I attempted to shake the water from my clothes, as if I was a dog emerging from a big puddle. My hair just clung to my face, and my clothes hung off my body like a heavy second skin. Erik on the other hand stood still, gazing at me, watching in amusement. I peered through the curtain like bunch of screwed up hair, to see his croaked grin. He was holding back his laughter by the looks of it, his cheeks about to burst. I just gave him a stupid, cheesy smile and it popped. He laughed like a child, throwing his head back and clutching at his stomach. I lowered my eyebrow and pulled my lip to one side. But gave up and started laughing with him, still holding the hair though.
Laughter is one of the very few ways to forget and live a little. To escape life's pain is difficult, but laughing with someone you care about always makes you feel a little better. But to be fair, under some circumstances, it's harder. After gaining my breath, I gave up and pushed it to the side and sat down next to the river, Erik joined me. He sat almost behind me, allowing me to lean back.
"So, how long do you think they'll go down the river?" I asked. Ripples in the water pulled away from us, stretching away from our smoke like breath. The cold was much more bitter.
"Hopefully long enough for us to get some distance, we need to get away, maybe find some help. If it comes to it, we'll start our own force, army, rebellion, whatever we wanna call it." I looked up into his eyes, I could see that he was deep in thought and confusion. How are we going to survive this, we're not going to be able to fight ourselves.
"But what if we can't find any help, we won't be able to fight on our own." I turned to him, my hand on his shoulder, I was scared, I can at least admit that.
"Suzanne, I promise you, I will protect you, fight for you. I've known you since I was fourteen, I'm not going to lose you now, not after what we've been through." His hand was stroking down my hair, the other on my waist, holding me tightly to him. That wasn't what I was expecting, he's never been the emotional. He's always kept it hidden behind a sweet smile and brave face. What changed? I didn't quite know, it was probably the thought of what we've been through. I didn't particularly want to remember either.
Erik released me after a minute, perhaps trying to regain some warmth too. Didn't blame him, he was shaking like a leaf. He weakly got to his feet, but didn't seem to balance like he normally does. Much like a new born fawn or foal, trying to take their first step.
"We better get going," I shook his arms, and held out his hand to me, I seized it.
"Where exactly are we going, you just said North last time." He pulled me to my feet, I did a little jump to wake up me feet. My balance didn't wobble like his did.
"I don't exactly know, wherever is remote and not crowded. Yorkshire seems about right, it's seems to fit the bill." That was true, very true. Nothing was there. Just farming land and acres of forest. After World War Three, counties names were the same, town's names changed. But that was only if the town was small or destroyed. Except Caputvos, that was a completely new city though to be fair. "To Yorkshire it is then!" I sung lightly. I guess something had to be said positively. Erik smiled and laughed slightly. We climbed back up the hill, which took a lot of effort, Erik was straggling behind me, his balance was getting there. Slowly.
After what seemed like a two mile run, we were both on the top of the hill. But letting our lungs catching a little air, we need everything mouthful of oxygen we can get.
"Okay, so we're in this together?" he asked. I was massaging my legs, attempting to get them ready to run, I looked up to him. He had his hand outstretched, was I supposed to shake it? I stood up straight, and smiled at him. I gripped his hand lightly, agreeing.
"When haven't we been in this together?" I reminded him. He nodded his head,
"True. But I just wanted to make sure," he joked. We both then sprinted in unison, leaving Kent.