We arrive at the prison just as the sun is starting to rise. We walked all night long. I insisted on taking my turn at pushing the cart, but no one would let me. Of course. I feel like a little kid that isn't allowed to do anything.
As we walk the last 100 feet to the prison I see someone familiar standing on the inside, holding a baby. Its Carol and Judith! Carl sees them to and he runs ahead. I try and run after him, but I end up stumbling along like a zombie. I stop once I am out of breath. I continue along a little slower and I finally reach the camp. Rick, Daryl, and Mashone are still far behind me. They have the carts to push. When I reach the gate I pull it open and close it behind me. I see Carl holding Judith in his arms. I think he is crying, but his face is lit up and a huge grin is planted on his face. I smile at the sight of them. I could never let Carl leave his family. No matter how much it hurt me, I wouldn't. I stand back and just watch. He looks up at me and lets out a light, shaky laugh. "Come here Izzy."
I walk over to him and he hands her to me. I take her reluctantly. I never really liked holding babies. I was always afraid I would drop them or something. Even with my brother I never really wanted to hold him. I feel a little better now, holding Judith, I don't feel as nervous. I look into her eyes. They are the same as Carl's, deep blue rings and light center. I smile at her. She smiles back, showing little white teeth. I can see a light layer of blonde hair coming in on the top of her head. She's beautiful. I look back up at Carl and see him looking at me softly. This is a different side of me. I'm usually never this nice or smiley. For once I am not arguing or being stubborn. I am the old me. The soft, sweet girl that I cant be anymore. Not now.
I hand her back to Carl at the sight of Rick sprinting toward us. He grabs her from Carl's arms and pulls her to him. He pulls Carl towards him to and they stand there, all wrapped in each other's arms. They look like a happy family. This is exactly why I wouldn't let Carl stay with me. It doesn't matter now, he can be with me and his family. I argue inside my head. Rick lets Carl go and he walks to my side. He grabs my hand and pulls me close to him. I rest my head on his chest and he strokes my hair as he sets his head on my shoulder. His arm hangs lazily around my waist. "We're gonna go dad," Carl says.
We walk back to our cell and I fall on the bed. Carl falls down beside me. "Everythings okay," I whisper.
"That's more than what we can ask for. We are okay for now, we are happy for now, we are together for now. We have to live in the present Carl. We cant get to worked up over the past and the future or we'll forget to enjoy today," I wrote a poem like that in 7th grade.
"Yeah. You're smarter than I thought you were Izzy," Carl teases.
"Of course I'm smart. I'm amazing," I joke.
"Of course you are. You're Izzy," his voice is serious, but he must be joking. He knows I am not perfect. He's witnessed my imperfections.
"You're joking," I shake my head.
"No I'm not. You're perfect Izzy. You're sweet, you're kind, you're protective, you're stubborn, you're determined, you're beautiful, you're smart, you're serious, you're funny, you're selfless, you're amazing, and you're you. I couldn't ask for a better girlfriend," he smiles, but its not a big smile. Its a genuine smile.
"You forgot to say I'm annoying, I'm a brat, I'm an idiot, and don't forget the and, I'm a jerk and I'm mean."
"I did not forget to say those things. You are none of them," he insists.
"Don't "okay Carl" me. You know its true, you're just to selfless to believe it," he jokes.
I roll my eyes. "I'm going to take a nap. I've walked too much in the past couple of days. See there is another one of my imperfections. I gripe and moan about everything."
"You are tired because you were shot in the chest about 3 weeks ago and you have walked about 40 or 50 miles in a couple of days. You have a reason to gripe and moan," he shakes his head. "Just go to sleep. I am tired too."
I close my eyes and let sleep take over me.
I open my eyes again to the sound of screaming. Its a little girl's scream. I jump up at the same time that Carl does. We run out of the room and into the hallway. I see a man holding a gun to Lizzie's head. Rick is trying to plead with him, but the man is shaking his head. This man isn't from the group that has attacked us many times before. He looks younger, maybe 20. What does he want from us? Luckily the man is looking away from me. I pull out my gun and raise it slowly. Rick sees me and I see him give me a slight nod, so the man wont notice it. My hands are shaking, violently. I don't know if I can do it.
"I just need you to give me supplies," he begs.
"You can stay here with us, but we cant just GIVE you supplies. We have to have enough for us to stay alive," Rick explains. "We might be able to work something out, but you have to let the girl go," Rick holds his hands in front of him, showing he doesn't mean harm.
The shakes his head fast. "NO! No just give me some supplies, I know you have enough! Just give me some!" he yells.
I have to do it now before he shoots or does something crazy. I shut my eyes and take a deep breath. I exhale and open my eyes again. I aim the gun at his head and hold my finger on the trigger. I pull back slightly at first, then all the way. The sound of the bullet exploding from the gun echoes through the prison and I squeeze my eyes shut again. I don't want to see the man on the ground. The man I just killed. The man that I will never know the name of, but I still took his life. I hear Lizzie gasp loudly. Carl rushes forward and wraps his arms around me from behind. A tear slides down my face. It hurts to kill people. It really does and Carl understands that. "Its okay Izzy," he assures me.
"I know. Its just... I don't even know his name. I don't know anything about him, yet I was able to kill him," I shake my head.
"Would it really be better to know him Izzy? To know his name? To know what his life was like? You did what you had to."
I nod. I see Lizzie run to Rick. She is crying. I had to, I had to, I had to, I tell myself. I had to.