The Dead Walking 5

(the fifth book in The Dead Walking series!) Some chances ARE worth taking... and in a world like this... you don't have yet a second to decide what chances are the ones worth the risk. I still don't know if I chose right.


14. This Is All Wrong

              After 'building a snowman' with Carl, which mostly consisted of kissing and tackling and throwing snow at each other, we make our way back inside. Carl opens the door and steps to side to let me go in first. I sigh as the warm air from the fire place surrounds me. My nose and cheeks are probably the color of tomatoes and I look down at my frozen hands to see even they are slightly pink. I'm probably lucky I don't freaking have frost bite. I guess I'm not gonna be getting better anytime soon.

           I look up to see Maggie, Glenn, Daryl, and Michonne in the kitchen. They seem to be deeply engrossed in a conversation, but surprisingly they look up when we enter. Daryl waves for us to come, but instead only says, "Carl, come here."

           I hang back and scan the room. All the kids are running around, playing with each other. It really doesn't feel like we're living during a zombie apocalypse. It feels like... we're just one big family hanging out on a cold day. I really wish it was. I wish all of these kids would get to grow up and live a normal life. I wish they didn't have to worry about killing things all the time. I wish they didn't have to worry about food and surviving.

           They should be in school. Learning, playing with friends, and getting into trouble. I should be in High School. I should be out on Saturday nights partying and having fun. I should be able to spend time with Carl without having to look over my shoulder every 5 seconds to make sure there isn't any danger. Maggie and Glenn and Daryl and Michonne and Rick. They should be worrying about jobs and their kids and all those adult things that seem so stupid now. They shouldn't have to worry about keeping us all safe. Keeping us from dying. Keeping us from starving. This is all wrong.

           "Earth to Izzy," someone says, breaking me from my thoughts. My head snaps up and I realize it's Casey. He waves his hand in front of my face one last time and I smack it away, rolling my eyes. I've been zoning out a lot lately...

           "What do you want?"

           "Oh its nice to see you to," he replies sarcastically.

           I chuckle, finally relieving myself of the depressing thoughts. "Sorry," I turn my head to face away from him before almost hacking up a lung.

           He pats my back, but lets it fall once I stand up straight again. "Sick?"


           I walk over to the couch before plopping down. Casey plops down beside me and I can tell he's trying to keep is distance. I almost laugh at how awkward he kind of seems. Either he knows me and Carl are really serious or him... and Beth may have a chance. "So..." his voice trails off. Okay what did I do to deserve this torture?

           "So... how are things with you and... Beth?" I raise an eyebrow and his cheeks flush slightly with pink. "You did talk to her right? I mean COME ON Casey work your charm!" I cant help, but laugh at the look on his face.

           "Izzy..." he looks like he's about to continue, but then decides to say something else. "Maybe I don't like her like that."

            "Maybe you're a terrible liar." I roll my eyes. "I am a girl Casey and I can see the way you look at her... the way you blush when I even mention her name... its pretty obvious."

            He shakes his head. "No Izzy. I really don't. She's... she's too much like... my old girlfriend. She's still my girlfriend. She might be dead.... but she's still my girlfriend. And It feels too wrong to think of anyone else like that," he admits, and by the look in his eyes I know he's telling the truth. Suddenly I feel terrible for bugging him like that.

            "Oh... Oh my gosh I'm an idiot..."

            He shakes his head, letting out a light laugh. "It's fine Izzy, really. I don't mind you teasing me cause let's be honest... I tease you a lot too... but I just had to get that off my chest. I miss her a lot and Beth... just sometimes reminds me a little too much of her."

            I nod. "Well I can tease you about some different things then..." I smile slightly.

            "So how are you and Carl," he winks at me and I can feel my mouth open slightly and I have to stop myself from gasping. I could hear the double meaning coming from the words... and man is that awkward.

            "We're pretty good actually," I admit. "I like him... a lot."

            He shakes his head before shoving me, slightly. "Well duh Izzy. Anyone can see that you like him a lot. That's like the most obvious thing about you."

            "PDA?" I wince.

            "A lot of it," he smiles.

            "So have you been on any runs lately? Anything worth talking about?" I ask. Trying my best to change the topic.

            "Um... about a week ago was the last time I went out," he shrugs. "I don't think anything has changed. Its all still the same. Walkers. Not enough food. Constant worry of getting attacked... I really just want to go out there and do something that doesn't have to involve searching houses or finding food. I just want to go outside."

            I know what you mean.

            "Why don't we go for a walk? Carl's talking with Maggie and Michonne and everyone so I don't have anything to do either. You'll want a jacket though... it's really cold," I tell him. I honestly don't know how Casey is sitting there in only a white T-shirt, without a jacket, and here I am... snuggled in my fluffy winter coat over a long sleeve and I'm comfortable.

            He chuckles, before jumping up and running up the stairs. He returns a minute later wearing the jacket that he let me borrow while we were on our way here. Walking up to me he asks, "Are you sure Carl wont get mad that you are leaving without telling him?"

            I raise an eyebrow. "Nooo... okay Casey we might be close and yeah he might be a little mad, but he isn't in charge of me. We're just going for a little walk," I point out and he nods.

           "Okay, okay. Then lets go."




            We end up just walking the sidewalks throughout the whole subdivision. Talking and having a good time. It's calmer than when I was with Carl earlier... more relaxing. Once we reach the last row of houses we turn around and start making our way back.

           "Casey..." I say after a moment of silence. "Why do you care about me so much?" I ask.

           He looks a little taken back by the question, but he recovers quickly. "Because... you're pretty easy to care about you," he shrugs.

           "But I mean you do know-" I start to say something, but he cuts me off.

           "I know Izzy. You and Carl... I know. I get it. Don't get me wrong you're pretty amazing, but I respect the fact that you and Carl are together. I love you... like I love my sister," he explains, looking over to make sure I get it.

           "Okay... I completely understand," I smile.

           "Whew...," he dramatically puts a hand to his forehead and pretends to wipe some sweat away.

           "It was a stupid question..."

           He chuckles and I hadn't even realized we were in front of the house. I'm surprised we didn't even see 1 walker... it seems like there isn't very many walkers around here, which would be a good thing, but knowing my luck... I'm kind of worried.

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