"Lets play a game," I suggest.
"Like?" Katy asks.
"I don't know. Lets see what kind of things we can find around here," I shrug.
"There was a soccer ball in mine and Mark's room," Katy tells me.
I look at Carl and smile. "Soccer. That sounds like a good game for the 4 of us," I nod.
"Okay. Me and Mark verses you and Carl."
"Sounds good to me," I smirk.
"I'll go get the ball. You guys go set up in the back yard."
Me, Carl, and Mark head to the back yard and Katy goes to get the ball. I walk to the edge of the woods and grab two huge sticks. I stick one in the ground and stick the other one about 6 feet away from it. "I got one of the goals!" I call to Carl and Mark.
Carl gives me a thumbs up. "Find some other sticks like that for the other goal," he calls back.
I nod. I walk to the woods and grab two more sticks about the same size as the other ones. I walk back to where Carl is and stick them in the ground. I try my best to line them up with the original goal, but they are still a little off. Katy steps out of the house and makes her way down the wooden steps. She tosses a white soccer ball with blue and red stripes to me. I catch it with ease. "Okay so goals. Hm. Okay me and Carl will have this goal," I point to the one closest to the house. "And you and Mark with get that one," I dip my head toward the one closest to the woods.
"Okay what are our "rules" going to be?" Mark asks.
"Um... we'll go to 10. We aren't going to have any rules. Just don't do anything stupid," I look at Mark as I say this.
"What?" he holds a hand to his heart. "You think I would do something stupid?" he asks just a little too innocently.
"Actually I do," I smile.
"No," he shakes his head. "You'd probably kick my ass," he smiles back.
"I probably would."
He rolls his eyes and I turn to Carl. "Okay so who's gonna be goalie first?" I ask.
"You. My arm is still hurting me."
"Oh... yeah I forgot about that."
I stand in between our goal and Katy stands in between theirs. Its Mark against Carl. I look at them, face to face. Mark is at least 3 inches taller than him and even though Carl may be strong Mark has a bigger build. At least Carl is fast. This still is not going to be an easy win.
"You get ball first," Carl says.
Mark uses his foot to bring the ball closer to him, but he doesn't move his eyes away from Carl. I can practically see the smirk on Carl's face. With a quick glance at me Mark rushes forward. Carl blocks his view and kicks the ball between his legs. With a start he sprints for the ball and keeps it going towards Katy. Mark is no where near as fast as Carl. Carl kicks the ball one last time, sending it flying past Katy. She reaches for it too late. "Score!" I yell.
Mark has an irritated look on his face. We're better than he thought we are. "You're ball," Carl tells him.
He brings the ball toward him. This time instead of running with the ball he kicks it forward and runs after it. Carl is just a little behind him as he gives the ball another kick up the yard toward me. With one last heave Mark sends the ball soaring toward me. I mean right at me. I am able to catch the ball, but the impact sends me falling to the ground. "No goal," I laugh.
I push myself off the ground and stand up. I brush the dirt and grass off of my clothes. "Aright Carl. You're goalie." As Carl walks by we I whisper, "don't worry. You wont even have to catch any."
He smiles. I walk out to the center of the field. I see that Mark and Katy have not switched. I will be going against Mark. As I come face to face with him I realize that I am a little shorter than Carl even. Mark towers above me by about 4 or 5 inches. I look at his arms and then at mine. Compared to his mine look like noodles. You're faster than him. He's not going to be using his arms anyways and he's not going to try and hurt you or anything, I remind myself.
"You can have ball first," Mark pushes the ball towards me with the tip of his foot.
I really don't need the advantage, but hey... this will just make it go faster. I look up at him as I decide what I'm going to do. I guess my best bet is just to run the ball up the field before he can even understand what's happening. Yeah I'll do that.
I duck to the right and kick the ball a good 5 feet ahead of me. Once I have caught up to it I am already kicking it again. I decide not to kick it too hard at Katy. She's never been a real sporty type. I launch the ball about half as hard as I really could. She doesn't even come close to catching it. "2 to 0," I announce.
Mark mumbles something under his breath and Katy just looks at the ground, ashamed that she has let 2 balls get past her. "Okay its your ball Mark."
The rest of the game goes by fast. The ending score ended up being 8 to 2. They only scored on us 2 times and both times was Mark. He only got past me once and Carl once so I think we did a fantastic job. "Good game," Carl says and high fives Mark and Katy.
"Good game," I repeat what Carl sais and high five them too.
I give Carl a hug. "You did good," he smiles.
"So did you," I respond. "I think we play better together than against each other," I comment.
"I think so too."
The sun is already close to the tree line. It will be dark in about a half hour or so. "Lets get inside. We can finish up the food and get a good nights sleep so we're ready to walk tomorrow," I instruct.
We all head back inside. We take a seat at the table and I split up the last of the food. We all end up getting 4 crackers and 2 pieces of beef jerky each. "You could have told me you were an expert," Mark shakes his head.
"Well that wouldn't be any fun now would it?" I joke.
"That was not fun! You stomped us!" Katy exclaims.
I laugh. "I know, but it was fun for me."
Both Katy and Mark roll their eyes. I finish up my small amount of food and go out to the living room to find the water that I have in my bag. I get it out and take it back in the kitchen. I take a big drink and hand it to Carl. "Do you want any?"
He takes it from me and takes a big gulp from the water bottle. I finish off the rest of it. "We need to go to bed early cause apparently some people cant walk a couple miles without dying," I tease.
"Hey! It is more than just a couple miles," Mark rolls his eyes.
"Whatever. Just go to sleep. I don't want to listen to guys complain all day tomorrow."
Katy gives me a look before walking away with Mark right at side. "Kids," I roll my eyes.
He smiles. "Does that mean we have to go bed?" he asks.
"I don't know. Do you complain a lot?" He gives me a look similar to the one Katy gave me. I smile. "Okay, okay. I still want to lay down. That soccer game really wore me out," I stretch dramatically.
He rolls his eyes. "Come on."
I stand up and he follows behind me. I plop down on the bed and he plops down beside me. I lay across the bed sideways leaving more room for the both of us. "I'm sorry Carl... for leaving," I say.
"As much as you scared me you shouldn't be sorry. I should have had your back more than I did. It was wrong of my dad to give up your friends. I guess I just... I freaked out when you freaked out and I just... I felt like I had to defend my dad and now I see that, that was wrong. He shouldn't have done that," he rambles on.
"Really Carl its fine. He did it for you. You are his son and Judith is his daughter. Of course he had to do something. I freaked out because I thought my best friend was dead and I was mad at your dad for being the cause of it," I shrug a little. "People kill people now, but its still hard to think about your best friend being killed."
"I miss Hershel," he says. "I miss his enthusiasm and his spirit. He never gave up. Not even when everyone else did."
"People die Carl. The sad part is... its usually the good people that die first," I whisper.
"I think you're right Izzy. Maybe that's why I haven't died yet."
"Carl stop that. You are a good person. People kill people now, that's what you have to do to stay alive. That doesn't make you a bad person," I shake my head.
"But I did kill someone. I had a chance to not kill someone and I didn't take it. There was a kid in the woods back when we were still at the prison. Before you came. It was me, Hershel, and my dad. The kid was only maybe a year or two older than me and he was surrendering his weapons to us and I shot him. I killed him and there was no reason to. I'm just as bad as the zombies," he closes his eyes.
I sit up and pull him up too. I grab his face on both sides and shove my lips against his. I pull away and see that he is staring at me with those sad eyes that I only see every now and then. "You are not as bad as those zombies out there Carl. Never," I shake my head.
He holds my hand that is against his face and I see a tear roll down his cheek. "So many people have died Izzy. So many good people. They aren't coming back. I'll never see my mom again, I'll never see Hershel again, Carol will never see Sofia again, Daryl will never see Merle again. Sometimes I think it would be easier to just give up."
"No. They died fighting Carl. You cant just give up. That's just... wrong. All of those people who have died... if you just gave up then you are giving up on them. They died fighting," I repeat. I think of my parents who died for me. I think of my brother who I couldn't save. I think of all of the people I have known in my entire life. I cant give up on them.
"Yeah I know. That's why I haven't yet. I still have some reasons to live," he smiles a little.
"Exactly. Get some sleep Carl. Tomorrows a new day."
I fix myself so I am laying right and so does Carl. I don't even cover up. I just lay there with closed eyes and force myself to go to sleep.