“Wh- what?” Clem was speechless. “What do you mean I’m pregnant? How am I pregnant?” she looked down at her stomach.
“Look, I’m not sure if you are, but you’ve been puking, sleeping more than usual, and you had a craving for caramel a few days ago. I just need to know.”
“What does all that have to do with anything?”
“Those are the few signs of pregnancy.”
“How did this happen?” she asked.
Luke stood up. "God, I hate that you’re only eleven.” he said. “Look I’ll explain when you’re older, but for right now, we should find out if you are or not.”
“Is that what the box was for?” she asked.
“What if I’m not pregnant?”
“Then you probably were sick.”
“What if I am?”
“I don't know.”
Luke zipped up the backpack before slipping it on and leaving the house he scavenged through. Clementine was back at the library while he went out to look for more supplies.
It’s been three days since he brought up the fact that she might be pregnant, and they were both still unsure on if she is or not. When he raided the pharmacy on his last run, he picked up two pregnancy tests. One test resulted in a negative, the other was positive.
She shouldn’t have to go through this at her age. She’s too young to worry about things like this, or to experience this. He promised her that he’d figure out something if she was, and Luke had no clue on what to do.
This was the fifth house he searched through, Luke was going to look through one more house before heading back to the library. With his machete in hand, he opened the door of the next house down. He stepped inside, listening carefully for any lurkers in the home.
After a few steps inside, he heard something behind him.
“Put down your weapon.” a voice spoke from behind.
Luke assumed she had a gun pointed at him. She. It was a girl. He did as he asked, slowly bringing the machete down to the ground and standing back up.
“Hands on your head.” he did as she asked, noticing her voice had a similar accent to his, but it was mixed with another. “You got any other weapons on ya?”
“No. Listen I have food in my backpack, you can take what you want. No need for anyone to die, here.”
The woman behind him paused for a moment. “Luke?”
The farm boy turned around, taking the hands off his head. If she knew him, then she could be safe. In front of him was a woman his age, very dark, brown hair, blue eyes.
“Holy shit!” she walked towards Luke, embracing him with a quick hug. He accepted it, the last time he saw her was high school.
The hug broke before Luke spoke. “Not the high school reunion I was hoping for, but it’s a good one.”
“You can say that again. It’s great to see a familiar face.” Abigail said.
Memories came back on their relationship. Abigail was one of the girls Luke dated back in high school. They were together for almost five months during their junior year. After they broke it off, the two drifted apart. Only talking to each other when their teacher made them to talk about what they read or when they got assigned to group projects.
“So did you get that art history major?”
“Yeah, I did. What about you wanting to become a doctor?”
“I got a scholarship to a college in Colorado. I was still in college when all of this started. I didn’t want to do mid-terms, then I saw lurkers walking around my campus.”
“You didn’t wish for all of this, so you didn’t have to take any tests, did you?”
“No, I wished that I could clone myself and the clone could take the test, while I got some well-deserved sleep.”
“We all wished that. So what happened to you?”
“I was with about fifteen other people from my college. One professor, the others were all students. We tried to study the lurkers. Found out a few things here and there, but then the professor got bit and we couldn’t stop the infection by cutting off the bite.”
“So cutting off the bite really does work?”
“Depends on when you cut it. If it’s right away and you take care of it, then you should be fine. It also depends on where the bite is. Arms and legs are disposable if cut off on time. If it’s the side, you can try to cut around it, but it only slows the infection down by a day or two. If it’s the neck, like my professor, then you are done for.”
“How the hell do you know all that?”
“Everyone in my group were doctors in training or taught it. With a little bit of research, couple of saved victims, and educated guesses, we got all of this information.”
“Well, it’s good to know for the future.”
“Yeah, anyway the group sort of split and we went our own ways. Eventually, I found a group and they accepted me. I fell in love, then she-”
“Oh yeah, I’m a lesbian.”
“Is that why you broke up with me?”
“Don’t worry, farm boy. I became a lesbian after my first year of college. I broke up with you because I got a bad grade on one test, it brought my grade down and my mom almost killed me and thought you were to blame. It was either I broke up with you, or I got grounded.”
“Your mom hated me.”
“So what happened with your girlfriend?”
“She got bit in the side. I tried to cut it out and bandaged it best I could when I did. I had almost two days with her. I’m sure you can figure out the rest. I left the group a week later and started going around the U.S. doing what I do now.”
“What do you do now?”
“I trade medical care for what I needed. I have plenty of medical supplies, not much of anything else.”
“So, you’re on your own?”
“Yeah, pretty much. What about you? What have you been doing ever since this started?”
“Well, from when all of this started, I… Wait, you give medical care for supplies?” Luke asked.
“I believe that’s what I said.” Abigail responded.
“Oh thank god! I need your help!” he said.
“Luke, calm down. I’ll help you, but you still have to tell me your story.”
“Alright, but it’s not me who needs to be looked at.”
“Okay, then take me to your group. You can explain on the way.”
With that said, Abigail grabbed her medical supplies before the two made their way back to the library.
“So, your story?”
“Well, I was with Nick, his mom, and his uncle. After realizing what was happening, we tried to get my folks, but we were too late. They were already lurkers.”
“I’m sorry, Luke.”
“It’s fine. The four of us traveled for a while before we stumbled across this guy. His name was William Carver, usually referred to as Bill, or just Carver. He had this ‘community’ at a hardware store. It was well protected, had food, water. We decided to stay.” He explained. “Flash forward a few years, and we tried to take care of a bite victim, but she turned and Nick’s mom was gone. Carver and I got into arguments on how we should run the place, but he never listened. Next thing I knew, Carver started losing it. It was then we decided to escape. And we did, with a few other people who thought the same as we did.”
“It must have been hard to get out.”
“Hell yeah it was. Anyway the group and I found a cabin to stay in, but I’m pretty sure Carver got this woman in our group pregnant, so he was looking for us.” Luke said. “A few weeks later while Pete and I were hunting, we found a little girl in the woods. She was bit by a dog, but no one in our group believed that it was. So we locked her in a shed. The kid broke out, stole from us, then stitched up her own arm. Right after she was done, a lurker broke into the shed. By the time we opened the door, we saw the lurker impaled by an anchor and a hammer in it’s head.”
“Wait, you’re telling me that a little girl fought off a walker by herself?”
"Yep, and she comes out saying 'Still. Not. Bitten.' We let her in afterwards. The next day Carver found us so we all hightailed it to the mountains. Ran into more people, but Carver tracked us and kidnapped us. We soon escaped, killing Carver in the process, and we gained more people in our group and we lost some. The pregnant woman gave birth but died soon afterward. The current group was ambushed by a Russian group, all of the Russians died except one. He took us to this place where we found a truck. The Russian guy kind if lost it after being beaten and harassed by one of our group members. Shot everyone, including the baby, in our group. I was able to kill him. The girl was lucky to get shot in the shoulder. So I grabbed her and the rest of our supplies, and piled them into a working truck and drove away. It’s been the two of us ever since… minus a couple incidents.”
“So what’s wrong with the girl? If it’s just you two, and you’re fine. Then what’s wrong with her?”
Luke stayed silent for a moment, trying to find a way to put Clem’s condition. “One of the incidences we ran into resulted in… a possibility that she’s… pregnant.”
“Pregnant? How old is this girl?” Abigail asked in shock.
“She’s eleven, almost twelve.” he told her.
“What kind of sick asshole rapes a kid?” she said.
“That sick asshole would be me.” he guiltily said.
Abigail stopped in her tracks. Once Luke noticed, he turned around to face her. She pulled her gun out, but didn’t aim it at him. “You better have an explanation on why you raped a little girl.”
“What? Do you think I actually enjoyed it? The two of us ran into a guy, said that his uncle owned a radio station that should have supplies. We trusted him and went there. He separated us, used her as bait so he could knock me unconscious before locking the two of us in a sound booth. Long story short, he pointed a gun at us and told us to do it. If not, he would have killed me before raping and killing her.”
Abigail stared at him for a moment, trying to see if he’s telling the truth.
“Abby, in any other circumstance, I would ask you to shoot me for hurting her like that, but I need to get back to her and make sure she’s alright. Please…”
After a few seconds, she slowly started to nod, putting her gun away. “Alright, I believe you.” Abigail said before catching up to him. “So, why do you think she’s pregnant?”
“It was only a few days after the incident when she started throwing up and sleeping a lot more than usual. I thought she was sick because of the season change, but it lasted. After we came here, we held out in a library. There I found a book on diseases to see if I could help her, but it said that some people might throw up because they’re pregnant. That lead me to another book on pregnancy. On the last supply run I went on, I found a couple pregnancy tests. After talking to her about it, she took the tests. One was positive and one was negative.”
“I hear ya.”
“Clem?” Luke called as he entered the library, with Abigail right behind him.
Luke looked over to the children section to see the little girl curled up on the couch, asleep. He made his way over to her and knelt down in front of the kid. Luke lightly shook her awake.
“Hey, kid. Wake up.” he softly said.
Clementine shifted before peeling her eyes open. “Shit, I’m sorry.” she spoke as she sat up, rubbing her eyes.
“It’s okay, Clem.” Luke said as he rubbed her arm. “I ran into someone.”
Clementine watched Luke stand up and step aside to see a blue-eyed, brunette woman behind him.
“Clem, this is Abigail. Abby, Clementine.” Luke introduced the two.
Abigail stuck her hand out to the little girl and Clementine shook it. She was worried that this would turn into another Melissa thing.
“Abigail’s an old friend of mine and a doctor. She’s going to help us.”
Clem nodded. “Okay.” Maybe this wouldn’t turn into a Melissa thing.
While Abigail and Clementine went into a back room for the kid’s check up, Luke walked around the library. He was worried about Clem. He was afraid that he got her pregnant. And if he did, what were they going to do? Clementine’s already been through so much, the last thing she needs right now is to carry around a baby.
In the back room, Abigail asked Clem to sit on a table.
“Now, I’m just letting you know that we’re both girls here, so there is nothing to hide.” Abby said before setting her bag down in a chair.
After a while of silence Clementine decided to break the ice. “So… How do you know Luke?”
“We dated in high school.” Abigail responded.
“What was he like in high school?” Clem asked.
“Well, imagine Luke as the most attractive person ever, and take away all the women chasing after him. Come to think of it, there were a lot of guys better looking than him. But Luke would always have the hearts of one or two girls. He always knew how to talk to females and he’s just a big softy.”
Clementine chuckled at that. “So why’d you two break up?”
“Do you still like him?”
“No. I fell out of love with guys and fell in love with girls, if you know what I mean.”
Maybe this won’t end up like Melissa.
“You don’t think it’s weird, do you?” Abigail asked.
“A little bit, but it doesn’t bug me. I met two guys who were partners, and I don’t think it’s bad.”
“Good. Can you lay down for me?”
Clementine did as she asked. Once she was laying down on the table, Abigail asked if she could take a look at her stomach. Clementine lifted up her shirt to reveal it.
“So how long have you been with Luke?” Abigail asked.
“Almost a year.” Clementine responded.
“He treat you well?”
“Yeah, he takes care of me. I probably wouldn’t be here without him.”
“You like him?”
“He’s my best friend, of course I do. He sometimes goes into an older brother mode and won’t let me out of his sight.”
“Why do you think I broke up with him?”
The two shared a smile before starting the check up.
“Luke?” Abigail called.
The farm boy felt his heart drop once his name was called. This was it. He was finally going to get answers. Luke walked into the back room to see Clementine sitting on the table looking down at her dangling feet, one of them shaking anxiously, wanting to know the news too. Luke leaned up against the table next to where she was sitting, taking a hold of her hand.
“Well…” Abigail started. Luke and Clementine looked at her, waiting for what she had to say. “I looked at her, and from what I can tell… I can verify that you are, in fact, pregnant, Clementine.”
No, this isn’t happening. Clem’s too young to go through this.
“Are you sure?” Luke asked.
“Yeah.” Abby said.
Clementine looked down at her stomach and bit down on her lip. She didn’t know what to do. What were they going to do?
“Luke? What’s going to happen now?” she asked as she looked up at him.
He didn’t have an answer. He didn’t know what to do. How was Luke supposed to take care of a pregnant child. She’s a fucking kid. That baby could kill her. Luke looked up at Abigail, wanting an answer from her.
“At this point in the pregnancy, there are a few things you can do.” Abigail spoke up.
“Like what?” Clem asked.
“One option is to have the baby. Another is to hope for a miscarriage, or…” Abigail trailed off. “Have an abortion.”
“An abortion?” Luke asked. “How the hell do you have an abortion with the dead walking around outside?”
“What’s an abortion?” Clementine asked.
Luke paused for a moment before he spoke. “An abortion is a way to stop the pregnancy.”
“It basically destroys the baby that’s currently forming inside of you, and you won’t be pregnant anymore.” Abigail explained. “And to have an abortion in this day and age, you’d need a pill. Fortunately I have one.”
“So all she has to do is take the pill?” Luke asked.
“Well it’s up to her on what she wants to do.”
All of the eyes were now on her. This was her decision. Clementine thought about the option of having the kid. They had no baby formula, but doesn’t mean they can find some. Still, she had to give birth to it. And from hearing Rebecca’s screams, it must be painful, especially at her own age.
“I don’t care what you chose, Clem. But you do what you think is best, I’ll be here for every step of the way.” Luke said.
“You must keep in mind, that a girl your age shouldn’t have to go through things like this. So having the baby could result in something you don’t want.” Abby said.
Clementine knew what she meant, having AJ eventually killed Rebecca. Even if it wasn’t cold out, the same thing could have happened. She could die, the baby could die. The baby could even die with her. Luke would be devastated.
Clem took a deep breath before she spoke. “I want the pill.”
Luke rubbed her back in remorse. This must be extremely hard for her to do.
“You sure about this, Clem?” Abigail asked.
“Yeah, it’s the right choice.” she responded.
“Okay.” Abigail reached into her bag and pulled out a pill bottle. She opened it and dumped out the last pill in the container in her hand. Abby grabbed a water bottle and walked over to the little girl.
She held them out to her. Clementine stared at them for a second before taking them in her hands. She could turn back at any moment, she didn’t have to do this. Clem closed her fingers around the pill as she opened the lid to the water bottle, setting the cap down beside her.
Clementine closed her eyes tightly before she quickly put the pill in her mouth and drank some water to swallow it. She could feel it go down her throat. That was it. No going back.
She breathed deeply as Clem put the cap back on the water bottle. She slightly warmed up to Luke’s hand rubbing her back.
“You okay?” he asked.
Clementine didn’t feel like talking, so she just nodded.
“You want to be alone for a bit?”
Clem nodded again.
With that gesture, Luke and Abigail left the room, leaving the girl to think. Once outside the room Luke walked against the wall, away from the back room. When he was far enough, he slammed his palm against the wall before running his hand through his hair. Did this really just happen? Did an eleven-year-old child have an abortion?
“Luke?” Abigail called from behind him.
He was pissed. He fucking put Clementine through all of this shit.
“I get that you’re mad at yourself, Luke, and now is a perfect time to vent. So do it.” Abby said.
“Why is everything so fucked up?” he asked.
“Not everything is fucked up.” she responded. “You still have a surviving little girl with you.”
“That little girl will never be the same again.”
“Maybe so, but with time, she might be.”
“It doesn’t change what I did to her.”
“Neither does your love for her. I can tell that you care about her a lot, and she told me that you did. Luke, what you need now, is some well-deserved rest.”
She was right, Luke was exhausted. Ever since he found out that Clem might be pregnant, he hardly got any sleep. His mind was off worrying about the little girl.
“You go take a nap and I’ll be here until she comes out or you wake up.” she said.
“Thank you.” Luke responded before finding a couch to lay down on before he shut his eyes.
Everyone needs a good rest, Luke needed it more than anyone. He never felt so good after waking up. Minus the fact that his best friend went through things he wish he could take back.
Luke stood up to stretch before looking for Abigail. He found her standing by the entrance, completely lost in thought.
The woman jumped out of her thoughts before turning to him. “Hey, you’re up.”
“Yeah, how long have I been out?” he asked.
“A few hours, it’s about sunset.” she responded.
“She’s still in the room.”
“Are you planning on leaving?”
“No, I need to stay here and make sure she’s reacting okay to the medication, besides I have to give her a different pill to finish the abortion. After that’s done, I might leave.”
“Thank you for doing this. It means a lot.”
“I wouldn’t have let her have the baby. Even if she wanted to, I would have snuck the pill in her food or something. She’s just too young.”
“I know. I don’t know what I would have done if she died giving birth.”
“Why don’t you go check on her? She probably needs some comfort.”
Luke nodded before walking off to the back room.
The walk seemed like it took forever but he finally got to the door. Luke looked through the narrow window to see Clementine laying down on the floor in the middle of the slightly dark room staring up at the ceiling.
The older man opened the door before sliding in the room. Clementine didn’t say anything, she didn’t even move. Luke shut the door behind him before laying down next to her in the opposite direction but making sure to have his head next to hers. He turned his head to look at the little girl, she just kept staring at the ceiling. Luke turned back to the ceiling as well.
After about five minutes a voice broke the silence between. “Are you trying to forget the world with me?”
Luke smirked. “Something like that.” he said. “How ya feeling, kid?”
“Like a part of me just died.” she responded.
“That’s probably one of the last pieces of innocence left in ya.” he said.
The little girl paused for a moment. “You don’t need to tell me that you’re sorry.” Clementine said. “I know that you are.”
“I still need to say it.” he said. “I’m sorry, Clem. I’m sorry you had to go through all this shit.”
“It’s not your fault. You couldn’t do anything.”
“You hate me, don’t you?”
“Just admit it. I know you hate me. I do.”
“I could never hate you.”
“How do you not hate me?”
“Because I love you.” Clem said. “You know what I mean, Luke. You care about me, you look after me, you hold me when I’m scared. Lee was the last person to ever do that to me. Before you, I’d tell him that I loved him.”
“I must be that important to you then.”
“You are. I don’t know what I’d do if I lost you.”
“If you could, I know you’d take it all back.”
“I’d do anything to take it all back.”
“Can we start to forget about it?”
“Of course, kid. And Clem?”
“I love you, too.” Luke told her. “You know what I mean.”
It’s been a few days since the abortion and Luke and Clementine were slowly getting their relationship back together. Currently, the two have been working on that by Luke helping Clem on her reading. Everyday, they would read three or four books together. Clementine was actually doing pretty good, despite that she stutters a bit and needs help with words she can’t read. That’s what Luke was there for anyway.
Abigail was still around, making sure Clementine was doing alright and giving her the other medication for her abortion. The kid was sort of warming up to her, and Luke was comfortable around her. He just wanted to make sure Clem was okay.
So Clem and Luke were in the middle of a book in the kiddie section of the library. Abigail was looking for them, Luke in particular. She had to talk to him. Once she found him with the little girl, she called him over to talk to him in private. Clementine let him go while she kept practicing.
“How’s the relationship going?” Abigail asked.
“We’re rebuilding. So why’d you call me over?” Luke asked.
“I was wondering when or if you two plan on leaving?” she asked.
“I haven’t talked to Clementine about that yet, but I hope to leave in the next day or two.” he responded.
“Okay. One more thing, do you mind if I tag along?”
“You want to come with us?”
“Yeah…” Abigail scratched the back of her head, almost embarrassed that she asked this. “I just want to make sure she’s doing okay.”
“Abby, I know you mean well, and I kind of want you to come with us, but I’m not sure if Clementine will be okay with it. The last time we had another female in out group, it ended badly.”
“And is that female part of the reason that you’re not fully okay with me joining?”
“You’d be correct.”
“Hate to break it to ya, Luke. But your little girl is getting older. Say I don’t come, and next week Clem starts asking you on why she’s bleeding down in her area.”
“Bleeding in her area? What are you… Ah, shit.”
“That kid’s going to need a female figure in her life sooner or later. Mainly for these reasons.”
“Alright, you can come, but you’re still need to talk to Clementine.”
“Oh, I already did. We chatted yesterday about me coming along, surprisingly, she wanted me to. I haven’t talked to her about girl things yet, but when we leave, can we stop at a clothing store? I’d love to get that kid a training bra.”
“I’ll take that as a yes. Thanks, Luke.”
With that said, Abigail left him standing there as she made her way over to Clementine. Abby sat down next to the kid before talking to her. Luke was too far to hear what they were talking about. He assumed that she was helping Clem read, but she closed the book. Luke wandered off to check on their supplies, leaving the girls to whatever they were talking about. Maybe having Abigail come with them was a good thing. For once, Luke can trust someone to be alone with Clementine.
The duo became a trio when Clementine and Luke let Abigail join their group. Luke did what Abby asked, by stopping at a clothing store before leaving the town they were in. Clementine and Abby were in the store for about an hour while Luke was in the truck waiting for them. In that hour, he had time to reflect.
In about half a month, Clementine has grown so much. In her mental state, not so much her physical state. She experienced sex, got pregnant, and had an abortion. Stuff you don’t go through until you’re at least an adult, not counting teenagers. Now Clem is with an older woman getting a training bra and to discuss woman things. Things done at around her age. She’s eleven.
The fact that he practically caused the adult things on the kid made it worse. He’s never going to live it down. How is he supposed to, when he sees Clementine everyday? Poor kid. Scarred for life.
After the girls came out, the three continued on their way to Washington. Every night they would stop at a house to sleep in because the truck wasn’t big enough for three and it was getting too cold to sleep in the truck bed.
A week flew by fast. Currently, Luke was driving, Abigail was sitting in the passenger’s side, and Clementine was asleep in the backseat. She passed out listening to ‘Heart-Shaped Box’ about ten minutes ago.
Abigail turned her head to look at the sleeping kid for what seemed like the hundredth time. “She’s out.” she said.
“I figured.” Luke said.
“I’m looking through the rear-view mirror. Either she turned invisible or she’s laying down.”
“You two doing okay?”
“How about you?”
“I’m doing fine.”
“No, you’re not.”
“How do you know?”
“Luke, I’ve dated you for what? Five months? I know pretty much everything about you. And by the tone of your voice, you’re not fine.”
“It’s been years since high school, things change.”
“What’s eating you?”
Luke paused for a moment before speaking. “Abby, take a look a Clementine. What do you see?”
The woman looked at the kid again. “A sleeping child.”
“Abby, I’m serious.”
She took one last look at Clementine before turning back to the front. “I see a growing little girl, who was thrown into a world that she shouldn’t be in.”
Luke took in what she said. “That’s how I see her now.” he paused. “Before we did it, I saw this amazing woman trapped in a child’s body, who wasn’t afraid to look fear in the eye. Every now and then, she’d need help because she’s a child, but she’s still fighting. Now I can’t even look at her without hating myself.”
“You shouldn’t hold it against yourself. It’s not good for you.”
“I don’t care. I deserve it.”
“As much as you want to believe that there was something you could have done, there wasn’t anything you could do. One of you, or even both of you, could have ended up dead.”
“That doesn’t change a thing.”
Abigail thought for a moment before opening her mouth again. “Luke, I want you to listen and listen carefully. There are just some things in life that are hard to explain why they happened, or even why we do them. The best thing to do is to just hope it plays out in your favor. If not, then try to figure out a way.” she said. Luke didn’t say anything, he just took the words in. “I know you’re trying to figure out answers to why all of this shit had to happen, but there is only one answer that you probably haven’t thought of.”
“What is it then?” he asked.
“It just happened.” she said. “I’m sure Clementine would agree with me.”
“How is it that you always have the best advice?”
“How is it that you always know how to talk to girls?”
“I had lots of practice.”
“What? The cute, farm boy gets rejected by women?” Abigail asked sarcastically.
“Okay, I’ll admit that I have been rejected by a few women.” Luke confessed.
Luke let the silence sink in for a bit. “Okay, a lot of women.”
“Yep, that’s what I thought.”
“Still, how are you great at giving advice?” Luke asked.
“I don’t know, I just am.” Abigail said.
“Well, thank you.” Luke said.
Silence filled the truck once again. Abigail looked back at Clementine who was still fast asleep.
“Did you use your old pick-up lines on her, too?” she asked him.
“A few times, yeah.” he responded.
“I figured you did. Which ones did you use on her?”
“They were mostly about her eyes. I’ve even used the thing you told me about the eyes matching the soul.”
“No wonder she loves you.”
“She told me about the stuff you did for her. What you did to make her feel special.”
“She is special.”
“And you always tell her how special she is. You don’t say she’s special, you say what’s special about her. Her eyes, her smile, how brave she is. And you tell her these things because you love her, too.” Abigail said. “And by love, I mean platonically. For the both of you.”
“Thanks, Abby.” Luke said.
“For what?” she asked.
“For being great with words.” he said.
“You’re welcome.” Abigail looked at the sky. “Sunset is probably in about an hour. We should find a house.”
“Okay, I’ll pull off the highway soon.” Luke responded.
After fifteen minutes Luke drove into a town and found a house. He parked in front of the it. Abigail woke up Clementine before all three of them got out.
They heard moaning. The three turned around to see walkers roaming towards them. They must have followed the truck. The two adults grabbed the supplies from the backseat before they all hightailed it inside. Clementine slammed the door shut before locking it and helping Abigail and Luke move a couch in front of the door. The three backed up from the door slowly.
“You think we’re safe?” Abigail asked out loud.
“Yeah… Yeah, I think we’re- Shit!”
A walker came out of the shadows, attacking Luke, sending them both to the floor.
“Luke!” Clem and Abigail exclaimed before they both pulled out their guns and shot the walker in the head.
Once the walker was dead, Luke pushed the corpse off of him before standing. “Thanks, girls.”
“That was real loud.” Abigail said.
“Yeah… Yeah it was.” Luke said, catching his breath.
“No, it was loud.” Abigail said again.
Clementine ran to the nearest window, which was right by the kitchen next to the door. She pulled down some of the blinds covering the window before looking outside. “They’re coming towards the house!”
“What?” the adults exclaimed.
“The walkers, there’s a lot of them! They’re all coming- Ah!”
Clementine was cut off by a hand pulling on her ankle, tripping her. She rolled over onto her back in terror as a walker emerge from the kitchen, trying to bite her. She tried to kick the hand off, but it climbed on top of her. Her arms were the only thing keeping it at bay.
Just when her arms were about to give, a blade sliced the walkers head in half, killing it. Luke pulled the body off the little girl before putting the machete back in his holder and extending his hand out to her to help her up.
Clementine gladly accepted it as he pulled her up.
“Kind of like how we met how we met. Huh, kid.” Luke said.
Clem forced a small smile before she and the adults heard growling inside the house. Two more crawled out of the kitchen, causing the Luke and Clementine to back up. More walkers emerged from the halls and living room, forcing Abigail to back up as well until the three had their backs up against each other.
Luke pulled out his machete again, Clementine pulled out her ice pick, and Abigail flipped her gun to use the butt of it as a weapon. They couldn’t make a lot of noise, otherwise they’d draw more of them.
“How are there so many?” Abby asked.
Clementine looked to the back of the house to see the sliding back door open. The backyard was fenced, there must be a gate open or something. Clem shoved the ice pick in Abby’s hand before making a break for the backyard.
“Clem?” Luke called, seeing her run outside before killing a walker.
The first thing Clementine saw when she got outside was a pool, a shed in the back corner of the yard, and about four walkers who haven’t noticed her yet. She hightailed it to the shed to find a weapon.
Clem yanked the shed door open and went inside. Growling was coming from behind, she had to hurry. Her eyes darted around the shed until they made contact with a toolbox on the floor. Clementine quickly unhooked the latches and practically ripped the box open. Her hands wrapped around the first tool she saw before turning back around. The walker stumbled into the shed, only for Clem to kick it in the knee, sending it down before slamming her weapon in it’s head. It was a hammer.
After it was dead, the little girl tried to pull it out, only to find that it was stuck. Clementine gave it a good pull and managed to get her hammer free, but sending her backwards, hitting her head on the workbench.
She took a minute for the pain to subside before getting up and rush out of the shed. There were more walkers in the backyard, and she saw that they were getting in by an open gate on the side of the house. She ran towards the gate, shoving every walker in her way to the ground for the moment. Clem slammed the gate closed on the group of walkers trying to get in.
Now that Clementine stopped more from getting in, she had to help Luke and Abigail kill the rest. The little girl started killing the ones in the back yard. Most of the walkers that got in, went inside through the sliding door. Clem started killing the remaining walkers that had their attention focused on her, avoiding the pool the best she could.
The last walker she killed had the hammer stuck in it’s head really good. Clem pulled as hard as she could and it wouldn’t come free. She had to help Luke and Abigail, they were still dealing with a handful of walkers.
Clementine placed her foot on the corpse and yanked the hammer out, causing her to stumble backwards and trip over a corpse and send her into the pool.
The hammer slipped out of her hand and sunk to the bottom, landing on a net. Clem swam down to get it. She grabbed her hammer, lifting up some of the net in the process. Clementine didn’t think much of it until she used her legs to push up from the bottom and her foot got caught in it. She kicked her leg to try and get her foot free, but ended up getting her other foot caught.
Clementine widened her eyes before she started squirming, trying to get the herself untangled. As she squirmed, she got even more tangled in the net, pulling her down. She tried to use her hammer to see if she could cut herself free, but it slipped out of her hands after a few hits. Clementine didn’t care anymore, she just had to get to the surface. She started kicking, trying to get the net off her legs so she could swim up. The net tightened around her legs to the point where they were just tied together. Clem squirmed against the net, only for it to shift up her body. Once the net got to her waist she started to pull it off of her with her hands, until one of her hands got caught. The more she tried to pull her arm free the further up her body the net went and the tightened around her, pulling her down even more.
Clementine gave up on trying to get the net off of her, she just used her last free arm to try and swim up to the surface, hoping the net would untangle itself. She couldn’t die like this. The net continued to make its way up her small body, tightening the more she fought against it.
She needed oxygen, she didn’t know how much longer she could hold her breath. Clementine couldn’t take it any more, but she had too. Then against her will, she sucked in water. Her vision started to fade as her body shut down. She watched as the net continued to consume her, it going over her head, engulfing her last free arm before everything turned black.
Abigail glanced at the pool before kicking an oncoming walker in the knee, and again before shoving Clem’s icepick in the back of the walker’s head. She saw Clem fall in and she hasn’t come up yet. The kid’s been under there for a while. Abigail ripped the weapon out before looking at the pool again.
“Abby!” Luke called.
Abigail couldn’t fully turn around before teeth sunk into her shoulder. She screamed in pain as the ice pick fell from her hand.
Luke killed the last walker he was fighting once he heard her scream. He used his machete to kill the one that bit his old friend. Abigail collapsed to the floor, holding her bitten shoulder.
“Clem- Clementine…” she stuttered quietly as Luke laid her down. He didn’t hear what she said.
“Abby, do you think we can cut it out?” Luke asked.
“Pool… Clem hasn’t…” Abby spoke louder.
Luke pulled his head up to look outside to the pool.
“Save her…” Abigail whispered.
Luke looked down at the woman before running outside. He stopped at the edge of the pool and looked in the water, seeing a little girl underneath. She wasn’t moving.
He jumped in the water. Once the bubbles cleared, Luke saw Clementine tangled in a net. One arm up with the net loosely surrounding it and her head, while the rest of her body was tightly wrapped by the net. Her other arm was pinned down to her body and her legs were tied together. Her eyes were closed, her mouth hung open a tiny bit.
Luke quickly swam over to her before he started pulling on the net, trying to free her. While doing so, part of the net wrapped around one of his ankles. No, he wouldn’t let this happen to the both of them. The farm boy pulled out his machete and swung at the net keeping them underwater. Once he and Clem were free, Luke grabbed the tied-up kid and swam to the surface.
Luke pulled himself out of the water, Clementine over his shoulder. He softly laid her down on the concrete, pulling some of the net off of her face. He cupped her cheek, seeing if she would wake up. She didn’t move. Luke immediately placed one hand on top of the other, pressing down on her chest. Again, and again.
“Come on, Clem.” he muttered. “Please, Clem, don’t do this to me.” he said louder.
Luke stopped giving her CPR to tilt her head back, opening her mouth a bit more. He took a breath before breathing it into her. This little girl wasn’t going to die today, Luke didn’t want that to happen. He didn't want her to turn. She couldn’t.
The farm boy gave mouth-to mouth once more, before he gave her CPR again. “Clementine, please.” he begged. “I’ll do what you want.”
“I’ll sing for ya.”
“I’ll eat the last of the beans.”
“I’ll do anything you want, just don’t leave me. Please, Clementine.”
Luke kept pressing down on her chest, waiting for her to wake up. He gave her mouth-to-mouth again, to see if it made a change before continuing to press on her chest.
Clementine choked up water. Her lungs desperate for air. He saved her.
“Clem, look at me.” he said before cupping her cheek.
The little girl opened her sore eyes slightly at the man who saved her.
“Oh, thank god!” he said pulling her up slightly to hug her. Luke gently set her back down, wiping her wet face afterwards.
“Luke…” she cried. “It hurts.” she said pulling against the net.
"I know, kid. I know.” he said before picking her up bridal style and carry her inside.
Clem winced in pain from the net digging into her skin through her soaked clothes.
Once inside, Luke set her down on the floor before shutting the sliding door, locking it. He quickly made his way to the kitchen opening drawers looking for a pair of scissors to cut the net. Luke found a pair before making his way back to the little girl. He knelt down in front of her as he pulled some of the net wrapped around her arm away from her body so he could cut it.
One snip at a time, Luke cut Clementine loose from the net holding her captive. Once she was free, Luke helped her stand so she could get the feeling back in her legs. It wasn’t a second after that when the two made their way over to Abigail. The two knelt down in front of her. Abby weakly raised her hand to grab Clementine’s. “I’m sorry, sweetie.” she whispered to the little girl.
Why Abigail? The one who helped Clem and Luke through the whole pregnancy thing. Why did she have to get bit? She didn’t deserve it.
“You remember everything I said to you, okay?” Abigail said to Clementine.
The eleven-year-old nodded. Abigail was like a sister, Clem didn’t want to say goodbye.
Abigail pulled the icepick out and gave it back to Clementine. “I guess this is it…” Abby spoke before trying to stand up. Luke had to help her.
Once she was on her feet, Clem and Luke hugged their friend. It was Abby’s last one, they had to make it count. After it broke, Abigail pulled out her gun. “I’m going to run as far as I can, so I can draw them away from here.” With that said, the woman made her way towards the door. Clementine and Luke had to move the couch blocking it so she could leave. Right before she opened the door, Abigail turned to Luke. “You take good care of her.”
“Of course.” he responded.
Abby gave a nod before unlocking the door and opening it. After she did, she quickly locked the door behind her and ran.
That was it. She was gone.
Luke walked over to the couch he and Clementine move and sat down in it. Clem noticed him sit down and followed suit. They need a break. The little girl sat in Luke’s lap before wrapping her arms around him. Luke did the same to her, pulling Clem closer. After a few minutes of holding each other, their arms hugged one another tighter after hearing a distant gun shot.
It’s been a couple hours since Abigail left for good. Luke and Clementine were searching through the house for supplies lying around. Since the sun had set they were using flashlights. After the two met back up in the kitchen, the pulled out what they found.
Luke placed a few candles on the counter, along with a box of matches, and a can of food. “Not much, but we’ll have some light.” he said as he pulled out a match to light one of the candles. “I also found a couple bedrooms down the hall. What did you find?”
Clementine pulled out a bottle and placed it on the counter. “I found a lot of these in the basement. Shelves full of them. I don’t know what it is.” she said.
Luke picked the bottle up by the neck and looked at the label. “It’s alcohol. Not much use to us.” he said.
“Not much use for me, you mean.” Clementine said. “You should have some.”
Luke looked at her, processing what Clem said.
“We both had a rough day, and you’re the only one who can drink.” she explained.
“Since when did you know so much about alcohol?”
“Since Nick got drunk in a shed after we left the river. Pete died and he wouldn’t stop drinking. I think you need it.”
Luke paused. “You’re really going to let me drink?”
“Yeah…” Clementine grabbed a candle and the match box. “I’m going to go to bed.” she said before walking towards the hall.
The little girl turned around to the farm boy.
“If I ever try to do something that you’re uncomfortable with, don’t be afraid to knock the shit out of me. You understand?”
“Okay, just making sure.”
“Clem.” a voice whispered, exaggerating the vowel in her her name, while a hand shook her body.
The little girl slowly peeled her eyes open to see Luke’s face illuminated by the candlelight that she forgot to blow out. “Luke?” she whispered back before sitting up and rubbing her eyes.
“Can-can you help me?” he asked with a stutter.
Clementine looked in his red eyes. Maybe he was drunk. “Yeah… With what?”
“Can you take off my weapon thing?”
Luke pulled the strap of his machete holder off his chest to show the kid. “I can’t get it off.” He’s most likely drunk.
“Yeah, sure.” Clementine undid the strap and slid the holder off his arm, placing it on the floor by the bed.
“Thanks, kid.” Luke said before climbing on the other side of the bed.
Clem stood up to blow out the candle. Right before she did, Luke spoke again. “Don’t blow it out. It’s… pretty.”
“Luke, I have to.”
“No.” he exaggerated.
“Fine.” she said before crawling back into bed. “Luke, how much did you have to drink?”
“I don’t know, probably like four bottles. I waited an hour after the last bottle before coming in here. I think I’m half-drunk.”
“I think you’re more than halfway, Luke.”
“What ever you say, just go to sleep.” Clementine yawned before turning away from him to look at the candle. It was kind of pretty, actually.
Clem closed her eyes, hoping to fall asleep. Right when she was about to, she felt an arm wrap around her, pinning her arms down and pull her small body towards the arm’s owner. Her back was up against a warm chest, must be Luke. Who else could it be? Clementine felt him raise his head and rest it on top of hers, their cheeks touching. She could smell a bit of alcohol on him.
The eleven-year-old let him snuggle her. He was drunk, and she didn’t want to make him upset. Otherwise she’d be up all night taking care of him. Clem felt Luke turn his head and kiss her cheek, causing her to smile slightly. But the smile slowly faded as he planted another kiss on her cheek, and another, and another. She was a little weirded out by this as he continued to kiss her cheek, but it wasn’t like he was hurting her, it was harmless. Therefore, she let him, and to be honest, she kind of liked it.
After a while of kissing the little girl, Luke spoke. “Clem… Can you show me your eyes?”
“Luke, go to sleep.” she muttered, a little upset that he stopped.
“Please…” he begged.
Clementine sighed before rolling over to him, opening her tired eyes. She watched Luke smile at her.
“You’re beautiful. You know that, right?” he asked.
Clementine closed her eyes as she tilted her head down. She felt a warm hand lift up her chin, causing her to open her golden eyes to Luke’s face.
“I mean that.” he said.
“You’re drunk.” she responded.
“It’s still true.” The hand on Clem’s chin moved to the side of her face before Luke started caressing her cheek. His face suddenly showed sorrow. “I thought I lost you today.”
“You saved my life, Luke.” Clementine said.
“What if I didn’t, though. I- I thought you weren’t going to wake up. I thought I was going to have to shoot you…” Clementine saw a tear glisten in the candlelight as it went down his cheek. Clem lifted her hand up to Luke’s face, wiping the tear with her thumb. “Losing Abby was hard enough, but if I lost you, too… God…” Luke tried to hold it in, Clementine saw that. She’s never seen Luke cry before.
With the hand already on his face, Clem pulled his head to her chest. This broke him. Luke wrapped his arms around the little girl’s body, burying his face further in her chest to cry. He let everything out.
Clem just held his head with one hand, while the other rubbed his back. After Luke held her when she was scared or upset countless times, now it was her turn to hold him. She said that it’d be okay, she calmed him down best she could, and kissed the top of his head, rubbing it in afterward.
They had each other. That’s all that mattered. They both hoped that one day the two could just settle down in one place and not live in fear of the rest of the world. Live with other people and try to get life back to what it was before.
Luke and Clementine knew that was never going to happen, but it was a nice thought. A thought they hope would come true.