Bitten

The world is gone. My family is gone. I'm lost and confused and so very tired of running. What are we running from? The infected, or as some like to call them, zombies. There is only one person who keeps me running, and that person is someone I'm trying not to love. Why? Because everyone I have loved has died. Funny thing is, trying not to love him because I care about him defeats the point of not loving him.

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2. Hair cuts

We walked together in silence together for a couple of hours, not really looking at each other. I'm starting to loose track of how many days it's been since my brother died. A month? Two months? Rohan still hasn't told me how he got here, or what happened to his family. I'm starting to wonder how bad his past must be for him to want to keep it in all the time.

"When will we hit the next town?" I ask him, breaking the silence. He pulls out the map and moves his finger around, trying to find where we are. 

"It's times like these where I miss my iphone" He looks up at me and smiles lightly.

"Yeah. I actually still have mine. Thought maybe if I could charge it we could at least have some music" I reply, drawing a circle in the snow with the toe of my boot. 

"That would be nice" He trails off, looking into the trees ahead of us. Then he folds up the map and stuffs it into his backpack, still shouldering mine. "C'mon. Another hour or so and we should hit the next city"

We walk some more, again in silence. I try my hardest to keep my thoughts happy, thinking about houses and breakfast. An hour later and I can see the outskirts of a small city, only a few tall buildings in the middle. After walking through two different neighborhoods, Ro finally turns up the driveway of a yellow house. Dead flowers and grass surround it, the glass on the windows so dirty that you can't even see inside the house. We climb the 3 steps to the front door, and I reach for the handle. Before I even touch it, Ro raises his right foot and kicks the door in. It swings in fast, hitting the wall and bouncing off. Then he saunters right into the house. I follow his lead, looking at the door.

"It wasn't even locked" I call after Ro, seeing him disappear into another doorway. He starts to say something, but is silenced after only a few words. "Ro? You okay?" 

I quietly walk into the room Rohan went into, letting out a gasp when I see what he's staring at. There's a crib pushed against the wall in the living room, containing a lump of something. I creep closer, standing next to Ro. He leans with his hands holding the edge of the crib, looking down into it. My brain knows what's laying tucked underneath the blankets, but my heart doesn't allow my brain to think about it any further. When I look down, there's a baby unmoving wrapped in a blue blanket. I'm assuming it's a boy because of the blanket colour. The baby boy's skin is ashen grey, and the skin around his mouth is stained with blood. His nails are long, and it looks like he's been scratching at his body. He's a zombie baby. 

I tear my eyes away from the baby, tears forming in them, and instead I look at Rohan. His face looks sullen, and he has bags under his eyes from lack of sleep. He always says he'll stay up for the first shift at night, promising to wake me when it's my turn. But then he never wakes me. I always know the same thing's going to happen every night, but I still believe that maybe one day he'll wake me for my turn. It would be a signal of defeat, but didn't he already go through that when he asked to travel with me? 

All of a sudden, Ro turns around and walks away, ripping my from my thoughts and dragging me back to reality. I hear his boot thumps traveling up the stairs, so I glance back at the baby once more before going after him. I land at the top of the stairs and follow the wet footsteps into big bedroom. When my eyes leave the floor, they land on Ro pulling his shirt off and changing into a less dirty pair of clothes. 

"Oh, sorry" I quickly turn around and leave the room.

"It's not like you haven't seen me change before, Charlotte" He chuckles a bit, and I'm surprised by how fast he shook off the baby downstairs. 

"Well I just thought that when I can, I'd give you privacy" I reply, leaning against the wall outside of the bedroom. 

"I just...thanks. That's nice" He hesitates at the beginning, and I'm left wondering what he was going to say instead. "You can come in now"

I push off the wall and turn into the bedroom. Dropping my stuff at the foot of the bed, I start to unpack a bit.

"How long are we staying for?" I ask, pulling out a few shirts that need to be washed. 

"Two nights I think. We deserve a break" He states, opening up the dresser and pulling out a few blankets. He tosses me one and then lays his sleeping bag on the ground. "You can have the bed"

"No. You get the bed" I walk over and throw his sleeping bag onto the bed, rolling out mine on the floor in place of his. 

"Charlotte, no" He moves to exchange them again, but I step in front of him and cross my arms over my chest.

"You need to sleep. So shut up and take the bed" I give him by best 'I mean business' look and he just huffs and walks away in defeat. 

"I'm going to check the water tank, see if we can take a shower" He yells as he goes down the stairs. 

I rummage around through the bathroom drawers, looking for some scissors. I find a pair with blue handles and carry them downstairs in search of Ro. Making sure to avoid the living room, I check the kitchen and then the first bathroom. This house is very small, one bathroom and a bedroom on the top floor, and a living room, bathroom, and kitchen on the main. 

"Ro?" I call out, wondering where he is. Then a door opens that I hadn't noticed earlier, and he comes out of it. "What's down there?" 

"Cellar. Holds the water tank and the heater though. We can each take a quick shower, based on how much water I saw in the tank" He reports, running a hand through his long blonde tangled mess.

"I found these. I can give you a hair cut after you shower if you want" I hold up the blue handled scissors. 

"Good. You go first" He sweeps his arms in the direction of the stairs, smiling at me as I walk up them into the bathroom. When I turn on the shower, it's ice cold and I let out a yelp. It turns Luke warm rather quickly, so I take that time to scrub my hair with some shampoo I found, and condition it as well. I look down at me feet, and see the stream of dirty water filtering down the drain. Good. I forgot how much I loved showers. 

When I climb out, I wrap myself in a fluffy white towel and brush out my hair with my fingers. Then I slowly open the bathroom door and creep into the bedroom directly across the hall. Clutching the towel to my warm body, I sift through my bag and pick out a baggy tshirt and some skinny jeans to put on. 

"So you're done with the bathroom then?" Ro peeks his head into the bedroom and I jump, turning around to face him.

"You scared me! Knock next time to give me a warning..." I turn back around and grab my jeans and tshirt that I have yet to put on. He just walks into the bathroom and shuts the door behind him. A can feel a blush creep onto my cheeks and I have to shake my head to get rid of it. Then I pull on my jeans and tshirt, grabbing the scissors and heading to the downstairs bathroom. 

I flick on the light as a habit, but it doesn't turn on. I look at the person staring back in the mirror. She has rich brown hair and green eyes. She's got pale skin, no freckles, and nice lips. She's skinny, mostly because she doesn't eat that much anymore. Her eyes look tired, dark circles rounding them. Her lips are cracked, and she has trouble remember what shade of lip gloss she used to wear. She is me, looking sad and empty. 

I start snipping away at my hair, making it fall just past my shoulders. Having long hair was once wonderful, but now it's just a hassle. I hear Ro walking around upstairs so I brush the hair into the toilet and flick down the seat. Then I walk up to meet him. He's dressed and brushing his teeth in the sink. 

"Hair cut time" I stand behind him, but he's a lot taller then me. "How about you sit on the floor, and I'll sit on the bed" I grab a towel and lead him to the bedroom, draping the towel over his shoulders to catch the falling hair. When we're both sat down, I star to cut. Starting at the bottom, I get some of the length off before continuing. 

"So what are we going to do about the baby?" I ask softly, knowing it's on both of our minds. 

"I don't know yet" He sighs

"Well we can't just leave him" I state, getting him to turn his head so I can trim the hair at the front. "Almost done" 

When I finish, he looks into the mirror and ruffles his hair a bit before nodding and thanking me. It's dark out now, so I light a candle that was left on the dresser, and pull a hoodie on to stay warm. Once you loose warmth, it's hard to get it back. My stomach grumbles, and Ro gives me a look. He pulls out a box of crackers and some canned peaches. 

"Found these in the kitchen" He hands them to me, and I tear open the package of crackers putting a few in my mouth. 

"Mmmm thanks" I reply, handing them back to him. He takes it and starts to eat. After looking around for a can opener, we open the peaches and fish them out with our fingers. They taste so sweet, and you can see the momentary joy on both our faces. When it's all gone, Ro climbs into bed, and I lay on the floor under blankets and a sleeping bag. 

"Night Ro"

"Goodnight Charlotte" 

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