We walk in the opposite direction of the prison into unknown territory. It feels weird traveling with the whole group again. I keep pace with Carl which is kind of slow, leaving us at the back of the group. Everyone seems lost without Rick. I don't know about Carl. He hasn't said a word since we left WALMART good hour ago. Not that I blame him, but I at least thought he would say something to me. I guess I was wrong.
After while we come to an old run down building. I think it used to be a small shop where they sold candy and snacks and bottled drinks. I walk to the side of the building and lean against it, letting myself slide to the ground. The gun on my back digs into shoulder, but I don't mind. That pain nowhere compares to the pain in my chest... my heart. I expect Carl to come and sit by me, but he sits near the front doors, instead it's Casey that comes and sits by me.
He sits to my right and Melonie and Joel and Aria and Brian just surround us. "I'm sorry..." Casey tells me.
I shake my head and it scrapes across the flaking paint. "I'll find a way to be okay. I always do," I whisper.
"Do you Izzy? Because you don't look okay. You didn't look okay when I first found you guys. And you haven't looked okay since. When does that happen?" he asks sarcastically.
"Ha. Man wouldn't I like to know that," I say, my eyes closed.
I feel his hand rest on my knee. "About Carl... I know you feel hurt or whatever, but... don't take it personally... he just needs some time to be by himself."
"How can I not take it personally? I mean... it's all my fault. Everything. If I wouldn't have gave in so damn easily and got us caught... they would have never went looking for our group... we wouldn't have been gone so long... we would be at WALMART right now... living peacefully and now here we are. Sitting on the side of an old building, not knowing what the hell's gonna happen next. It's all happening again. I've already lost one of my family's... I don't want to lose another one."
"Save your breath. You know I'm right," I snap.
"No. You are most certainly not right," he disagrees.
I can feel all the anger inside me just... boil right up to the surface and I make myself stand up and start to walk away... I don't want to lose it on Casey. He didn't do anything to deserve it. I enter the woods and here Casey call 'wait' but I just keep running. I run for while, until my ribs hurt to bad to run anymore and I just stop. All at once I just stop and I just fall to the ground. I lay there in the dirt for a moment, thinking. I could just lay here. Just never get back up. A walker would come along eventually. Or I could just end it now. All of this would be over. No more pain. No more worry. No more anything.
I start to reach for my pocket, but stop myself. No. I push myself up and brush the dirt of my clothes. Instead I walk do the nearest tree and just wail at it, screaming at the top of my lungs. They can probably here me from back at our little camp. They're probably all coming for me know. I just don't care. My hands are stinging and aching from hitting the tree repeatedly so I stop and stand there, my hands balled into fists, as the tears come. I fall to my knees and run my fingers through my hair until I have a good grip and just clutch all the hair I can as I cry. After a moment I let myself fall over and I just curl up into a ball on the ground just as I hear footsteps approaching me and someone's arms slide under me and lift me off the ground.
"Do you want me to carry her?" Casey asks.
"No. I've got her," Carl says.
I half whimper, half cry as he carries me back to the rest of the group. Once we get there I suck up the tears and finally I come to my senses. "Put me down," I tell Carl.
He sets me down and walk away... leaving Car; behind me. I walk to the front of the store and reach for the door knob. Carl grabs my hand and spins me around. "Are you crazy?!" he demands.
"What are you talking about?"
"Are you trying to kill yourself? Do you have some sort of death wish or something?" he asks, his eyes narrowed.
"NO! But you are NEVER to tell me to stay behind again! I don't give a shit if I cant even walk! You could have died Carl and I was outside watching some kids! I'm not a freaking baby sitter! Look I'm sorry about your dad, but if you don't think that I'm just as upset as you then you don't know me as well as I thought you did! You cant just block me out Carl! I've already lost one of my family's... I-I cant lose another one," my voice lowers at the end and I know the whole group is watching us.
He puts one hand on the wall on the left side of my head and his other arm just hangs there. "Oh that's funny because what was the first thing you did after Katy died... you ran off and hid! And I didn't die okay! No my dad did... and if I would have taken you in there with me... you might have too. You're gonna have to learn that I'm not going to let you put yourself in danger just because you feel the need to protect me!" he yells back.
"I don't need protecting! I think you're forgetting the whole YEAR that I kept myself safe without ANY help! Carl... I cant do this anymore! This little game! Where everything I love somehow gets destroyed! Yeah... that little part of the old Izzy is that I used to have... she's GONE. She's not coming back and neither are you Carl! You've changed too! We don't get to come back," I whisper.
Then without another word his lips are crashing into mine. I can taste both of our tears... all mingled up together. This isn't a make-up thing. It's a craving almost. A craving to be with someone... to just forget everything... even if it's just for a second. Both of his hands cup my face, fiercely and my arms are wrapped tightly around his neck. After a moment he lets me go and my arms drop and we just stand there, staring at each other. And in that moment... I truly realize... you don't get to come back.