All of our stuff is in the living room. The knot Carl had tied had been cut and the couch had been moved. Everyone's things are piled in the middle of the living room. Rick leans against a wall for support while he holds Judith. I stand beside Carl.
"Alright. There are four bedrooms here and four bedrooms over at the other house. Who is staying here?" Rick asks at the end.
"I am." I pipe up.
"Which room are you claiming?" Rick asks, turning to me.
"Carl's." I say, nodding.
Daryl scoffs and says, "With all your hormones raging, we don't want any more babies."
"Shouldn't you trust us? We are fourteen and fifteen, practically adults-" I say.
"No, only teenagers. Stuck between kid and adult." He corrects me.
"Can you not trust that two teenagers can sleep together without having sex?!" I exclaim in disbelief.
"No, I can't." He retorts.
I huff angrily.
"Stop treating me like a child and more like an adult!" I snap.
"I will when you stop acting like one." He snaps back.
I bristle at his sharp words. My hands are clenched. With a locked jaw I take my backpack.
"I'll stay at the other house." I huff as I leave, locking and loading my gun so I can kill the walker.
I run upstairs and kill the walker quick. I grab Carl's shoe and put it in the hallway where the door is. Going back upstairs, I take a look around in my new room. A queen bed, dresser, nightstand, and window seat. One door, which I find out is a small closet. The room is plain cream. The bedding is pine green with white pillows.
I have a big window with a window seat as well. I put my backpack by the door and unpack some clothes, putting them in the top two drawers out of the eight. I sigh, sitting on the bed. I spot out the window the two spoons and can opener, making me remember the shoe. I get up and go downstairs, get turn shoe.
"Here's your shoe." I say to Carl as I walk through the door, throwing the shoe to him.
The everyone's things are gone. He is sitting on the couch with Judith.
"Where are the others?" I ask.
I sit down next to him. Judith crawls over to me and tugs on my hair.
I smile, "Hello chickadee."
She lets go of my hair and crawls back to carl.
"Daryl is out hunting, Maggie is checking for food in other houses down this street, Sasha and Bob are chopping wood and getting water, Beth is watching for walkers, dad is somewhere around here." he informs me.
"I'm glad she is ok. When I saw the baby carrier..." he trails off.
I nod to him, understanding the trauma and guilt of a loved one being killed. I have experienced it first hand.
Panting, I arrive at the house we had been staying in for a few months now. A bag of squirrels in one hand and my silenced gun in the other. I use snares and bring my gun just in case the eaters came upon me. Sound attracts them, we learned that last month.
I walk up to the back door, when I hear, "Lottie!"
It's coming from the old small shed in the corner of the backyard. I walk over to it and open the door. In it is Todd, his big brown eyes portraying fear. His small frame is shaking and his bag is right beside him.
"What are you doing out here?" I ask, sitting beside him and closing the door.
"Mom got stabbed and turned. Someone came by and j-just stabbed her! I mean, who would do that?" he says in disbelief.
"Where's Kit?" I ask.
I have a feeling I already know what happened.
He sighs, wiping fat tears from his cheeks and says, "He couldn't put her down."
I smile sadly, Kit loved my mother very much. He would never hurt her even if she was a eater. It takes bravery to put down a person, eaters are just threats, you don't feel anything for eaters unless you know them. If you hesitate, they will bite you and you ten into one as well. It's a never ending cycle of stupidity. I will always keep todd safe. Even if it means I have to do things I wouldn't do before the world went to shit.
"I'm going to go put them down." I say, getting up with my gun.
"No!" he blurts out.
"Don't leave me." he whines.
I turn to him and lean down to his eye level. I get my extra gun and hand it to him. I taught Todd how to shoot last month as well as fighting with a dagger.
"You stay behind me. If you see Mom or Kit, tell me or shoot for the head. No bites. No scratches okay? We are going to survive." I say.
He turns the safety off and nods. I motion for him to follow as I climb the steps to the back door. I turn the door and point my gun in the hallway. I walk slowly, tense, and alert for any moans or shuffled movements. I whistle low. Kit appears in front of me, or what used to be kit. I hear todd's shallow breathes as he sees him.
I shoot Kit in the head without hesitation. Kit slumps to the ground, a pool of blood surrounding his head. I step over his body and look around the living room. I thought todd was behind me. I thought the door to his left was closed. I thought I heard shuffling upstairs. I thought wrong. He screams as his mother -no, monster- sinks it's teeth into his neck and rips a chunk out.
"NO!" I roar, shooting it twice in the head.
That was a stupid mistake, waste an extra bullet on something that doesn't deserve an extra one. I catch my baby brother in my arms. Tears blur my vision.
"No, no, no." I murmur as I apply pressure on a fatal wound, one I know that will kill him in seconds.
"I promised you something I couldn't keep. I'm sorry baby brother, I'm sorry." I sniffle as tears roll down my cheeks.
He chokes on his own blood as it comes up from his throat. He tries to say something but I quiet him and stroke his hair down as tears run down my cheeks.
I half scream half sob, pressing my forehead gently to his which is still warm. I press the barrel of my gun to his temple and put him down. His head jolted from the impact, making mine jolt as well. I wipe my tears and realize it's dark. I run out and get our bags. I sleep in the kitchen, away from the bodies in the hallway. Next morning I wake up to the smell of death, and a mind of grief. I stuff the useful things in my bag, but can't bring myself to pry his gun from his hand.
I hadn't realized I was crying until I felt a thumb brush gently onto my cheek. I snap out of my flashback. I see a flash of blonde hair going to the stairs. Judith is no longer in Carl's lap, so I settle myself into his arms as I let tears flow free down my cheeks. He holds me tight.
"What were you thinking about?" he whispers to me.
I stay silent. I'm not ready to tell anyone that. He sighs and slowly rubs my back.
"Is Rick here?" I ask, changing the subject and getting up, wiping under my eyes and sniffling.
He nods and points to the kitchen. Rick is sitting at the round table. I sit down across from him. I can hear him wheezing from here, which is a bad sign. He looks like shit, half his face is swollen.
"When the prison went down, I came upon a house and found a lot of canned foods. I want to go on a two day trip for it." I propose to him.
He nods, "Do you want someone to go with you?"
"Could Carl come?" I ask.
"We won't..." I trail off, blushing.
He shakes his head, smiling a little, "I know you won't. I'm sorry, but I need him in my sight at all times. Do you have priorities? My children and my gun are my priorities. I hope you can understand where I'm coming from.You leave tomorrow morning."
I nod, a bit sad that Carl can't come though. I go back into the living room.
"Want to see my room?" I ask him.
He nods and tells Rick we are going to the other house. I open my door, which still has the chalk written on it.
"It's nice." he says after he slowly turned in a circle.
I sit on the window seat. It's long enough that if I lay my body down, there is still some room below my feet. He sits beside me and looks out the window. He chuckles.
"What?" I ask, confused.
"We left our spoons and the can opener on the roof." he explains, pointing to the items, which are shiny in the sun light.
I check the time, it's 3:49. The others should be heading back by now. I turn my head and look at him. He looks back at me and leans in. I smile as my heart races. I lean in as well. Soon, we are kissing. Slowly this time. He shifts me into his lap and angles his head so that the kiss deepens. I slide my fingers into his hair. The hat was knocked off after the first few seconds when our lips touched.
His hand glides up my back and settles right below my bra strap, just like when we were dancing back at the prison. He presses me closer to him and I smile. I wrap my legs around his waist because I knew I was bound to get pins and needles if I keep them bent. I hear the door knob turn and had just enough time to dettach my lips from Carl's and see beth frozen in the doorway.
I get off of Carl's lap and clear my throat, a blush rising to my cheeks as I feel embarrassed that beth caught us.
"Supper's ready." she announces.
I nod and follow her out. Carl came out after he picked up his hat from the ground. We all go back over to the main house. Dinner is beans, rabbit, and carrots. Judith decides she wants to sleep with rick tonight. Daryl, Sasha, Bob and I go back to the other house. I say goodnight to the others and close my bed rooms door.
I remind myself to clean the chalk off tomorrow before leaving. I change into a long t shirt over my sweats. I keep my hair down so my ears and neck won't be exposed to the cold that creeeps in throught the windows. I get under the covers and lay on my back, staring blankly at the ceiling above me and thinking about today.
How will Carl take that I'm leaving tomorrow? Will something bad happen when I'm away? What if there is a huge herd and they wipe us out? My mind wonders through endless 'what ifs?' as I feel myself relax and fall into sleep. Just as I'm about to fall asleep I hear a noise downstairs. I get my gun and sneak down the stairs. When I reach the bottom, I relax. It's only Maggie coming over to visit Beth. I go back up stairs and climb back into bed. It takes me longer to fall asleep this time because I had been moving. I wish Todd was still here. If I could pick any person to be alive, it would be my baby brother. I fall asleep with him haunting my dreams.