Autumn's Life

Why me? Why us?

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Autumn's life fell apart when she lost her parents to a terrible bombing in her city. She escaped with her sister and met her two best friends. They were finally let free and lived with a kind couple, meeting her crush in the most unexpected of times. And just when she thought she was rid of her past, it comes back to haunt her. One after another wave of sadness, grief and guilt from the horrible and unexpected events comes crashing down over Autumn's head before she can recover from the previous wave. Will she ever find happiness again? Or will she let those waves drown her with depression?

This is her story.

Cover credit goes to my friend.

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6. Chapter 4- Relocating

I helped with the relocating; I packed the essentials alongside the others, I worked hard. Every night I go to bed, the moment my head touched the pillow, muscles screaming, limbs aching, I was out like a light. I became so tired and longed for rest throughout the entire day though I was determined to do this without complaining. It wasn't easy. I had to bite my tongue against the flow of pleas and complaints until it bled but I refused to give in.

For the first time, I saw how fit and strong all of them are; how their environments forced them to be that way so they could survive. I could only gaze at them in awe.

Winter also helped, with the smaller tasks, but she was still busy just the same; we barely saw each other during those days of hurrying, rushing, haste, anxiety for we feared the government might catch us, hard work and harsh rules- we had to wake up every day as the sun rises and sleep when we couldn't work by the lantern lights anymore.

I had figured out the name of the boy who attracted my attention that first day in the care of the Resistance; Benjamin, a name for a strong, capable person. And he was. I found myself staring at him as he lifted things or stuffed them into tiny containers with brutal force but not breaking it. How does he do that? Of course, he didn't acknowledge me more than as an acquaintance which was painful and disappointing. I couldn't ponder over that often though. I had tasks to complete, things to do, work to get done.

We were packed in a matter of days and were ready to leave.

So that's what we did. The next day after we finished packing up, we prepared for departure.

Rising early in the morning, we left our little underground cave.

I whispered a final, soft goodbye at the walls, and, stepping out into the open, using pure willpower, forced myself to walk away without a second look backwards over my shoulder. If I did, I would start crying and it was a sign of weakness. Resistors were supposed to be strong and, most definitely, not supposed to cry. The place held so much for me; the beginning of my new life, my friends, my first crush, etc. I probably will never see it again.

I looked back at my ruined home in the distance. The air whistled out through my teeth as I whispered a final farewell to my old life too. "Rest in peace, mom. Dad." I proceeded to name all my other friends who have probably died in the bombing, who I turned my back on and ran for my own life instead when danger came. "I'm sorry." 

I took a deep breath as another hollow, un-filled hole opened in my chest and blinked back the tears that have started to well up. Resistors do not cry., I reminded myself.

I turned and walked away, knowing I couldn't look back and see, knowing, if I did, I would, break down. I couldn't look at Winter either. Her hair, her features, they are all too much like our parents. If I saw her cry, which is likely to be happening, I would start crying too. Resistors do not cry. 

We walked for hours and hours. The handles of the container holding wretchedly torturous heavy materials dug into the palm of my hand. My arms and legs were shaking, aching, screaming in pain from overworking them. I refused to give up and out them down to rest, even for a second, though it seemed so tempting.

Somebody gave a cry of alarm and pointed at something in the distance. A dangerous, billowing cloud. I could feel the blood drain from my face and myself sink into a delirious panic as I tried to figure out what we are supposed to do. My mind had suddenly gone blank, scrambling desperately, fruitlessly, for an answer to my question.

They had told me about this before. I knew it was deadly; I wouldn't stand a chance against it. So I did the only thing I could think of: I dropped what was my duty to carry and, grabbing Winter's hand and dragged her despite het protests, ran the other way while, in the background, the others urgently discussed and searched for protection.

My heart began beating faster than ever; more sweat beaded my body, flowed down my forehead and stung my eyes. My legs gave way and I fell, pulling Winter with me. She wrenched free and rushed back to the others. A strong sting of betrayal washed over me  at the sight of her retreating back before bitterness and anger took over. A livid, hot anger that made my ground my teeth in anger. A cold, bitter bitterness.

Well, I guess it's just me who wants to live now.

I continued running.

I wasn't fast enough outrun the storm though I didn't want to believe it was true.

I was running as fast as my strength would allow me- which wasn't speedy since 1) I wasn't used to this desert terrain 2) I had just recovered from my absolutely wonderful (note sarcasm) expedition to my new home. A cramp in my side and my aching legs fiercely demanded attention as I felt in muted, exhausted horror as the wind picked up, causing the dust to go towards me even faster in one giant wave. Dust has already begun flying off the ground into my eyes and nose and I choked, gasping for breath.

It had already engulfed them; they were probably gone.

NO!I choked at the thought. How could I have been so selfish and leave them behind because of just one moment of temporary anger?

I wasn't fast enough; the storm hit me suddenly, out of the blue, leaving me gasping for breath and stumbling a few more feet forward before sinking to my knees in this cruel place. There was no place to hide or protect me against the powerful, roaring winds and the sand that accompanied it.

I pulled up my shirt around my mouth and nose. For a brief second, there was relief. Inside the temporarily-safe fabric of my shirt, I took in a deep breath, relishing in the feeling of pure, sand-less, untainted, though dry air of the Barren Lands.

For a moment, I was safe. And then the sand found its way inside my shirt, less than before but still painful.

For what seemed like an eternity, I knelt where I had landed after the storm had hit, gasping for breath and choking and coughing for each inhale pulled more sand into my lungs, as I felt regret over running in such a unfamiliar situation from the others when they knew what to do and I didn't.

The wind stopped as suddenly as it had began and I collapsed onto the sand, lifting my nose from inside my shirt, relieved. Not for long. The gasping had left my mouth parched and dry, bringing back unpleasant memories in a flood with it. My lungs heaved and coughed until my throat burned and I felt like I was coughing so hard that blood was coming up. There was. I watched in exhausted horror at the liquid trickling out of my mouth. 

I coughed some more and I felt as if my lungs wanted to burst out of my body by just coughing. 

My last thought before I pass out from the horrid experience was, you're a selfish idiot. 

How true that is. 

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Author's Note: I know it's not long and I don't know why I like ending chapters with passing out or unconsciousness but I do and I hope you enjoyed it! 

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