I don’t even wait for Marc to come to a complete stop after he pulls up in my driveway. I unlock the car and jump out; I can hear Marc calling after me. I run around to the back of my house and to the back door, knowing Sammy would’ve gotten into the house through that door and not the front door. I turn the knob; it’s locked. I don’t know whether to take this as a good or bad sign. She could’ve gotten into the house and locked the door behind her; or she could’ve never made it home. ‘No!’ I think to myself. ‘I have to stay positive.’
I hear Marc’s footsteps coming up behind me; well, I think its his footsteps. I turn around to double check if it was him; which it was, thank god.
“Is she here?” Marc whispers to me.
“I don’t know. The door is locked.” I whisper back.
“How are we going to get in? Do you have a key?”
I shake my head. “No. I gave her my key because I knew she would be home before me and she needed to get inside the house.” Marc nods, understanding.
I looked back at the door and have a crazy idea. I take a couple of steps back; I can feel the adrenaline pumping through my veins. I need to find my sister; and with that I charge at the door. I hear Marc yelling my name, but it was too late. I slam all my body weight into the door, causing it to swing open; it worked! I am very pleased with myself.
“Holy shit, babe!!” I hear Marc yell at me. I look up at him and smile. He helps me to my feet. I move my right shoulder a little bit but stop quickly after feeling pain shoot from it and then throughout my whole body.
“Are you alright?”
“Yeah, I’ll be fine.”
“That was quite impressive, Rose.” I look at Marc and shake my head. He had a silly grin plastered on his face. The thought of Sammy came back into my mind and I run into the kitchen.
“Sammy!!” I yell. No answer.
“Shhh. Keep it down. We don’t want any walkers finding us.”
I shoot Marc a stern glare. “I don’t care. I need to find my sister!”
I poke my head into the living room. “Sammy?!” I see her dolls laying sprawled out across the floor. She’s here. Those dolls weren’t there when I left to go to Marc’s house. I hear a slight creak of the floorboards come from upstairs. I whip my head around and look up the stairs. I slowly walk up the stairs.
“Sammy?!” No answer. “Sammy, its Autumn! Where are you?!!” I whisper-shouted. I hear Marc following close behind me as I climb the stairs.
I enter her room. Sammy’s room looks to be okay. No signs of danger. “Sammy?!!” Still no answer. Now I am becoming worried again. I check under her bed; nothing.
“Sammy!!” I yell. I hear a creak. I shoot my eyes over to her closet door. I watch as the door slowly cracks open; I can hear muffled breathing.
“Autumn?! Is that you?!” I hear her little voice say.
“Oh my god, Sammy!” I rush over to the closet. It swings open and she throws her little body in my arms. I fall to my knees, hugging her. I squeeze her tight, kissing her head. “Thank god, you’re okay.”
I pull away from her, starting to check her body furiously. “Did you get hurt? No scratches or cuts?! No, bites anywhere, right?”
She shakes her head, no. “No, I’m fine. Just scared. What is going on? And what do you mean ‘bites’?” I look at her and then Marc. He gives me a shake of the head.
“It’s nothing. Don’t worry about it. As long as you’re okay, that’s all that matters.” I wrap her in another hug; relief slowly taking over my body. I feel tears start to trickle down my cheeks. Sammy pulls away and brings her small hands to my cheeks. She wipes the tears away.
“Please, don’t cry, Autumn. Daddy will be here soon and make it all better.” I give her a small nod.
I watch as she runs over to Marc and jumps into his arms. He gives her a hug and lifts her up, holding her in his arms. He smiles at me and I pick myself up off the floor.
Just then I hear the sound of a car horn, honking; and the sound of our garage door opening up. My eyes go wide and I look at Marc.
“Daddy!! Daddy!!” Sammy yells. Marc places her down and she runs down the stairs; Marc and I close behind her.
I get outside to already see Sammy wrapped up in my father’s arms. His eyes are closed; relief crossing his face. His eyes pop open and he spots me, a smile forming on his face. He holds out an arm for me and I walk right into it; my arms wrapping around him.
“Thank god the both of you are alright.” He whispers. He lets go of Sammy and I, his eyes landing on Marc. “Thank you, Marc.” Marc smiles at my father and gives him a small nod. I didn’t say anything to my dad; he already knows that Marc helped me stay alive; and Sammy, too.
My dad’s eyes meet mine and Sammy’s again. “Listen to me, girls. I need you to go and pack up all your clothes and belongings. Not too much; just what ever is necessary.” I nod my head at him and take Sammy’s hand. I start to lead her back inside the house.
“Marc, I need your help.” I hear my dad say behind me.
I watch as Sammy carefully places her dolls in her One Direction backpack. She jumps on her bed and then off again, after she grabbed her stuffed teddy bear; that goes into her backpack too. I sit on the end of her bed, patiently waiting for her to finish packing up her toys; I already finished packing up all of her clothes.
Sammy stands still, thinking of what-else she wanted to bring. I guess another idea pops into her head; her eyes beginning to beam. She walks over to a draw in her dresser and opens it. I watch as she pulls out 3 Cds; all of them One Direction. She places them in the front pocket of her backpack and zips it up.
“Did you get everything?” I ask her with a small smile.
She smiles at me and nods her head. “Yeah, I think so.” Her small voice squeaks. She looks down at her hands, staring at something.
“What do you have there, pumpkin?” I squat down to her level. She looks up at me, tears staining her cheeks. “Hey, hey. Why are you crying?” I wipe away the tears with my thumbs. She hands me a crumpled envelope. I take it from her and open it; One Direction tickets.
I felt my heart brake into a million tiny little pieces. Sammy wanted these tickets so badly; but we couldn’t afford them due to my mother. My mother had cancer. All of our money went towards her; for the medication and hospital bills. We and the doctors did everything in our power to keep her alive; but in the end it failed to do so. My mother died about a year and six months ago. That time in my life was very hard; and I refuse to go back there.
These tickets were part of my mother’s dying wish. The One Direction boys helped Sammy through a lot. They were always there for her; especially when I wasn’t. They helped to keep her smiling everyday; they helped her through the horrid time of my mother passing. And I have them to thank for that.
After my mother passed, we had enough money to buy tickets for Sammy. My mother told us strictly to buy them for her; because of the way they helped Sammy. So we did.
And as I look at these tickets in my hands, I can’t help but feel I broke two promises. My mother’s and Sammy’s.
These tickets were for tonight; my dad and I were supposed to take her. They were performing at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey. I look back at Sammy, tears still streaming down her face.
I wipe the tears from her face and mine. I place my finger under her chin, forcing her to look at me. “Maybe, its not so bad in New Jersey. Maybe, we can still go tonight.” I force a smile. Sammy seems to cheer up at the offer I had just made. “But I can’t promise that for sure. I can only hope, Sammy.” She nods her head at me. “But I can promise you this; if we don’t go tonight, I promise I will take you to another one of their concerts. After all of this craziness blows over and things are better, okay?” Sammy nods at me again and wraps her arms around my neck.
I hug her back and eventually pull away. I hand her back the tickets. “Hold on to these, pumpkin.” I stand up and grab both of her bags and hold out a hand to her. “C’mon, you can help me pack now.”
Sammy sits on my bed and watches as I throw all of my clothes in a duffle bag. I get my hair brush, deodorant, perfume and some pads and tampons and throw them in my bag too. I grab some of my favorite books and pictures that I have and put them in my bag.
“I love this picture of her.” I hear Sammy say quietly behind me.
I turn around to see Sammy holding the picture of my mom in her wedding dress. “Me too.” I squat down in front of her and watch her. She looks at me and smiles; her eyes then grow wide. Her small hand reaches out to something on my neck; I feel her pick up the heart necklace that Marc gave me.
“This is beautiful. Where did you get it?”
“Marc gave it to me, today. Do you know why?” I smile at her.
She shakes her head and looks at me.
“Marc and I have been dating for two years. Isn’t that exciting?”
She smiles at me, widely and nods her head.
“I’ll say.” I hear a male voice say from the side of me. Sammy and I both look up and see Marc in the doorway, leaning up against the wall. He was smiling down at Sammy and I; I smile back at him.
My dad pops his head around Marc. “You girls ready to leave?” I nod my head at him. “Good. Let me grab some clothes and we will be off.”
I grab a couple more things and place them in my bag, then zip it shut. Marc helps me with my bag and grabs it for me. He places his hand on my waist and looks me in the eyes.
“Yeah, I’m fine.” I say softly, looking down. He puts his finger under my chin, lifting it up. He softly smiles and pecks my lips.
“C’mon guys!” I hear Sammy say from the hallway. I smile at Marc and pick up Sammy’s bags, making our way out to the car.
“We’re taking my dad’s work van?” I ask Marc as we walk outside.
“Yep. Its much stronger and will last longer against the walkers.” He points to something off in the distance. “A couple walkers broke the windshield of that car, over there.”
Marc opens the back doors to the van and what is inside shocks me. Inside, is an air mattress blown up with a couple blankets, sleeping bags and pillows. Then there are multiple boxes of foods and a cooler filled with water bottles.
“Nice set up you got going on here.” I chuckle at Marc. He smiles at me and places all the bags in the back of the van.
“Thanks. Your father and I did it.” He picks something up and hands it to me. I look down at his hand; it’s the handgun he gave me before. I take it from him and look him in the eyes; a hint of seriousness in them. “Keep this with you, please.” I nod.
“Alright. Let’s go!” I hear my father yell. He comes around to the back of the van, a bag in one hand and weird contraption in the other.
“Dad, what the hell is that?” I point to the weird machine.
“This, Autumn, is a crossbow.” I nod in disbelief. I didn’t know he had anything like that; let alone stored away somewhere in the house.
I hear a scream come right behind me. A little girl’s scream. Sammy. I whip my head around and see her standing there; a walker a few feet ahead of her. I bring my gun to an aiming position and pull the trigger; hitting the walker right in between the eyes. Sammy screams again. Marc picks her up and looks at me.
I look around, seeing that the gunshot noise attracted more walkers.
“Time to go!!” I yell.
We all scramble into the van. My dad pulls out of the driveway furiously; hitting a couple of walkers. He starts to drive in a direction; a direction that I have no idea where it will take us. Lets just hope somewhere safe.