On The Other SIde
When I woke up, everything was quiet. The cell block and common room were empty so I went outside. Daddy was sittin' at a table with Carl and Judith. He was reading the Bible to them and Carol was washing clothes.
"Hey sleepyhead," she smiled.
"Everyone's already left?"
"Yep. You missed them. How're you feelin'?"
"I'm feelin' okay I guess."
"Well, you also missed breakfast and lunch, are you hungry?"
"Ugh...no. Not really. I don't even wanna think about food right now."
She smiled, "I remember that feelin'. You do need to eat. Try eating a granola bar. That'll be better than nothin'. It'll get better though."
"I sure hope so."
"Beth, I wanted to talk to you. I'm worried about you, sweetie."
"Why are you worried? Is it because of what happened with Lori?"
"Well yes, that's one reason. Another is, it's not gonna be easy for you. You have good mothering skills but taking care of Judith...taking care of a baby and giving birth are two very different things."
"I know that."
She let out a small laugh, "Of course I know you know that but I want you to know what you should expect. Morning sickness is just one of many things you're going to experience...," she continued on for a while but I was barely listening.
She laughed, "Bethie, you look a little scared. What's wrong?"
"I think there's somethin' out there," I said pointing towards the tree line.
She looked out, jumped up and ran over to daddy, I followed her. "Carl, go inside with Beth and Judith," she said.
We hurried back inside.
According to Michonne, we're about 3 miles from Woodbury. We left our car a few miles back, pointed in the direction of the prison for a quick escape. Michonne had drawn out a map of Woodbury and began pointing out the places The Governor may be holding Maggie and Glenn.
"This is The Governor's apartment. He has almost the whole building to himself so that's one place he could be holding them. Another is here," she pointed on the map, "it's where they keep all of their artillery. It'll be heavily guarded and a hell of a lot more difficult to get into than his apartment building."
"We could do this another way," Andrea said.
"There is no other way." Michonne told her.
"Yes there is. This Governor guy doesn't know us. We could walk in and act like we need help while we scout the place."
Michonne looked at all of us, "Once your inside those walls. He will not let you leave. He'll tell you you're free to come and go as you please but the moment you leave, he declares you a terrorist and sends people after you. To kill you."
"Andrea, we're not changing our plan. We discussed everything back at the prison and it's too late to go back on it," I told her.
She crossed her arms and looked down, "Fine."
"Michonne, please continue."
"I think they'll be in his apartment building. It's likely he'll have them somewhere there's no risk of someone coming across them and that's the place. We'll need to split up though. Someone needs to cover their artillery shed to make sure they can't retaliate, while the rest of us search his home."
"Okay. Daryl, you're with Andrea. Y'all will cover their artillery shed. Michonne, you'll be with me. We'll go in and search his home for Maggie and Glenn. We all agree on this?"
"Yeah," they all said.
"Then well make our move at dark. We only have a couple hours of light left so we'll start moving closer to get a better look at what we're up against."
We continued on and just before the sun completely set, we split up. Daryl and Andrea headed in the direction of the artillery shed and Michonne and I went around to the woods by the back of the buildings to wait. We wanted the town to settle before we went in.
We sat there in silence waiting for the town to grow quiet.
Finally, Michonne looked at me and motioned for me to follow her. We quietly entered the town and quickly made our way into the apartment building when we heard gunshots.
"Who the hell are you?" We were spotted by one of the guards. He and two more men approached us. They looked at Michonne and laughed, "Oh, The Governor is gonna have a fine time with you," one of them said.
Carl, Judith and I were in my cell when we heard daddy and Carol's voices enter the common room.
When we came out of the cell block, we saw they were not alone.
Carol looked at us and gave us a smile, "Beth, Carl. This is Sasha and Tyreese. They're looking for a safe place to stay. We're gonna let them stay in the common room until the others return."
"Hi," I smiled to them.
Sasha walked over to me, "Oh my. You have a baby! She's so cute. It's been a long time since I've seen a baby," her voiced cracked. I couldn't tell if it was out of sadness or joy.
"Um..she's not mine. I just help take care of her."
"Oh...I'm sorry. I just thought..."
"No worries. It's fine," I smiled slightly.
"What's her name?"
"Judith," Carl said before I had a chance to. Taking a step to stand between me and Sasha, he crossed his arms and said, "She's my sister."
Sasha nodded and smiled. "We didn't mean to scare anyone. After where we've been, we're just looking for somewhere safe."
"If you don't mind my askin', where were y'all before you came here?"
"We were in a town called Woodbury. We had to leave, it wasn't safe there," said Tyreese.
Daddy, Carol, Carl and I went blank and stared at them.
"I assume you've heard of Woodbury," Tyreese continued. "How do y'all know about that place?"
"We don't know much. All we know is that someone from there took some of our family," Carol said.
We lowered our guns when we saw Daryl and Andrea peeking around a corner behind the men. Daryl nodded his head once and took one out one of the men with his crossbow, then Michonne and I got the other two.
We pulled them into an alleyway before we continued into the building.
"They'll probably be in the basement but we need to make sure no one's around." Michonne said as we navigated our way through the dark halls. We cleared them and The Governor's apartment but found that no one was around so we started towards the basement.
As we approached the final corridor, we heard two voices but couldn't quite make out what they were saying. One sounded vaguely familiar to me but I didn't recognize the other.
"That's The Governor and one of his henchmen." Michonne told me.
Then another familiar voice joined in. Two familiar voices and I couldn't place them.
I pulled Michonne into a room when the three men headed our way. We waited until we were sure they were gone before proceeding down the corridors. The further we went, we could hear screaming and the moaning sounds of walkers. We decided to split up to search the rooms.
I opened the door to one of the rooms, then everything went black.
Sasha and Tyreese seemed rather nice. They were willing to abide by our rules until the others came back. Tyreese ended up taking watch with Carl while Sasha help Carol fix supper.
I walked over to daddy, "Daddy, can you please hold Judith for a minute so I can fix her a bottle?"
He looked up at me and without saying anything, he took Judith out of my arms. I heard Sasha gasp when I turned around.
When I walked by I heard her whisper to Carol, "Is she pregnant?"
Carol narrowed her eyes and lowered her head a little, "Yes, she is. But it's not something we all talk about. Especially not in front of her father. He doesn't approve of it, yet."
"Oh," was all she said after that.
After Judith was fed, we ate and fixed plates to carry to Carl and Tyreese. Carol was going to take them to the tower and start watch with Sasha but I could tell she was tired.
"Carol, I can take your place if you wanna get some rest."
"I'm fine, Bethie."
"No, I insist. Please let me take your place. Sasha will be there with me. I can't sleep anyway so I might as well help out."
She looked at me with a slightly worried expression, "I've noticed you can't seem to sleep unless you're with Rick."
Daddy looked at me and shook his head in disappointment.
My head was pounding.
"Maggie," I groaned.
"Rick, oh my God. I'm sorry. I thought you were someone else," She helped me up, "how did you get here?"
"Someone told us y'all were bein' held here."
"Who all's here?"
"Me, Andrea and Daryl. Do you know where Glenn is?"
She shook her head, "No. He was in the room next to me but they took him somewhere else."
I rubbed my head and looked around the room, "You okay?"
She nodded, "I'm fine."
"Okay, let's see if we can find him. Stay close."
She nodded again.
We walked silently through the corridors, looking into every room but we couldn't find Glenn.
Suddenly, there was a loud explosion, close enough it shook the whole building.
"Glenn! Glenn!" Maggie called out, hoping for an answer.
"Maggie?!", we heard someone scream out but we couldn't tell where it came from.
"It's Glenn," she said grabbing my arm, "we have to find him."
We searched everywhere we could finally coming to a room that was separated from the others.
Michonne was fighting off walkers and tryin' to get Glenn's restraints off. He was badly beaten. Maggie and I hurriedly entered and helped her clear the walkers.
"This was too easy," Michonne told us. Maggie and Glenn looked at her suspiciously.
"No time for questions," I said when I saw they were both about to speak, "we need to find Daryl and Andrea and get of here."
We were about to exit the building when we heard screams followed by gunfire. From a window Michonne spotted Daryl, "I see Daryl but not Andrea. I'll go to him. Y'all go out the back and we'll meet y'all."
We headed out the back and towards our meeting spot.
I looked at my watch. I shook my head, we've been waitin' for them for about 3 hours now.
"We should go back," Glenn spoke up.
"No, we're not riskin' it. If they're not here in an hour we'll leave."
"We can't leave them. Daryl is one of us," said Maggie.
"I know but I made a promise to get y'all back and I intend to keep that promise."
Maggie crossed her arms, "Made a promise? To who?"
I looked at her and rubbed my face. She huffed and gave me a "go to hell" look, "You promised Beth."
"And your dad," I said.
She shook her head, "You may have promised him too but you're doin' this for Beth not daddy," she sighed, "She's just a child, Rick. She's my baby sister," she said it almost pleadingly.
I nodded in response.
I kept looking at my watch as time seemed to pass slowly. There was no way we'd get back to the prison before morning.
After about 40 minutes of waiting, Michonne appeared with Andrea. "Where's Daryl?" Glenn asked.
"He's coming. He's not far behind us and...and he's with Merle," Andrea told him.
"Merle? Merle's here?" I asked.
Glenn looked past Andrea as Daryl and Merle came closer, "He's the one who took us and he put the walkers in that room with me." Maggie was silent.
"Officer friendly," Merle smirked.
"Daryl, he's not comin' back with us."
Sasha and I finished our shift a couple hours before sunrise. I was so tired but I knew when we got back inside Judith would be up so I tried to prepare myself for no sleep.
Carol was already up and tryin' to feed her but she was way too fussy.
"I think she wants you," Carol said smiling and handing her to me, "I'm goin' on watch. If you need a break, Carl said he'd take her."
I smiled, "okay."
"Hey baby girl," I cooed and bounced her a little and she settled down.
"You're so good with her. You're gonna be a good mom," Sasha said handing me the bottle Carol had fixed.
"Thanks. I hope I will be."
"Have you picked out names yet?"
"No. I guess I haven't really thought about names. I guess I figured it could wait, especially since I don't know if it's a boy or girl."
"I understand," she said.
We continued talking while I fed Judith.
"Looks like she's ready for a nap," Sasha laughed.
"She's not the only one," I said standing to leave. "Will you come wake me up when the others return?"
After a while, Judith was asleep and I could finally rest. It felt like I had just fallen asleep when Carl came running in.
"Beth, Beth. Wake up! They're back," he said shaking me.
I jumped up and followed him out. Everyone was out of the cars and hugs were goin' around. I ran up to hug Maggie but she turned away and rushed inside. I looked around, when I saw Rick I immediately ran up and threw my arms around his neck and kissed his cheek. I could feel his hand shaking on my back and when I pulled away, he had a look of shock on his face but I just smiled.
I went back inside to take care of Judith while daddy and Carol talked to Rick. I had noticed that Daryl wasn't with them but I didn't say anything. I didn't want to know if something had happened to him. I just knew he had to be okay and that's the only thing I wanted to believe.
Everyone had gathered in the common room when Rick finally came in. Judith was cradled in my arms cryin' when I started to approach him but I figured he'd want to see her anyway.
He stared blankly at me and Judith, then at everyone else and his fists were clenched. He continued looking around and Judith's cries got more intense. She must've known what was about to happen.
"Rick, this is Sasha and Tyreese. They were lookin'...," Carol was cut off by Rick screamin'.
As soon as he started that, I backed away until I was against a wall and Carl once again stepped in front of me, staring at his dad.
"Get the fuck out. You can't be here..." he kept on for what seemed like forever before storming out.
Carol turned to Tyreese and Sasha, "You don't have to go. We'll clear a place for y'all to stay, until he calms down at least."
Tyreese looked at her, "I don't think he wants us here and I don't think we should stay."
"Tyreese," daddy spoke up, "Rick's not well right now. You can stay. He won't do anything. He simply needs time to get better is all. We all want you to stay."
They both looked at all of us and we all agreed with daddy.
He smiled, "it's settled then. You'll stay?"
After everything, they were settled into a cell as far away from Rick's as possible and we all went about our day. We were all still in shock after Rick's rant but we had to move past it.
I was in my bunk after feeding Judith and putting her down for the night. I couldn't sleep because I kept thinkin' about Rick. The way he looked at me and Judith scared the crap out of me. I'd never seen anyone look so deranged, he didn't even look like that when he lost Lori. This was a new kind of crazy and it was scarier.
I must've gone to sleep because I woke up to someone coming into my cell. I quickly sat up in my bed.
"I didn't mean to wake you. I just came to check on Judith," Rick's voice was a little shaky.
I froze. "Um..okay." I was scared and I know it showed.
He looked at me and rubbed his hands over his face, "Are you alright?"
He reached for my hand but I jerked away and moved towards the wall. I swallowed hard, "I'm fine."
"Beth, I'm not gonna hurt you. You know that, right? I'm sorry for scaring you..." he stopped, "Bethie?" He sat down beside me and I stiffened.
He looked at me for the longest time, then put his head in his hands and broke down.
I knew he wasn't gonna hurt me and he never would but I couldn't help being scared, until he spoke again and I saw the hurt in his eyes.
I could see it on her face, she was scared.
"Bethie, I didn't mean to scare you."
"I know you didn't mean to but you did."
I reached for her hand again, this time she didn't pull away.
"I'm sorry," I said, "I just...when I saw you with Judith, I saw Lori and I keep seein' her. I see her everywhere."
I'm not sure why I told her that maybe it was because I knew I could trust her and I knew she wasn't gonna act like the others would've. I was right. She let go of my hand and put her arms around me. I didn't have to say anything else. She knew what was wrong.
"You have to let go of all your anger, towards her and whoever else you're mad at. Forgive her even if you don't forget. And honestly, I hope you never forget her. Judith needs someone to tell her about her mom, not just Carl. Only you, her dad, can share your memories with her. She'll need it and she needs you."
We stayed in a hug for a while. It was oddly comforting and nice but I had to change the subject.
"Bethie, the other day, we didn't get to finish our talk about the baby. You mind if we talk about that now?"
She pulled away from me, "No, I don't mind."
"What I was gonna tell you is, if you don't want them to know about Shane, right now or ever, you could tell them I'm the father."
"Rick, I...I can't..."
"Just hear me out. I realize that after to today you probably won't want to but I'm in no way expectin' anything from you. I know you need your dad and sister and if that's what they need to hear to come to terms with your pregnancy, then that's what you can tell them. Only if you want to though. But I'm not just offering to say I'm the father, I'll help you in any way I can. I'll be there for you and the baby like it was my own."
"I don't...I don't wanna cause anymore trouble than I already have."
"You won't be causing anymore trouble. But it's up to you to decide. Either way, I'm gonna be here for you. Just let me know, okay?"
"Okay," she smiled a little and then hugged me again, "I'll think about it. Thank you, Rick, for keeping your promise and for everything else."
I smiled back and stood up to leave but she grabbed my arm.
"Please stay," she said.
"I'll stay for a little bit."
I lied down next to her with her head on my shoulder and soon, we were both asleep.