled my wrist, forming the shape of an apple and lace. I coughed and chocked in amazement.

“Lift up my shirt.” I whispered. He looked at me in confusion but did so.

“What is it?” He whispered in astonishment 

“The symbol.” I replied in a hushed voice.

“Its beautiful.” He whispered. A tear slid down my cheek, I turned to him, he cupped my cheek in his hand. I kissed him slowly.

“I love you, Lilac.” He whispered. I ignored my normal reply I know. I kissed him carefully,

“I love you too, Lloyd.” Not only because I did, he was truly the only person I had left and allowed myself to fall into our kiss. 

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