The sky was still grey, but the sun bled through. Casting a thin light on the hills in the distance that were now visible after emerging from the forest. After an hour of running, we had to stop. Fatigue entered my body like a knife in my back. I think Erik wasn't as tired, but we both sat under a tree, over looking the valley. A thin, snake like silver river slithered at the bottom of the valley, and faded as it travelled away from us. It's a shame that the greyness of the sky made this place look miserable, I'd bet it would be enchanting in a warm, summer light. Winter doesn't display much of beauty, except for snow of course. Snow is the most beautiful thing about winter, it makes everything pure with its white, cold being.
“Why are we running North by the way?” it didn't occur to me until then. The more we run North, the colder the air will be. Where we are at the moment is Arctic like as it is. Erik's face didn't show a sign of actually knowing the answer, it looked blank, and pale from the cold air.
“Well, we do live in the South, so it means we could get further away if we went North.”Good point. He began to shiver in the unforgiving cold, his mouth breathed a cloud of mist.
“Though I'm starting to regret it. The cold is bitter here, dare to imagine what it's like up North.” he rubbed his hands together, attempting to get warmer.
“Yeah, definitely agreed.” I laughed, but shivering a bit still.
My thoughts wandered from the cold to mine and Erik's family, and how they're going to be forced to work. Currereame is dying, bleeding slowly. The Government has been too slow to react, and now they blame us. They gave us nothing. How can we start again from nothing? How? We can't, that's the answer. The took all our money, spending it on World War Three which was a century ago. We've been in debt ever since, so they've been robbing us blind. But the sad thing is, we're all used to being poor. It's all we've ever known, since more than half of the country's population was wiped out by other countries such as France and Russia. I shuddered at the thought of all it. Bombs, nukes, weapons of mass destruction, thundering down on us. Our country used to be powerful, despite the smallness of our land.
I shook my head. Thinking in general isn't good for me, all my thoughts tend to lead to something negative, but that's hardly surprising. I looked to the sky, still overly cloudy, but the sun began to part them. Erik was looking around too, but to the hills. I hated to see him like this, he doesn't deserve to have to run. No-one does. No-one should endure this torture. I laboured myself to my feet, not wanting to, but knowing that I have to. Maybe standing in sudden action to the cruelty of the thoughts that generated in my mind. Erik quickly stood, confused, possibly even concerned.
“We don't have to leave yet Suzanne,” he said, his hand on my shoulder.
“No, we need to as much distance away from them. The further from home we are, the safer we are.” That sentence rippled in my mind, echoing. I never thought I would have said those words.
“Okay, only if you're sure?” he asked, much like a parent to a child. I nodded, fluttering water out of my eyes. It was like I was crying, but why? I don't exactly know. He removed his hand from my shoulder, and seized the belt from the ground, and lightly placed it in my hands. I smiled, trying to at least reassure him that I was fine. Hoping that maybe a smile would warm him a little. He cracked a little smile, whether it worked or he was just being polite, I couldn't tell. I strapped the belt to my waist, and stroked the leather holding the sword. I feel safer with it, a little defence. Well, I would rather have Erik with me all the time, then I'd feel completely safe. He threw the quiver on his back, and lifted the string as he pulled it over his head. A bow and a quiver seemed to suit him, a sword, not so much. I didn't really know if a sword suited me, like a woman shouldn't have a weapon, because it's not 'lady-like.' I rolled my eyes at the thought of it.
“Okay then, let's go,” he said just before sprinting down the hill rather rapidly, but not until he pushed me away lightly. I chased after him, but rather more cautiously than him. Remembering that one wrong foot could lead to a fatal fall. I cantered down at a steady pace, left then right, right then left. Always watching where I was stepping. Erik on the other hand just dashed it, not looking where he was going, just peering back me, as if it was a race. He's such a child. It was then he stepped wrongly and began to trip, but didn't try to steady himself. He just reached out and grabbed me, hoping that I would keep my balance. But more likely he didn't want me to just laugh at him while he was tumbling down the grassy hill.
My hair wrapped around my head while rolling down, while I held my arms across my chest. Not wanting to damage any part of me, preferably. Everything was spinning around me, I began to feel a little sick to the stomach. And my head began to pound a little. I stole a quick look to see how far down I was, but I couldn't quite make it out, everything was blurry and shaky. Like a camera out of focus.
After a minute or so, I crashed into Erik at the bottom of the hill. He was just laughing. Dirt smeared on his cheek, grass blades mingled amongst his hair, but his wide smile remained white and bright. He didn't try to stand, he just relaxed and put his hands behind his head. He raised his left leg into an arch, and shuffled around a little bit. I just laughed, and pushed him gently.
“Not the best time to have a quick nap, you know?” I joked. But followed suit and flopped down on the grass next to him, completely relaxed. Or at least trying very hard to be relaxed.
“Maybe not, but is there ever a good time to have a quick nap?” he asked. I couldn't quite tell if he was joking or if he was serious. I rolled onto my stomach and looked at him, into his bright blue eyes almost speaking to me.
“I guess not,” I responded with a tone unhappiness. I don't think there has ever been a good time to relax, especially now. Flashing images of our families behind the fences, crying, knowing that they'd have to work like dogs for nothing haunted my mind. I think I was showing the sickness of humanity I was witnessing in my mind on my face, because Erik sat up and put his hand on my cheek. I peered into his eyes, only then feeling the tears tumbling from the corners of my eyes.
“Suzanne, we're going to make it. I promise you. We'll find someone who can help us,” he said. His thumb wiping away the drying tears, my sadness soaked face reflected in his eyes.
“But who would help us? The government are the ones behind this inhumanity, the control the whole of Currereame. Who is there to help us?” I whimpered. Knowing that there isn't anyone alive that will help us. Erik sighed, he too knew this, but I knew that he didn't what to discourage me.
“We'll think of something, we'll work it out. And we will free our families, if I have to kill I will. But I have to keep you safe, you're my number one priority Suzanne.” Those eternal words echoed in my mind, what about his family? Surely they'd be the one thing he holds dearer to him than anything else. I didn't know what to say to that to be honest. He held me closer, wrapping his arms around me. The only place I feel safe, in his company.
I nuzzled his neck, breathing onto his strong neck. We've never been this close to each other, something felt different. I couldn't quite put my finger on it. Tears still leaked from my eyes, the emotional pressure had finally hit, but I know I have to be strong. I can't be weak, not now. I have to keep going, for my family, and Erik's. We're the only chance they have, we're the only change Opus has to survive. I removed my head from his neck, and looked up into his eyes. How could he have the beautiful eyes, they're just perfect. I leant my forehead against his, and breathed deeply. I didn't want to leave, everything felt right here. Erik put is hand on my head, and stroked my hair.
“Everything will be fine,” he whispered in my ear. I don't want to leave his arms, this is a moment I don't want to leave. I feel safe.