The Dead Walking 4

(This is the 4th book in The Dead Walking series) I hate death. Its not even the fact someone died really its the after math when you look back and think "maybe I could have done something" and it just eats away at you until you cant take it anymore. And it seems no one really understands it, but you so you are left to face it alone. Just like you're left to face everything else alone now because we're all just monsters too.

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11. 4 Years

           It's already around 5. We won't have, but 3 more hours of daylight. If we are going to move then we need to move now. "Carl... we need to get going. It's gonna be dark soon and the rest of that group is gonna be back any time now," I insist.

     "Are you sure you can travel?"

     "I'll try. I just might need some help," I shrug.

     He nods. "I'll help you as long you're sure it won't be too hard on you. I'm not gonna push you to keep going if your ribs are hurting too much."

     "I feel okay right now. My ribs are just sore. I'll be able to walk until it gets dark," I tell him.

     He turns to Melonie and Joel. "Are you guys ready?" he asks them.

     The both nod, but Joel says, "Yeah, we're ready."

     Carl turns back to me and helps me stand up. I pack away all of my weapons in my bag and throw my bag over my shoulder. Carl puts his arm around my waist and helps steady me. We walk, making our way through the trees with Melonie and Joel behind us. I make sure to keep looking behind me to make sure they are still there. I keep thinking I'm gonna turn around and they will be gone. I become so paranoid that I have to say something.

     "Hey. Can you 2 come up in front of us. I'm afraid something might happen to you guys," I tell them.

    They walk up in front of us and I am finally able to walk in peace. The longer we walk the closer the sun is to setting. After awhile, just before the sun is about to set we stop. "Are we gonna make a camp here or what?" I ask.

     "Well I was thinking we could sleep up in the tree. One of us could sit down here and keep guard," he explains.

     I shake my head. "My back is hurting me too Carl. I'm not gonna be able to sleep up in a tree. Unless you want me to keep watch first."

    He thinks about this for a second. "Do you guys just wanna sleep on the ground?"

    They both nod, quickly. I smirk a little. "I guess we're sleeping on the ground then."

   "I guess so," Carl rolls his eyes.

   I pull my black blanket out of my bag and lay it on the ground. It is big enough for us all to lay on so we all take a seat next to each other. Carl lays on the outer, left side, I lay beside him, Melonie lays beside me, and Joel lays beside her. I use my book bag as my pillow and I take out my jacket to use as a blanket. I look over at Melonie and see that she is shaking.

   "Are you cold?"

   "Yes," her voice shakes a little as her teeth chatter. I hadn't realized it, but it must be Fall by now. Which means that me and Carl are gonna be 16 soon. That's weird to think about. 16? Could it really be that long ago that my parents died? Almost 4 years?

    I hand her my jacket. "You look colder than me," I smile.

    She smiles too. "Thank you."

    I nod and snuggle deeper into the black blanket. To be honest I am freezing. I'm wearing only my white tank top, my skinny jeans, and my black boots. I hear Carl sigh and he sits up beside me. He grabs his bag and rummages through it until he finds what he is looking for. He pulls out one of this button up, long sleeves. It is green and black. He hands it to me and I raise an eyebrow. "Just take it," he rolls his eyes.

    "Don't you need something?" I ask.

    "I'm wearing a long sleeve already. I'm not cold anyways," he shakes his head.

    I'm too cold to argue. I slip my arms in and button it up. The arms are a couple inches too long and it comes down really far, but It's really warm. I cross my arms to try and keep the heat in. I can smell Carl's scent on the shirt and I sigh. It's strange how cold it got so fast. "Thank you," I whisper.

    He chuckles. "Your welcome."

    "Think about it. It's been 4 years since the beginning of the appocolypse. And it's already close to winter so that means we are almost 16. It doesn't feel like it's been that long. It feels like just yesterday I was watching my family die," I shake my head. 

    "Don't think about it like that."

    "How else am I supposed to think about it? We're 4 years closer to dying," I say sarcastically.

    "Stop it Izzy. That isn't funny," he snaps.

    "No it's not funny. It's just the truth."

    "I don't understand you Izzy. How can you just be so calm about stuff like that? You act like you don't give a shit about anything and I can't stand that! You act like just because the world went to hell you have to just give up and except death like it's no big deal. What happened to the old Izzy? The one that was still fighting. Because... I miss her. I miss when you still cared. And I know she is still in there!" he demands.

     I fell a pain in my chest as he talks... mostly because I know it's the truth, but also because he is finally seeing me for me. He's finally seeing the real me and the way I am. "I don't think so Carl," I shake my head.

      He grabs both of my arms just below my shoulders and pulls me off the ground. I see he's crying now. The sudden movement hurts my ribs, but that pain doesn't even compare to the pain in my heart. I'm surprised Melonie and Joel haven't woke up yet. "Listen to me! Izzy I care to much about you to just let you throw your life away! I am in love with you and I don't care how many times you say it I know, I know you don't want to die!" he insists.

     "But Carl... I just don't care anymore. YOU! YOU are my reason to live! Don't you understand that without you I have no one and to be honest I won't be here without you! That little part of. The old Izzy... she's just barely hanging on and it's because of you. I have no reason to live without you!"

     He shakes his head. "No Izzy, that's not good enough. I'm serious. I'm tired of you acting like nothing matters. Like nothing we have been through matters at all!"

     I am crying too. "Carl..." I whimper.

    "No."

    "I'm gone Carl. I'm not coming back."

    Carl turns my head so I am looking at him. He looks like he is about to say something, but then stops. He lets his hand fall and he lays back down with his back facing me. I stare at his back as I think about what just happened. I have feeling he'll never truly forgive me.

    I lay back down and squeeze the rest of the tears out of my eyes. I open them again and look up at the stars. 4 years. That's all it took to make me disappear. That's another way to think about it.

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