"Hey. Stop walking so fast." Blake's long legs followed Melissa's feminine legs as she paced through the deserted ally.
"Hey. Walk faster." She spat out, looking up at a high platform that stood in her way. Jumping up, her hands gripped onto the surface and back off. She sighed as Blake, who had been watching, climbed up without hesitation.
"Grab my hand." He kneeled down and held his hands downwards to Melissa. She looked at it whilst Blake waited for an answer. She wanted to show that she didn't need Blake to lead her around-she was capable of that herself. But make the use of him, right?
She jumped up and grabbed hold of his hands, which pulled her up easily.
"Woah, you're light." He brushed off his hands on his jeans.
"Oh fuck off, Blake." Melissa rolled her eyes and scoffed. He smirked to himself and jogged up to her.
"Maybe a thank you would've done."
"You don't deserve a thank you, from me."
"Please. Forgive me, I'm sorry. I'm trying to help you, for what I've done." Blake stopped in front of her and held her shoulders tightly, so she couldn't shrug it off even if she tried.
"You don't understand, do you?" Her body starting building up with rage. How could she forgive him? How could she let him even go with her? Feeling Blake's strong hands on her shoulders, she couldn't escape.
She wasn't going to listen to him drag on about his mistake whilst she had no choice but to stand in front of him and sympathies.
"You can't turn back time by saying sorry." Melissa yelled out, feeling her body tense up from her fingertips to her toes. Her tone softened and she looked down to her feet and mumbled,
"It won't bring her back." Blake's eyebrows came down from its arched shape and his grip on her shoulders loosened. After seconds of silence, Melissa continued with walking. Keeping her eyes looking at the tip of her light brown combat boots.
Blake's hands fell back down to his sides as she walked away and hung loosely. Looking up into the sunset, Blake shook his head.
"Please. Forgive me, Tessa."
•~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~•
A little boy walked along the still river, holding the hands of a small girl next to him. Her cry made the birds flee off into the hills. Pink, her face shone as she rubbed her eyes, letting her salty tears drip down her chubby cheeks. He walked, head down. Almost oblivious to his sisters whining cry.
"Blake. It's about to start," Emerging from the trees, a tall, buff man stood with his hands in his black suit pants. His eyes were a dull grey colour. He held his hand out, telling the two children to come with him. Without looking at the man, the small boy looked to the river and his sister, who was now blubbering.
Obeying the man, he dragged his sisters hand towards the crowd of people. The man walked next to the boy, resting his large hands on the back of his fitted black blazer. Their breaths turning into vapour as they exhaled.
"It didn't need to happen."The boy spoke, squeezing his sisters fragile hands. She let out a gasp, but adjusted to his strength. The man blinked, not sure of what to say.
"You're right. It didn't, but it did. It's just us three now." They walked in a linear line, which seemed to go on forever. A quiet whisper was heard from the girl through the field of graves.
"Just us three."
•~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~•
"We're going to have to pass through here, we can check if there's any food too. They'res normally some sandwiches and water here every couple of days." Blake used his force to push away a broken bookshelf. Melissa stood, watching him in silence. Behind the shelf, was an exit door with a broken handle. Reaching to the corner of the door, Blake slid the door open to reveal a small room with another door.
Inside the room was two crushed boxes, one filled with buttered sandwiches and the other with opened water bottles.
"Just got restocked today." Appearing from the corner of the room was a man with dark skin, he wore a white tank top and dark blue jeans. In his hand, he had a gun with a finger on the trigger at his side. As he saw Blake, his face softened in relief and turned around to lay the gun onto a box he used as a chair.
"Hey bud." Blake walked in, with Melissa trailing behind. She walked towards the boxes, examining them and how they even got this amount of food and water. The man walked towards Blake and looked at Melissa.
"Who's the lady?" He asked, pointing his head to her. Blake sighed,
"Just taking her to the center." The man focused back to Blake, nodding to show his understanding.
"Well, take as much as you want. My treat." Melissa picked up a sandwich and checked it's insides. Putting it down, she walked over to the two men.
"Why'd you have a gun?" She asked, looking at the gun placed on the box.
"Just in case I run into any Smokes. Or maybe if survivors think that they'd want to put me on." She looked at him, not convinced.
"So it's true? Smokes can transform into-"
"Yes, lady. They can." He cut her off and she furrowed her eyebrows.
"The names Melissa." She folded her arms and put her weight onto one of her legs. Annoyed.
"And mines Xavier.' The man turned to Melissa and sassed.
"Well. Nice to meet you, Xavier." She looked at his face and turned away back to the boxes.
"Well, at least you got her to talk." Blake looked back to her and sighed. Blake joined her and opened up her backpack whilst she passed him two of each item.
"Cheers again, Xavier. See you soon bud." He walked back to the way he went in as Melissa stopped. The two looked at her, confused. Taking off her backpack, she opened it and took out a maroon coloured hoodie.
"Picked it up as a blanket. Seems like your size. Keep warm will you?" She threw the soft material up into the air and into Xavier's hands. He widened his eyes as he stood there, opening the hoodie up.
"Sure. Cheers, Melissa." He stood and watched them go.
Walking out and closing the door, Melissa didn't take another glance back whilst Blake pushed the destroyed bookshelf back into it's place.
They continued walking, side by side down the narrow ally. Not exchanging any words till Blake broke the silence.
"Why'd you do that?" He looked down to her face, it seemed..somewhat lonely.
"Hmm?" She replied, her eyes didn't move. It looked like she totally blanked out till she answered.
"Why'd you give him a jacket?" Melissa took a while to reply.
"Because it's winter, he'll freeze to death."
"But, you didn't like him."
"Who said that?"
"Well-the way you were..never mind." He paused his speech and shook his head off of Melissa.
"We're our only allies in this world, Blake. Couldn't just leave a friend of yours to die whilst doing a good deed, can I?" She stopped and looked up to his face. His actions immediately imitated hers.
"No," He mumbled. "Course not."
"So, how far we got?" Looking to the left corner of the building, was a small park in the neighbourhood.
"We'll get there in 10." He replied as she walked around the corner. "Wait, where you going?" He hesitated and caught up to her.
"It's a park," Looking up to him, she gave a small smile. Confused, but he didn't want to say a word. It was the first smile she ever gave to him.
In a sudden change of mood she skipped to the entrance arch and waited for Blake.
"It's completely empty." She looked back at him, yet giving another smile. His eyes grew, surprised.
Walking down the path, she found a lane which had trees overlooking the people below.
"Imagine, in Spring or Autumn. Having the leaves fall down onto your head as you have one crumble out of your hands. Petals flowing down, on top of one another. Natures just so beautiful, isn't it?" Brushing her hands on the bare, solid, oak trees as she walked slowly.
Blake followed, taking a small step as she did. Mesmerised by her soft tone and change of attitude as she suddenly entered the park.
"Yeah, it sure is."
Pause. A gust of black wind flew through behind the forest of trees in a quick flash. The pair of them stopped, cautiously. Not exchanging any words or any glances, they both slowly came closer together.
"What're we gonna do?" Melissa whispered. Her breath getting heavier as her heart rate sped up. Hesitantly, Blake couldn't find an answer.
"Run. We run." He took a dry gulp in his throat, which bought back the smoke. Lurking wildly, going high an low, making itself twirl around the old trees.
She took a look up at him and shook her head.
"Too. Dangerous." She said, in between breaths.
"Then what." Blake said. With out an explanation, Melissa gripped onto Blake's wrist. Startled, he took time to realise it was only her. "We can't just stand here."
"We can't move either." They both paused, moving their heads to scan around. Like their bodies were paralysed into the moment. Searching frantically, high and low, they saw nothing. The whistling of the wind grew quiet and faded into the distance of the other side of the path.
"They're gone." Blake's voice came back to normal and they both relaxed and stood, back straight, again. Giving a sigh of relief, Melissa turned to Blake and said quickly,
"We need to get to the centre. We'll eat on the way." Her grasp on his wrist let go as she adjusted her backpack.
"Why the hurry?"
"If we want to survive the night, we need to get there and then I can start the training. I want to live, you know." They both headed back to the enterence of the park and back onto the road.
"'I'? Since when was this trip just you? I don't know the same shit you don't know." Melissa shrugged her shoulders.
"I thought you would-I mean..your dad is running the place, right?" She looked up at his stiff face, still cautious.
"Yeah, but, I've never really been with him. Since two years ago, I've been with Rian. Kind of grew distant from him I guess."
"He, he didn't think he could take care of me. Yet he stayed with my sister. Who he couldn't take care of either." Melissa gathered sympathy for him, even if he didn't deserve any pity, feelings are what makes us human.
"I didn't know you had a sister.." Their walking pattern became slow, to give them time to talk to each other.
"Yeah." He said, his speech barely audible.
"It's funny. My dad said that we'd stay together, but, guess things change." He shook his head, giving a weak smile at nothing in front of him.
"So who's Rian to you then?" Melissa became aware that it'd be a tough topic to listen to and for Blake to talk about, hence the reason she changed the subject.
"She was actually my boss when I was on an apprenticeship."
"You wanted to become a doctor?" Melissa said, surprised.
"Yeah, just the idea of saving peoples lives. It's always been an ambition of mine, even when I was a boy." A silence grew between them, even though they didn't exchange words, their thoughts were shared.
"I wanted to bring her back, you know, Eliza I mean. I'd always see you both in school, I always wish to feel that feeling of happiness when I'm around people I love. Whenever I saw you both, I could only imagine what it'd be like to be insanely happy. I once swung the door open, which hit her in the face. All I did was look at her as she apologised. But it wasn't her fault, yet she said sorry. To me."
With Eliza being the topic, Melissa didn't flinch to say a word. There was only so much she wish she could say but she couldn't. Loosing Eliza was like loosing half of her personality. It wasn't easy walking around without that person who completed you. Feeling bare and unstable to go out in public at all.
"I know how you feel. To loose people you love forever. My dog, proved that dogs are really a mans best friend. He'd use to cuddle on my lap in my room whenever I was quiet." Talking about the memories, Blake chuckled.
"My grandparents, my granddad use to always buy me and my sister sweets when we weren't allowed. We'd use to exercise with him too. It was a shock to us all that he got so weak. My mum, then there's my girlfriend..and Tessa."
"Hm? Who's Tessa?" Melissa asked, having the instinct to be nosey without thinking about it. She realised her rude mistake, "-If you're alright with me asking.."
"It's alright. She was my little sister." He didn't continue, Melissa was glancing up at him and from time to time she'd look back to the street in front of her. Blake felt like the glances were comfortable. If it was before he'd be mentally slapping himself from the embarrassment.
"Your dad took her away, when he stopped taking care of you. What did he not do? To keep your sister alive?" Blake's eyes flashed, zoning out like he was seeing a flashback. "Blake-"
"She got sick. She couldn't eat or drink without throwing up. He got tired and stressed, so instead of asking for help, he sometimes would've given up on trying to feed her. She got worse and worse. Then..and then she died."
Blake's voice began crackling, as he clenched his teeth to stop him from bursting. Melissa's sorrowful eyes looked away, unable to know what was the right thing to say.
"I didn't get invited to the funeral. He didn't want me there."
"Blake, I-" She stopped and pulled him in for a hug. "I'm sorry.."
"I am too Emmi, I'm so sorry."