I hold Carl's hand as we walk further down the road. We are close to the house me and Carl and Judith stayed in the first time. That is where we still tonight. Now that I have Carl with me, I'm not in a hurry to get back. Really I don't even care if we DO go back. But I know we will. Carl doesn't say anything, but I still don't think he would want to leave his dad. No matter how much I hate him right now. I'm glad I didn't shoot him though. I don't think Carl would have forgiven me for that. I don't know if I could forgive myself for hurting Carl like that either.
"How long do you think it will take us to reach the house?" I ask.
"What house?" I forgot that he has only been there once. He has no idea what I'm talking about.
"The house me, you, and Judith stayed in. I stayed there... yesterday," I explain.
"Oh. I don't know. We're probably pretty close," he shrugs.
I nod. "I hope so."
"Izzy..." he pauses to think of the best way to put it. "have you... forgiven me?"
"I really wasn't... thinking straight. And I was trying to tell you that I was sorry, but you never came back. I didn't even tell anyone I was coming to find you," he says.
"Its fine Carl. I over reacted."
"No you didn't," he shakes his head. He looks back at Katy. "And no offense or anything when I say this." He turns back to me. "You have every right to be mad. I mean my dad gave up your best friend and her boyfriend so that he could live."
"Actually Carl... they weren't threatening your dad... they were threatening to kill us," I look at his face as he takes this in.
"What are you talking about?"
"Katy and Mark were there. They heard what the people said. They threatened to kill you, me and Judith if your dad didn't give up one of our group members. As is turns out they needed one of our group members to show them where our weapons were," I roll my eyes. "That didn't work out to good for them."
"Great. Just great. Of course he did it for me. I should have guessed that he wouldn't have done that for himself. I guess I just thought that he wouldn't lie to me," he shakes his head.
"Its fine Carl," I assure him. "We'll get back there and everything will be the way its supposed to be... sort of."
"I guess," he says, but I can tell that he's just saying that.
"Look!" I point up the road to the white house that I was talking about.
We all jog the rest of the way up the road and head down the short driveway to the door. I open it and walk in. This place... it almost feels like home. I feel like I could have lived here before the apocalypse. Maybe me and Carl. It doesn't really feel right without him here. But it also doesn't feel right with Katy and Mark here. I feel crowded almost. But oh well its only one night and heck its a whole lot better than being here by myself.
"So um... me and Carl sorta already have a room. I guess you 2 can just find a room down the hall. Just not the first bedroom," I tell Katy.
"Okay," she nods and her and Mark walk down the hallway.
I feel better now that me and Carl are alone. I realize those couple days of being alone with him showed me that I prefer that over being with him around people. I don't feel as awkward when we are alone. "So... what do you wanna do?" I ask.
"Uh... I don't really know. Go outside? We haven't seen what the back yard looks like," he points out.
"True. Lets go."
We walk into the kitchen and approach the sliding glass doors that lead out to a little deck that over-looks the back yard. I slide the door open and walk out onto the wooden deck. The back yard is decently sized with just 2 trees, which are good for shade. The tree limbs spread out far and wide and each are covered in millions of leaves. I see a small line of trees at the other end of the yard and beyond the line of trees is a meadow. The meadow is filled with dandy lions and flowers of all different colors. All around the meadow is surrounded by trees. Its just like my "happy place" I smile.
I walk down the 6 steps it takes to get to the ground and make my way across the yard. I weave through the line of trees and soon enough I find myself in the meadow. The sun casts beautiful rainbows of light on everything it can find. It feels like the sun is warmer here. Brighter. I hear Carl exit the small woods from behind me, but I don't have to look at him to know what is expression is. I walk to the center of the meadow and hold my arms up toward the sky. Almost as if I can touch the sky and I start to spin in small circles.
I feel Carl wrap is arms around my waist from behind and I hold on to his arms where they rest on my belly button. I lean back and let my head rest on his chest. "Its beautiful isn't it," I whisper.
"Almost as beautiful as you," I can practically see the smirk on his face.
I don't even object. This place is too sweet, to precious to even disagree with something like that. He lets me go, but holds on to my left hand. I let out a little laugh and lay on the ground. He lays down beside me and I look over at him, a smile planted on my face. I think this s even better than my happy place. "I love you."
"I love you too Izzy," he smiles back.
I turn my head again so I am looking up at the sky. I search the fluffy white clouds for any sign of shapes. I find one that looks like a big tree. Like one of the trees in the back yard. "Look," I point at the sky.
"Look," he points at the sky too. I look where he is pointing and see what looks like a man riding a turtle.
"Ha," I laugh.
"And look at that."
I look again and see that what used to be the tree is now a stop sign. I nod. "I used to watch the clouds all the time when I was little."
"I did every now and then. I always liked to play video games," he smiles just a little bit.
"I would much rather be outside," I disagree.
"Now I would. I mean I was only like... 10."
"What happened to 11 and 12?" I ask sarcastically.
"I did a mixture of both then," he explains
"Yeah. I used to have a stream that me and my friends played on."
"Oh really? Sounds... complicated," I smirk.
"Not really. Did you play any sports?"
"No. I did gymnastics though," I shrug a little.
"I played soccer when I turned 12."
"You cheater! When we played soccer that one day you never told me that you had actually played soccer!" I exclaim.
"You never said you were a pro either! You should have played soccer."
"I was going to, but then... all of this happened."
He nods, understandingly. "We should get back inside. Katy and Mark might freak out and think we left them," he rolls his eyes.
"Yeah," I agree.
Carl stands up first and he holds out it his right hand. I grab it thankfully and he helps pull me. We walk back to the house, passing through the back yard, and going up the steps to get the back door. I will have to go out there tomorrow before we leave. Just to live my happy place one more time.