The Last Day brought upon the world chaos, destruction and mass death. When the EXLF Virus started spreading from person to person, many died but some refused to stay dead. Now the world's population is shrinking as many try to survive in this post-apocalyptic world. Chelsea Dalton is one of those people. Living in a world without government has given others to rise in anarchy. As Chelsea and her father try to find the rest of their family-they will have to navigate through the chaos that has erupted. Chelsea will have to make choices between life, love and death. Choices that threaten her survival and the survival of those she loves.

Copyright © 2011


7. Anywhere but Here


"Here we are." Jack said as we pulled into the driveway of his family's other house. 

Jack's parent's were quite wealthy and they owned another house in the town of Essex, where it sat on more than eight acres of land and was surrounded by trees and streams. I'd been here a couple of times before and I could never get tired of it's beauty. The town of Essex was about an hour away from Equinox and mostly had an elderly population, it was a sleepy small town where everyone knew each other. 

"I love this place." I said, smiling at Jack.

"I know, come one I want to show you something." Jack told me getting out of the car. 

I followed him as we walked towards the back of his house, we went into the woods following a well beaten path until we came to a dock. I'd never been at this location before, I marveled at its beauty. The lake glistened as the geese swam lazily and all I could hear was Mother Nature. I felt at extreme peace. The greenery of the woods and the smell of bark enclosed around me as if it were a blanket, I wanted to stay here forever. This was beauty in my opinion, not staring at sky scrapers and cement but the smell of fresh air and the wind on my face. Watching the geese I wish I were one of them, able to fly anywhere I wanted, able to enjoy Mother Nature in its entirety.

"It's beautiful." I said. 

"Not as beautiful as you." Jack whispered, taking my hand. 

I stared at him as I watched him pull a ring from his pocket, my mouth dropped and I prayed to the Heavens above he wasn't going to propose. My hand started to sweat as my heart beat raced in my chest. 

"I'm not proposing Chelsea." Jack told me, reading my mind. 

"Oh God, I was having a panic attack, not that I don't want to but it would've been way too soon." I said, letting go of a breath, I didn't realize I'd been holding in.

"I know...but I want you to have this ring as a sign of my promise to you. I will never hurt you again, I promise and I will always be here for you. One day I will prove to you that I can be a man worthy of you, I love you." He told me as he slipped the beautiful emerald cut sapphire ring on my hand. I looked down in astonishment, I'd seen this ring before and I couldn't believe he was giving it to me. 

"Jack, this ring..." I muttered.

"I know but my Oma left it to me and when she died she told me I had to give this ring to someone who made me feel complete. You never had a chance to meet her but I know she would‘ve loved you.” Jack’s voice was shaky and I knew how it hurt to bring up his grandmother. 

She had died from nasal cancer when Jack was one month away from entering high school, I remember when he came over the night she died. Jack spent the night and when William fell asleep, he’d come downstairs to watch television since he couldn’t sleep and I was there. I held him as he cried in my arms, not sure on what to say I kept quiet and just let him cry out his pain. The next day, he had ignored me and we didn’t talk about it until we started dating.

“I’m sure from your many stories about her, she was my kind of woman. She would be proud of you today, you’re on your way to college in the fall and you’re so driven. You’re one of the few lucky people who know what path they’re on, no doubt you learned that from her.” I told him, smiling. 

I brushed the tear that had escaped from his shiny eyes and kissed him, trying to take his pain away. Jack wasn’t close to his parents so I knew how bad it was for him to deal with the loss of his grandmother who had been his biggest influence. I didn’t know my parents well enough to mourn what I’d lost, as in Jack’s case, I mourned for what I would never have. 

Though different, I knew how hard it was to lose the people you loved, that’s the cruel part about death. It breaks a piece of the soul that can’t be repaired either by time, drugs, etc. nothing could ever fill that void. You couldn’t help but pity yourself because it was you that had to keep living even when you didn’t want too. That was life and she sure was a bitch sometimes. 

Jack and I walked back to the house in silence and the moment we entered his bedroom there was nothing left to say. Jack kissed me fiercely as if he could devour me, I kissed him back just as hungry. His fingertips left trails of fire upon my body as I felt him move me closer to the bed, I reached up unbuttoning his shirt. My fingers moved gently along his chiseled abs as he tangled his fingers in my hair, kissing me deeper. I was soon sitting on the bed, my heart rate was through the roof, as I stared up at Jack. Jack lifted up my shirt and kissed me as he climbed on top of me. I loved the weight of him on top of me as I kissed him back, my hands found themselves in his soft black hair and rubbing his hard back muscles. 

“Chelsea...” He moaned as he nibbled on my neck.

“Yes?” I asked him, my voice raspy. 

“Promise me.” He whispered in my ear.

“Promise you what?” 

“That you’ll never leave again. It’s you and me forever.” He removed himself from my neck and laid on top of me, staring me in the eyes. His eyes were like a black hole and I found myself lost in them.

“Forever.” I promised as I lifted my left hand showing that I had placed the ring on my wedding finger.

Jack kissed my finger gently and smiled at me, I lifted my head to meet his lips with mine. When we made love this time, I didn’t have to worry about what he thought about my body, or feel as if I didn’t know what I was doing. This time it came naturally as I watched him move above me as he cried out my name, the same time I cried out his and we cuddled up to each other tired and spent. We laid in perfect harmony for a while, laughing and talking about trivial things, our dreams, and what would lie ahead for us in the fall. 

“I’m going to miss you when you go to college, I don’t want you to go.” I confessed.

“I don’t want to leave you here either but we have the summer to spend time together and you can always come and visit.” He told me, trying to soothe my fears. 

“I know but it won’t be the same.” I said. 

“So move in with me.” He suggested.

“What? We can’t move in together!” 

“Sure we can, I can ask my parents to rent an apartment for us and you can move in. The commute will be a nightmare for you, but I’ll do it if that’s something you’re willing to deal with.”

“That would be the easy part but my dad would raise Hell, since you’re eighteen and I’m sixteen. He loves us together but wouldn’t agree to us moving in, trust me. He can’t get used to fact that I’m not a baby anymore, that I’m going to make my own decisions and that I have my own mind. If it was possible then I would move in with you in a heartbeat.” 

“Well think about it some more, maybe bring up the subject to him and maybe he might surprise you. If you want me to talk to him then I will, you said yesterday that our time together can be short, if we plan on spending our lives together then why can’t we start it in the fall?” He countered.

“Are you serious? I mean it Jack are you seriously thinking about going through with this, you want to take this step?” I asked him.

“Yes, I know what I want. It’s you, it’s that simple now for me.” 

“What about when you want to go to college parties and stuff? No, you have to have the college experience and that doesn’t include a live in high school girlfriend. There’s going to be parties with girls-” I started but Jack had had enough.

“Damn it Chelsea, I don’t care about college parties or college girls, I care about you. I wouldn’t be saying all this stuff if it wasn’t what I wanted, and I want it forever not only because we are laying here. I want you and...that’s it!” Jack said, sitting up in bed as if a light bulb went off in his head.

“What’s it?” I asked confused.

“I’ll take a year off and I’ll wait before I go of to UCONN. We can start our year together and get an apartment off campus.”

“Jack, no. I won’t allow that you already got your acceptance letter and I don’t want you do that. I‘m letting my stupid insecurities get the better of me, I want you to go. I trust you.” I told him, I planted a light kiss on his shoulder.
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