I'm Alive

17 year old, Eli Grey, cared for nothing more than his two younger brothers, but one day everything he loves is taken away.

This has some parts that are hard to read, nothing too bad though. Just read with caution


6. Long Nights

We started a fire in the middle of a small store, with some fallen wood and clothing. It was a nice fire. Jessi sat with her back to the wall, petting Juniper. I smiled when Jessi looked up at me. "Your dog is nice." She said. 

"Yeah, she is a good dog." I said sitting down next to her. 

"Have you had her long?" 

"No. Only like a month or so. I found her in one of the cars I used to get here." I took Juniper into my arms, her eyes open, and her tail wagging enthusiastically. I closed my eyes, pulling Juniper closer to me. We had found some nice blankets in a store and some pillows in another, and before we knew it, we had made a bed. It was simple, and the time I was doing that Jessi was searching for more food. Now we sat cooking some chicken that she found in the back of the subway here.

"Tell me your story." Jessi said leaning her head back. 

"What do you want to know?" 

"Like, your story, what makes you you." I sat there thinking then decided on what to tell her.

"I was born in June of 1999, the 23rd. My parents were loving, and then my brother Jace was born, he was 15 before he died, born two years later after me. We were close, and he was the best little brother. My parents were still loving and caring, and then my youngest brother was born. He was just turning ten this year. My little brothers were my life, I loved them so much. Then my parents started to drink and be rash, I turned into the head of the family. Providing money and food for us, paying the bills, making sure my brothers were alright. It was a hard life I will admit, but not something I would change." I paused. 


"Why what?" 

"Why didn't you want to change your life?" Jessi asked, she was looking at me, her brown eyes intense. I smiled.

"Because I wouldn't have become the man I am today without the choices my parents made. I would never had watched my brothers grow up in the way I did. It's confusing, yes, but I don't think I would change it for anything else. Its something that I learned to live with, nothing I had to really think about." Jessi held my gaze, probing me onward, but I had nothing else to say. "And you? What is your story?" 

"Oh, my story." she said smiling. "It is totally different than yours. I am 16, born 2000, September 14. My life was perfect. I had loving parents, loving siblings. I was the youngest. My sister, Hallie, she was 23, then my brother Trey, who was 18. I was popular, had a bunch of friends, prom queen my freshman year, and everything was perfect." She kept saying perfect like it was something she would never get back. "Hallie came down to visit us from collage, and we all came here." Her smile slowly turned to a frown. "Do you ever regret the things you said to them?" 

"Oh yeah, I told Louis; my youngest brother, that I loved him, and then I hopped in the car next to my dad and Jace was in the back." The fire turned the cold store warm again, its warmth spreading across the distance to me, encasing me in it's power. "I will never forget that I never got to say I love you to Jace one last time." I looked over at Jessi, who was looking at the fire intently, tears were in her eyes.

"I was having a fight with my family." She said simply, taking in a shaky breath. "And it was about a STUPID thing to!" her voice was getting louder, stronger, scarier. "I ran off, needing to blow off steam. And when I was laying on that bed, looking up at the ceiling cracking? I freaked! I yelled for them, when they weren't even there!" I scooted closer to her, opening an arm up so I could hold her sort of. She complied and leaned her head on my shoulder. "The last things I said to my parents was, 'Really! Really! Okay, you people are ******* CRAZY! I ******* Hate you!' then I ran off, to blow off steam." She said scooting even closer to me. 

I didn't know what to say, what could I possibly say to something like that? The fire was burning red hot. The crazy thing though, was that I wanted to walk into it, and stay there, even if it burned me. We stayed in that position for a long time, and when I looked down Jessi was asleep, her one arm draped across my body, holding me to her. I smiled looking back at the fire, the fire that gave warmth to the air. Slowly I fell to sleep, wrapping my arms around Jessi. 

I woke, and the fire was out. Jessi was gone, I looked around panicked. "Jessi!" I yelled, standing up. 

"What!" She yelled coming into view, I let out a sigh of relief, walking over to her. 

"I thought someone took you." I said, and she scoffed. 

"How would someone take me, when we are the last people alive. Tell me that Eli." She said, putting her one hand on her hip, exaggerating the movement. I shrugged giving a smirk. "Help me find some more food." She said, taking her crutch and walking out the way she came, I followed quickly after. We traveled to the food court, Juniper ahead of Jessi, who was in the middle of us. I stayed behind them, holding my knife at ready. Sure, call me a worry wort, but I had walked through here before, and I found Jessi. Sure she was alone, but more people could be alive, and hiding in the shadows. 

When we were there, we went into the back of the restaurants searching for food. Only we didn't find much, some bread, and meat, but other than that, nothing. "Well, this was a waist of our time. We should exit the city, try and find some game to hunt." I said leaning against the wall, brushing my hand through my dirty hair. 

"Sure, we can leave tomorrow." Jessi said sitting down on a counter. "I'm too tired to travel today." I nodded agreeing. 

"Okay, lets go back to the store and just hang out for the rest of the day. I mean we have nothing else to do." I said helping Jessi get down from the counter without hurting her leg. 

"Thanks." she said, I looked away blushing. We walked slowly back to the store, me in front this time, followed by Juniper then Jessi. Once we got there I helped Jessi sit down on the makeshift bed, then I sat next to her. "Are we going to take a car?- or walk?" 

"A car, hopefully. Do you have your families car keys?" I asked looking over at her. 

"Yeah." She held up a pare of blue keys. "I also know the parking spot, of the explosions didn't ruin it." I took the keys from her hand in a swift motion, smirking. "Hey!" She yelled reaching to get them. I used my arm length as an advantage and held it as far from Jessi as I could get. She scowled, and then used her arm and good leg to crawl aver me. When her stomach was on my lap, I dropped the keys and started to tickle Jessi. What made me do this? - no clue, but sense we are the last human beings on Earth - why not? That is the question these days. Why? which is followed with - Why Not? But, as I was tickling her, she swung her good leg over, kicking my head, then she started to punch me. And lets just say, she isn't like any other girl, she's strong. I'm not trying to be mean to other girls that were alive before this, but their punches don't hurt. Jessi's on the other hand - Ehhhh.

"I'm sorry! I'm sorry!" I yell, taking her fist into one of my hands. 

"Don't tickle me."

"I'm sorry! I didn't know you would attack me!" I yelled defensively. She cracked a smile, pulled her fist back, and landed one last punch to my gut. "OW." I said, after I regained my breath. "You punch hard, you know." 

"I've been told." She smiled, grabbed the keys, got off me in a swift motion. 

"How do you know how to punch like that?" I asked rubbing my side.

"My youth pastor taught me last summer, well, him and his sister. She was an ex marine - tinny like a little girl, but strong nevertheless." I nodded, it made sense. "You know, if anyone survived the bombings, him and his family would. I don't think anyone would mess with them." 

"Unless, they are the people bombing everyone." 

"Ha, ha, ha... Very funny. No they are good people, never did anything bad. Well, I shouldn't say that. Before he was a christian, he helped in bad stuff, he stopped bad stuff, and well, he's all over the map on that. Lets just say he's the closest thing to batman we've got."

"He sounds like a lovely person." I said in a sarcastic tone. "So you really think that he's alive?" 

"Yeah, I really do. He wouldn't let anyone do this." I nodded. 

"Where does he live?" 

"Harker in South Dakota. When we moved, they stayed there. It's the last place you would think to be bombed, and I mean, who has herd of Harker? No one, and that's the beauty of it!" Jessi said getting excited. 

"Well, I am guessing you know the way there?" 

"Yes, I lived there stupid." I cracked a smile. "I should have thought of that before." she said thinking about her old youth pastor. You know, for as much as she cussed, I didn't expect her to be Christian, but hey, whatever, I'm not the person to judge.

The day passed much of the same, me bothering Jessi, Jessi punching me, me saying sorry, Jessi punching me again, and then me writhing in pain. I didn't not like it, and she didn't seem to mind, until I asked about boyfriends. "Why won't you tell me?" 

"I just don't want to, okay?" She asked, looking away. 

"Hey, I will tell you my love life, if you tell me yours." I tried to get her to budge. 

"No. And that's final. I don't want to talk about it." 

"I'm only guessing the worse in my mind." I said, making her punch me in the arm. 

"Well, don't. It's not that bad." 

"Then why wont you tell me???" I made puppy eyes, and Jessi looked away again. "Please, Please, Please, Please, Ple-" 

"Fine!" I smiled. 

"Great!" she frowned. "Go on." I probed. 

"I had only one boyfriend. His name was Tom." 


"Yes Tom. He was nice. 6'3", thick brown hair, blue eyes. We had been dating for a year, and then I found out that he was cheating on me with another girl in the town over, made all the efforts to hide her from me, said he was out shopping, swimming, snow boarding, with his mom, with his dad. Everything was a lie. And I trusted him full heartily." 

"How did you find out?" 

"I was in the other town with my friend, we were going to go swimming, and the only swimming pool was in that town, and as we walked into the swimming pool I saw him kissing her." She looked at me, her eyes stern. "I called him on my phone, he answered saying 'hey babe.' I said hey and well, things went down hill from there. I confronted him, and that was that." I didn't know what to say, for someone to do that - I can't wrap my mind around it. "And you, what of your love life." I was still silent staring dumbly at her. 

"My love life. There is nothing to say." I paused looking at the ceiling. "I've never had a girlfriend, and the crushes I've had were useless, futile, vain, a waist of my time, valueless, and any other word you could think of that would fit. I stopped having crushes after my freshman year, after realizing that it was pointless. I was in love with the idea of love, which is not good. So I stopped paying attention to girls, stopped looking at them as someone that could be in my future." Jessi laughed. "What!?"

"I have a very hard time believing that. I mean like really! How couldn't you have a girl friend? Your like this smoking hot dude, who cares for his family, is smart, not rude, not a prude! I just can't believe it!" I was stuck at the 'smoking hot dude' part. 

"Well, it's true! I've never had a girlfriend." I said looking down at her, she was smiling widely. I smiled back and looked around the store. Juniper was making a bed out of some ruined clothes, scratching and biting the fabric to make it more comfortable. "What are you thinking?" I asked looking back down at Jessi. 

"About tomorrow, and how we are going to leave this place." 

"I see." 

"Yeah, well, I know it's not even like 6 pm yet, but I'm going to head to bed. If that's alright with you. I'm am tired." She said laying down, turning to where her back was facing me. 

"Okay, yeah, I'm just going to say up for a while." I said wrapping a blanket around her small frame. 

An hour or so passed and my eyes were starting to get droopy, so I laid down and quickly fell to sleep. My dreams though, didn't give me rest. They were about Jessi, and her old boyfriend. That he was still alive, and that he was the one setting off the bombs, revenge for Jessi braking up with him. The dream didn't seem that scary, just some strange guy blowing things up, but a deeper message was hidden within it, but I couldn't quite put my finger on it.                             

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