A giddy feeling brews within me as I carefully step into bed. I just kissed him.
Pulling the covers over my chest, I release a sigh.
I wake up to the sound of the front door shutting.
“There you are,” a man says. I realize the man speaking is George. He sounds annoyed.
There’s no response. Just stomping on the floor. Did it snow? I look at the covers. Indeed, a bit of frost had blown through the crack and landed on the prickly quilt.
“Where were you? We were almost worried about you,” George snaps. I saw Amy’s head shift under the thin blanket. She raises her face and grins at me. When she hears George, her smile vanishes.
“He’s here,” she whispers. Almost to herself.
“What?” I ask, scrunching my eyebrows together. I realize she's talking about the crazy man right after I show my confusion.
“I’ve never actually seen him before,” she says.
“Yeah. He’s never here. I feel bad for him, but his grieving process is taking a long time. Every
day now, before we wake up, he searches. Searches for his daughter. “She’s all he has left,’ ” she says sadly, “I guess his wife died or whatever.”
I tense up at her words for some reason. This man sounds familiar.
Then, I look at her eyes. She looks like she might actually cry. I forgot about her parents.
“I’m sorry, Amy,” I mutter, “About what happened with your parents.”
“Thanks. I’m sorry too,” she says, focusing her gaze to the floor.
“For what?” I ask.
George continues talking to the man in the background.
“For your…p-parents,” she says, her voice wobbling.
Confused, I tilt my head. Then I realize. Here I am. I left the house I grew up in to live with four, five, survivors. What if my parents do come back? What if they come back, see that I’m gone, and grieve so much to a point where they drive themselves crazy, like the man at the door?
A shiver runs down my back.
“What happened?” I blurt out after composing myself.
Amy closes her eyes for a moment and exhales before she began to speak,
“So we heard of a camp for refugees. It was not too far. Maybe like thirty minutes? Anyways, so we drove through Millbridge, where we’re going this morning, and a bunch of them came stumbling out of houses. Of course, that only attracted the attentions of more. Soon enough, our car was surrounded by a couple-a-dozen of those things.”
I slide off the bed and scoot forward to my friend. I pat her shoulder lightly and she rubs her bloodshot eyes to prevent the tears from spilling.
“So anyways, the amount kept building up and up and up until it was impossible to pass through. So my dad yelled at us to abandon the car while he distracted them. He said he would meet us again. Then, he grabbed one of the kitchen knives we had taken with us and jumped out. He killed one or two, and then drew them towards the other way. My mom was frozen with fright. I basically dragged her out of the damn vehicle. But, despite the fact that my dad’s distractions were successful, some lingered around the car and…”
Right then, she loses it. She lowers her head on the mat. Her shoulders are now shaking uncontrollably. My chest aches as I hear her choking on her own sobs.
“Amy,” I say sorrowfully. She swipes away the dampness on her face and lifts her head.
“I’m fine,” she croaks. I wrap my arms around her. Her sobbing is replaced by normal breathing after a few quiet moments.
“Let’s go eat, I’m starving,” Amy whispers in my ear.
I laugh and agree, “Let’s go see this mystery man.”