I didn’t bring any clothes.
I realize this as I examine the flower detailing at the edge of the Eileen’s nightdress. The woman, Ethan’s mother, is showing me my new room.
Whose clothes will I use? Eileen’s would be too big.
She is slim, but taller and “more developed.”
I look down at my own clothes. I notice a dark stain on my green pants, about the size of my thumb. Blood.
I swallow suddenly, remembering the incident with Jim.
Maybe Jim was Ethan’s mother’s brother.
“Here, you’ll be staying with another girl,” Eileen says.
She lightly pushes me through the door. Plagued with beige walls, the tiny room contains a twin sized bed, a dresser of drawers, and a rug that doesn’t match the walls at all. The window is covered by wood that has been nailed to its frame. It’s so dark in here. I guess, before the infection, the small room depended on natural light because there isn’t a lamp to be seen.
“Great, thanks,” I nearly whisper.
She leaves without responding.
I close the door gently and unlace my boots. Maybe I can fit in some rest after that long walk. My legs are aching.
Without a second thought, I slide into the covers, which are messed up and the bottom.
For a long time, I stare at the ceiling. After a few minutes, my eyelids flutter and close.
I wake up to a loud bang. Then another.
It’s just the front door.
I prop myself up on my elbows. My door is still shut.
Please contribute, Ethan’s urgent words snaps at me.
I swing my legs over the edge of the bed. I stand and walk over to the dresser.
Maybe Eileen put some clean clothes in here.
Hopefully, I tug open all the drawers. Not a shirt to be used.
With a sad sigh, I search on top of the tall dresser. I have to stand on top of my tippy toes.
Still, no clothing. But there is a framed picture of two girls.
Whose is it?
In this horrible lighting, I can’t make out what they look like. All I can see is the short, skinny figure of the girl on the left and the tall, willowy figure next to her. They must be smiling, I guess.
I put it down sadly. The girl I’m sharing this room with must have had a best friend, just like me.
Just like me.
This time, I don’t cry. I simply inhale and march out of the room.
I travel down the long hallway and stop at the very end.
Ethan and his father are on the floor. A girl, the girl, is sitting opposite of them. She had a dark ponytail down her back. I can’t see her face.
They carefully spread out knives on the grey carpet, murmuring to each other. I can’t hear exactly what they’re saying, but I hear fragments of sentence: “go look for supplies,” “attack,” “food and first aid supplies.”
I am about to lean closer when Ethan looks up, “So glad you can join us.”
His father glances my way.
Then the girl. The one I have to share a room with; the “crazy girl” who lost both her parents.
First, I examine her face. Then I try my hardest to process who she is, and how I know her.
Then it hits me.