Riptide

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Chapter 47

I took her hand, allowing myself to be hoisted to my feet. Zuri had asked me to make a list of everything I wanted to do before I died. Now she was taking me everywhere on the list and doing all of the things on it. My heart skipped a beat when she asked me for the list. She seemed to have taken it upon herself to distract me. I was simply happy she was talking again. “Okay,” she as she began to read the list. “We have twenty-four hours to do the last sixteen things on your list,” she said. I ignored the fact that the number seemed off and instead, pretended not to have noticed. To be honest, I didn’t really care. Nothing seemed to matter to me anymore. I was torn from my self-pity when Zuri began to run. I ran alongside her all the way until we reached the secret exit at the very back of the base. This would be the first time I would get to leave the base since we had arrived. Elizabeth told us the base was located was someplace in the Rocky Mountains but there was no way to know for sure because she had blind-folded us both when we entered. I wasn’t even really sure where the prison we had come from was located, but then again, I wanted to know as little as possible about the place where I was said to die the next day.

There was now nothing but a set of double doors keeping us apart from the rest of the world. I took a deep breath and pushed them open, flooding the room we were in with the fresh natural light of the wonderful mountain. “What’s first?” I asked, a strange hope filling my bones. This mountain was a symbol of the things I had overcome and that life was resilient.

Zuri looked down at the list. “ColdStone ice cream,” she said, chuckling quietly at my love for the cold, sweet treat. “Where are we going to find one of those?” she asked.

I thought for a moment. “We’re in the Rockies, right?” I asked, images of my first home flooding through my mind. Zuri nodded. “Therefore we are a few miles east of Fort Collins, Colorado, the place I grew up in,” I said, picturing the ice cream shop so clearly I thought I could reach out and touch it.

“What’cha get’tin at?” Zuri asked. I could hear the growing excitement in her voice.

“You’re gon’na get to fly,” I said mischievously as I held my hand out to her. She took it happily and held it tightly. I jumped into the air and began to fly, relieved at the ease the malnourished state of her body presented the flight. We flew quickly to the small town beside the mountain range, the entire time wondering if life could always be like this. Beautiful, weightless, calm, easy, and above all, free. Free from worries, fears, even from the future. I was free from what was going to happen the next day. I was free from the thought that this was my last day to live.

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