The whole group walks into the big building just a little reluctant. I look around, trying to understand just what happened in here. Shelves are knocked over, food is laying all around us in heaps and I cant even begin to describe how crazy it looks. I squeeze my eyes shut and open them again, half expecting for the store to return back to normal, but it doesn't. Carl squeeze my hand tightly. "Now there's nothing that cant be fixed here," Rick starts. "We just have to set the shelves back up and salvage as much food as possible," Rick nods.
"We should assign tasks," Beth says.
Rick shakes his head. "No we are all going to just do everything together. We don't have enough time to set up tasks and responsibilities. We need to get this done as soon as possible so that we have time to determine where we are all going to be staying."
Everyone nods, even Beth who just had her idea turned down. "Then lets get started," Daryl speaks up.
We all walk forward and start to put this place back together. To be honest it looks like a stampede of bulls ran through her kicking things over as they went. I lift a shelf with the help of Carl, lizzie, and Mika. Surprisingly the shelves are pretty heavy. I pick up cans of food that are not busted open, cereal boxes that aren't spilled everywhere, and even pop cans that haven't exploded. The rest I scoop up into a trash bin.
Once we are done everyone stops to rest and catch their breath. I sit on the hard, stone floors beside Carl. I look over at him and only now do I see how pale he is. "Carl? Are you feeling okay?" I ask worriedly.
"I think its my arm. I don't really know. I feel fine," he shrugs which causes him to wince.
"We have to get that bullet out and stop the bleeding," I say.
He nods, but doesn't say anything. I stand up and walk straight to Beth. "Hey Beth, Carl was uh... shot in the arm. I need you to get the bullet out and I guess try and stop the bleeding. I was going to before, but then..." I don't have to finish. She is already walking over towards him.
She bends down beside him. "I need you to take off your jacket," she instructs.
With a series of moans and groans Carl removes his blue hoodie. His brown undershirt has a huge stain that runs from the top of his arm down to his waist from where the blood is flowing. Beth purses her lips as she thinks. "Go get me some tweezers and... 2 rags."
I nod, stand up, and run towards the place where they keep the tweezers. I search the isle until I find a small pair of tweezers. Once I have those I run towards the towel isle. I grab 2 white rags that are about 2 times the size of my hand. I run back to the food section of the store and find Beth sitting in a chair and Carl sitting in a chair beside her. Its the 2 chairs that I had grabbed originally. I don't see any rope though. I run to them and hand Beth the things I have just collected. She takes them with and gives me a smile. "Thank you."
"Your welcome," I respond politely.
She turns back to Carl. "Now this isn't going to be... pleasant. I'm not going to lie. It hurts and you're probably going to scream. Some people black out," she explains.
Carl winces. "Just get over with already."
"You are going to have bite down on this," she hands him one of the rags. Then she turns to me. "If he struggles then you will have to hold him down."
"Uh... I don't know if I can. Carl is stronger than me," I point out.
"Will you hurt Izzy, Carl?" she asks.
He rolls his eyes. "No."
"I didn't mean it like that. I mean if he's struggling then I probably wont be able to stop him."
"Sure ya can just be ready."
I let out a long breath before nodding. Carl put the rag in his mouth and bites down. He looks like a chipmunk. I smile at the thought, but don't say anything. I'll tell him later, if I tell him now then he wont keep it like that. He grasps the arms of the chair tightly with both hands, causing his knuckles to go white from the pressure. "Relax," Beth demands.
He relaxes a little. "Take deep breaths," I suggest. He takes in a deep breath.
Beth leans in with tweezers, pulls up his sleeve so she can get to the wound, and starts. At first he just cringes. Then as she gets deeper his face turns to an agonized expression. I grab his other hand and squeeze it reassuringly. I see a few tears stream down his face. He shuts his eyes after a moment as the pain gets worse. If he could scream he would be deafening us all. "Its okay Carl, Its okay," I whisper.
After what feels like a lifetime of seeing Carl suffer Beth pulls out a gold looking bullet. "Its done Carl. Now I just have to bandage you up."
Beth stands up and walks away so she can get the proper stuff to warp his arm. She comes back a minute later with a roll of medical tape, gauze, and peroxide. She sits down in the chair again. "You can take the rag out now," she says.
Carl takes the rag out and sets it on the floor. His breathing is horse and ragged. "Breath," I instruct. He breaths long deep breaths, but that only seems to make it worse.
Beth wipes away the excess blood before cleaning it with peroxide. The wound bubbles up with white bubbles, showing that it is cleaning it. She then covers it with a layer of fluffy white gauze. She uses the thick medical tape to tape the gauze down. "Okay your all done. You wont be able to do anything with that arm for at least a month though. You'll have to take it easy," Beth tells him.
He gives her a small nod. She smiles a little before walking away. "How bad does it hurt?"
"If I couldn't see my arm I would think it was literally on fire," he explains.
"Yeah, but who cares right, at least we're alive," he says sarcastically.
"Barely," I repeat what he said earlier. He smiles.
"Come on, lets go find that bed we stayed in."
I help him stand up and we walk toward the isle with the beds. I find it easily. It is the only black futon there is. Carl sits down and I sit down beside him. Carl lets the wall that the bed is propped up against bear most of his weight so he doesn't have to use his arm to help him sit up. "So back to that cat story..." I laugh.
He smiles, but doesn't laugh. "What do you still want to know?" he asks.
"When did you get this cat?"
"I was like 8," he shrugs a little.
"And when did he die?"
"Like a year later," he lets out a quiet laugh.
I shake my head. "The shortest time I ever had a cat was like... a year because he got hit by car. I have to say that he was one of my favorites too."
"I don't really like cats," he shakes his head.
"Well then..." I pronunciate the words to add to the affect.
"It might just be my experience though."
"I can see how that would affect your judgment," I nod.
"You need to get some sleep."
"How come whenever I tell you to do something you never do it, but whenever you tell me to do something I HAVE to do it?" he asks sarcastically.
"Because... I'm just that freaking awesome," I joke.
He smirks. "And I'm not?"
"Oh yeah... you're totally awesome too, but I don't listen to anyone," I smirk too.
He rolls his eyes. "You really are something."
"Yep," I pop the p.
He lays back and shuts his eyes. "Goodnight Izzy," he whispers.
"Goodnight Carl," I whisper back, but he's already asleep.