I feel like I have been hit by a freight train with my body aching. I can barely hold my eyes open. They feel swollen and sting from no sleep and all the crying. I'm soaking wet from the rain last night. It's been a long night with no sleep with total fear and pain hitting every nerve in my body. It's daylight out and I'm surprised we made it through the night. Me and Chris set out walking through the woods to find some shelter and to get as far away from here as possible. As we walk every sound makes me jump. I feel like I'm constantly being watched. Waiting for them to jump out and get me. Feeling really tired and wore out. The past events have left me numb with scrambled thoughts.
After we have walked for what seems like an eternity we come up on a cabin. It looks like one of those hunting lodges that are only used during hunting season. It appears that no one is around. "We might be able to find some things we need here. Let's just be cautious just in case anyone is around," he tells me. Chris looks around the whole cabin. I'm standing waiting to see if we are in the clear. "It appears no one is around.
Stay behind me. I'll go first," he whispers to me as we start up the steps. I would like to get out of this weather for a few hours. My skin is all wrinkled from the rain and I'm cold all the way down to the bone. Chris heads to the door and manages to get it open. We enter as quiet as we can. He searches the whole house to make sure its empty. To both our relief we are the only ones here.
We find a bedroom that has a dresser with some clothes. When we look at our reflections in the mirror it stuns us both. We look like we have been butchered. All the blood and scrapes. It's like staring at two ghosts in the mirror. Me and Chris just star at each other. A haunted look on our faces. I choke back the tears as I try to keep myself together. I just don't want to cry anymore. Seeing myself like this makes me want to fall apart. I struggle with my emotions as I try not to look at my own reflection as we go through the clothes to find something to wear.
Rummaging through some drawers I find some clothes that look like they might fit. I find a bathroom and try to scrub all the dirt, blood and grime off me. I scrub till it hurts. I know I'm clean but I feel so tainted by all the blood of everyone. It's all soaked deep down into my soul. I let my hair down and try to clean the nasty cut on my face. It stings as I wipe the dirt off my face. I feel like I have aged way beyond my years. When I get dressed I find Chris has managed to pull himself together. He's got a lot of bruises on his face. I figure he has a lot of bruises on various places of his body from the vicious kicks and hits he received. I think he's just glad to be alive. "There are a few things that will help us out. I found a first aid kit that we can treat our wounds with so they don't get infected," Chris tells me.
I don't say anything. I just stair as he goes on about what will be helpful and what we need. "Emily, pull yourself together. Your shutting down on me again. Don't," he warns with anguish in his voice.
He wraps his arms around me as he holds me. "Please, all we have is each other right now," he whispers as I hear him choke back some unshed tears.
I'm silent for a moment as I try to gather my thoughts."I'm still here," I whisper. It's good enough for him, he relaxes and takes a deep breath. We say nothing as we hold each other.
The kitchen is simple and stocked with some canned items. It appears that no one has been here in a while. I pull out the stuff we gathered from the garden earlier, and rummage through what they have in the pantry. I start throwing things together. My appetite isn't there, but my stomach is screaming at me. I don't think I have eaten in a long time.
As I prepare the food, Chris has found some books. He's scanning through them to try to take his mind off things.
As I finish with a common salad we set down and begin to eat in silence. The food isn't that good, but I'm so hungry its satisfying. I make myself eat even though I don't have a apatite I finish and realize I ate it so fast that I barely tasted it. My stomach thanks me but threatens to undo what I have managed to get down.
As we continue to search the cabin, around back we find a black old four door car. It's unlocked and from the looks of it, its not been driven in a long time. Searching through the glove department and other spots we can't find any keys. "This could get us farther away if we can get it running and find the keys," he says as he searches in other various places.
"I wonder if they might have it somewhere in the cabin," I tell Chris. "Anything is possible," he shrugs. We both head back inside.
I start in the kitchen. Searching through all the drawers I come up with nothing.
In the bedroom I search the nightstand and then the chest. I find a set of keys. "Chris, I think I might have found them. There are several keys on here. I'm hoping that one of them goes to this car, I shout from the other room.
We both head back out to where the car is parked. Chris slides into the drivers seat while I climb into the passenger seat. As Chris picks through the keys, he tries each of them.
I realize I'm holding my breath in hopes this works. I can't stand the thought of being here any more. I want far away from here as soon as possible.
The car comes alive with a bit of a grumble. I'm relieved but not really sure how far it will get us. We load the car with what we found to be helpful and head out.
With one last look around at the life we use to have and deep down know that we will never come back here. My life as I once knew it was over and I would have to find a way to start over somehow. I know that things will never be the same. The once happy girl that I know died along with everyone else that day. I'm now a empty shell. We both take a deep breath as the car spits and sputters as we take off.
"Where are we going to go?" I ask. "Its a little bit away from here. I have some relatives in Sunlit Tides. I think my cousin will take us in. He told me if I ever needed a place to crash to come his way, he tells me with a small smile. I think that's the first time I have seen him smile in a long time.
We head down the driveway in silence. As we continue to drive my thoughts are scattered. I look out the window and let myself go. My mind wonders as I slip into another world. I wonder what happened to the others when we left. Did Sandy make it, or the others? Will they come for us? And then I drift on to think of how Hanna betrayed us. How she got everyone killed. And what would become of her now that she's one of them. My mind is running wild with so many questions that it starts to make my head hurt. I close my eyes and black out.
I feel the car stop, which snaps me out of my sleep. I must have dozed off for a bit while we were driving. I can see that we are on the interstate. I try to stretch out as best as I can in the car. "How long have I been out?" I ask Chris which looks exhausted "You have been asleep for a while, I think a couple of hours. "Let me drive for a while. You need to get some sleep too," I try to convince him. "I'm good," he replies. "Chris" I protest. "No really, I'm good. Were almost there. I'll sleep once we get there. I've already called him and he's expecting us," he tells me.
"When did you call him?" I ask. "When I stopped for gas, you were out of it. I didn't want to wake you," he replies. For the rest of the trip we sit in silence. I'm alone in my dark thoughts as he is with his. I can see it written all over his face as he frowns. His face is laced with such pain that mirrors mine. I slump in my seat as I sit there wondering how this all happened and why.