I feel the wind on my face when I
wake up and I sit up quickly, looking around. I groan from the
quick movements, but when I get my bearings I see that I’m
back at camp, but I don’t see Everett. I get up and go
through my bag until I find my sweatshirt and throw it over my
head. I get up and find Hook, quickly pulling him aside.
He points to a makeshift tent. “He was pretty beat up when
we found him.” He must see the shock on my face because he
adds, “He’ll be fine, Riley.”
I nod and head towards the tent. I take a deep breath just
outside the tent and go inside. I see Everett asleep in a
sleeping bag with a couple blankets around him. His face is
partly bandaged and swollen. I sit down next to him and grip his
hand. I’m not sure what happened to him; he didn’t
look like this when I saw him, but I can tell he is in pain. I
stroke his hand and wipe my eyes to stop myself from crying.
It would be wrong to leave Everett so I lie down next to him and
drape an extra blanket over my lap. I watch Everett sleep and
wonder about our kiss. Did it actually mean anything or was it
all in the heat of the moment? What if it really did mean
something to Everett and I totally shut him down? Of course I
care for Everett, he’s my best friend, but there’s
just too much going on right now to try to figure out all my
feelings. I mumble a sorry to Everett before lying down and
When I wake up, Everett is still asleep, but his breathing seems
too fast for him to be sleeping. I scoot closer to him and
He sighs and opens his eyes. We stare at each other for a minute
before I close the gap between us and hug him tightly. He groans
and I ease up on the hug.
“I’m so sorry! Are you okay?”
I help him lie back down, but he keeps a firm grip on my hand.
“I’m fine, Riley.”
I bite my lip. “You don’t look fine.”
“Well I am,” he says.
I look at him harshly, get up, and walk out of the tent. The
light blinds my eyes briefly as I walk out. I hear Everett call
my name as I storm off into the woods. I run through the woods
and scream shrilly, kicking and punching random trees.
I drop my hands once they are bloody and sore. I sit against a
tree and hug my knees tightly, glaring at the ground. I hear
footsteps and I turn around ready to run, but it’s only
Chris. He sits down beside me and asks, “I saw you run off.
“Nothing,” I mumble.
He rubs my shoulder. “Come on, why don’t you come
back to camp?”
I shake my head. “I don’t want to go back to
“Then where do you want to go?”
I look at Chris and mumble, “Home…”
He keeps rubbing my shoulder. “I know. Everyone wants to go
home, but we have to stick it out just a bit longer.” I
groan but he continues, “We will get to D.C. and we will
stop this epidemic.”
“How can you be so sure? How can you be so
He pauses for a moment to think. “Hope,” he says,
“that this is not the way God intended us to end; that
it’s just another stepping stone for the human race to
learn from, not be destroyed by.”
I stare at him a moment, mesmerized by his words. “I hope
you’re right, Chris.”
He smiles and takes my hand, helping me up. “Come on;
let’s go back to the others.”
He leads me towards everyone else and this time I don’t
Hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving and
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