Stranger (Carl Grimes)

Fourteen

Carl's pov

The words that flowed roughly from her dry and chapped lips sent chills into my heart.

"I thought it was you." she deadpans, not looking at me.

That's why her guard was down. At least he's dead. I wanted to be the one to kill him. I mean, I've killed before, it isn't hard. Her eyes now inspect my hands, well my bruised and bloodied knuckles to be more specific. She stares at them.

"I beat him up." I answer to her silent question.

Her pokerface didn't break, not even the slightest crack.

I sigh, "Damn it Charlotte. If you would've known it wasn't me-"

I get cut off by a sharp slap to my cheek. I look at her startled.

"Never blame a victim for something they couldn't control." she snarls, getting up and going downstairs.

I blink a few times. Did that just really happen? I rethink what came out of my mouth. I didn't even know the whole story, not even from her perspective. I run a hand down my face. I have fucked up big time. this day should be erased from time. I get up and go to my room.

The room where we once would talk and kiss, feels cold and bare. I contemplated on whether to lay on the bed, thinking about my feelings and all the things I have fucked up, or go downstairs and continue with the things set out today. I decide the latter and head downstairs. As a reflex, I look for Charlotte. She isn't here. I see dad and daryl come in through the side door.

"Where's Charlotte?" dad asks, looking at me.

I look at my shoes and shrug.

"What do you mean you don't know?" Daryl asks sharply.

"She ran out." I explain.

"Why?" Daryl asks, his eyes narrowed to slits.

"Because I fucked up." I confess.

"Watch your mouth." dad snaps at me.

I roll my eyes and leave the two.

"Where are you going?" dad calls behind me.

"To find my girlfriend." I say, determined, and yank the front door open.

I slam it shut, not caring if I attract a few walkers.

Charlotte's pov

They say laughter is the best medicine.

I have no feeling to laugh, not in this situation. What is there to laugh about? What is the punch line? I feel like I'm in a nightmare and I'm just pleading to wake up, normal. But I know that I'm already awake.

I went to the other house. My mind was as clear as a mud pie. I stop outside the door to my room. I shiver. I can hear his voice growl lowly at me. I swallow and open the door. I don't take the bedroll, in fact I don't even look at the bed. I pack my backpack and head out.


I plan to go back to the slave plantation house. It also has a fireplace, which can keep my body warm tonight. I don't think I will sleep at all. I arrive to the front and peek through the door. I make sure it's clear even though I know it is. It is a sense of comfort I'm craving, and so far I haven't been satisfied. Not since this morning. Not since this very second. I mean, I know it's idiotic to spilt away from the group, but if I survived on my own before Daryl found me, I can do it again. Plus, I'm not that far away. I just need some space from everyone.

My hand slightly stings from when I smacked carl. Sure, I have smacked lizzie, but hurting Carl. I spot a small pile of chopped logs and start a fire. I grab my spare blanket and dress in the warmest clothes I have, including the socks Maggie found for me. It's soon dark outside and the fire is low, the curtains drawn, the room baricaded. I don't eat anything that night. I stare blankly at the ceiling above me. I miss my mom. She wouldn't blame me for this. Todd would be by my side 24/7. Kit would probably beat up the monster. Maybe kill him. Should I leave the group? My boyfriend thinks it is my fault. A psychotic sadistic young girl who tried to commit second degree murder is living with us. I just. Can't handle this right now. At least Judith is happy. I burrow my face into the blanket and fall asleep.

Carl's pov

When I get upstairs in the other room, the door is wide open. Her stuff is gone.

"Damn!" I yell, kicking the bed post, ignoring the throbbing pain in my foot.

I walk back out, not before being puzzled. Why didn't she take her bed roll? I go back in and check the drawers. Clean of everything. Maybe Seth had her trapped on the bed. That makes some sense, but not enough to go on. Daryl can track anyone.

"Daryl. Can you track Charlotte down?" I ask when I tell dad and Daryl that she is gone.

He looks outside the window. It's dim. He shakes his head.

"Too late tonight. We can search tomorrow. She couldn't have gone too far." he says.

I swallow my response and storm off. When I slam the door in my bed room, I'm slammed against the wall. Lips are on mine. Since I can't see anything, I kiss back and wrap my arms around Charlotte. She presses herself against me. I tangle my fingers in her hair and swipe my tongue across her lower lip. My eyebrows furrow when I truly feel her hair. It's straight and smooth. Oh god, Charlotte's hair is wavy and soft but not smooth. I push this person away from me. In the moon light, shining through the window, I see who I was really kissing.

"Babe, why did you stop?" Lizzie whines, coming back for more.

I push her away.

"Because I have a girlfriend." I snarl at her.

She smirks, "You kissed me back though, so you cheated on her."

"It was a stupid mistake. Now get out of my room." I growl at her.

She leaves, swaying her hips. I roll my eyes in disgust and tug at my hair. This day could not get worse. I fall asleep quickly.

Charlotte's pov

"Looks like someone is in there." I hear, muffled.

I open my eyes and curse. I fell asleep. Since I woke up a few seconds ago, god has been kind and let my mind drift with no memories of yesterday morning. I check my watch, 9:03 in the morning. The embers are smoldering. I grab my gun off the floor just in time when the door slams open. I peek my head over the back of the couch.

A ginger man with a mustache, another man with a mullet, and two girls. Mullet sees me and randomly shoots, not having any control of the gun. I cry out in pain as my right shoulder feels like it got struck by lightning. I look down and sigh. Just a graze. I press on it.

"Stupid shit!" I hear mustache scold, snatching the gun away from the mullet's hands.

"What happened?" I hear a familiar voice say.

I peek back over the couch again and see no other than the lanky man named glenn. I sit up and stand.

"Glenn!" I cry, running to him.

"Charlotte?" he murmurs as I wrap my arms around his waist.

He pats my back.

I drag him into the kitchen, excusing us from the other members of his group.

"I know where Maggie is and the others are, but I'm not so sure about those in the living room." I say in a low voice to Glenn.

He kisses my forehead. I smile some. Even though I didn't even know Glenn, something in me told me he was a good guy, and I trust him. He's kind of like a big brother, even though we aren't related.

"Yeah, they do seem kind of skeptical. I'm alright with them, just not Abraham who is the ginger." he says, nodding.

"Eugene, the one who accidently fired at you, knows how this started. They were going up to Washington to create a cure, but he accidently shot a hole in the tank of their truck. They just followed me." he adds.

"How? How did this happen?" I ask urgently.

He sighs, "It's classified information, I don't know it either."

"Y'all done?" Abraham calls to us.

"Should we?" I ask.

He nods. I follow him out. The four look at us. Recognition appears on the girl with the pony tails.

"I saw you run out and get on the horse!" she says.

I slowly cock my head to the side, then it clicked. I saw her with the enemies.

I lunge and snarl, "I'm going to kill you!"

I feel arms wrap around my waist.

"You attacked my home! Killed innocent people! You should die!" I scream, thrashing in Glenn's arms.

I bare my teeth and kick, trying to get her.

"Let me go!" I yell.

She backs away.

"Not until you calm down." Glenn hisses in my ear.

I groan and calm down. Glenn keeps a close eye on me.

"Who are you?" Abraham asks.

"Charlotte." I state, not liking how strong he looks.

I furrow my eyebrows at his holster.

"What?" he asks.

"That is a strange symbol on your gun holster, a gold cross. Why?" I ask.

When he was about to answer, his eyes roll to the back of his head. He slumps to the ground. Daryl has knocked him out. Eugene tries for a gun, but I kick his leg. The one with little clothing on, fires at me. I hiss as I earn another grazing. I'm lucky I haven't been hit. Pig tails knocks her out. I nod to her. Maggie comes in, aiming a gun. She lowers it, acutally drops it when she sees Glenn.

They hug each other and kiss passionatly. I avert my eyes and smile, happy that they found each other. Daryl leads us all back to base. We took Abraham and Eugene's guns, then secured the slave plantation house. The girl with little clothing's gun is now in my waistband. Maggie and Glenn are holding hands, catching up happily. Pig tails, who is beside Daryl, are both silent. We arrive to base.

Everyone rejoices with glenn, while I blend with the shadows. For now, I am shadow. Dark and insignificant. No one points out shadows, they usually look to bright things, like the sun. Shadow Charlotte. I'm fine with that. Completly and utterly okay with the idea. Everyone goes to the kitchen. Lizzie practically skips up to me with a smug look on her face.

"What." I snap at her.

"Oh nothing, just that your boyfriend and I made out passionatly last night when you were gone." she says causally, twirling a piece of hair between her index and middle fingers.

I glare at her. I go upstairs to find the only person missing from the party downstairs. He is sitting on the edge of his bed, his head in his hands.

"Is it true?" I ask.

His head snaps up to meet my eyes.

"What's true?" he asks.

I clench my jaw and spit, "That you and Lizzie made out while I was gone."

My voice is deathly calm.

He nods, "But the lights were off and I-"

"Well damn it Carl if you would've known it wasn't me!" I yell at him, cuttng him off.

He shuts up. I must do he only thing that I know is right.

"First, you blame me for something I couldn't control. Second, you make out with someone else while I was gone. I don't know if I could deal with that. It's over." I say.

"Charl-" he begins.

"Don't Charlotte me!" I yell at him.

I feel tears welling up.

"Just don't." I say in a gentler tone.

I turn my head away.

"I'm done Carl." I say, then leave his room.

I bite my lip and take a deep breath as I race downstairs. I need somewhere to go to be alone. I don't want anyone to see me right now. My stomach grumbles but I ignore it. I run down the street and see an empty house on the corner. I look in a window and see a bed room, a blue one with a vanity that has makeup on it. I don't see any walkers, but I had my gun on me just in case.

I soundlessly climb in and push a chair to the door. I don't see anymore doors in the room. I shut the window, only leaving a crack so I push it up easily. I collapse on the bed and hug an extra pillow on the queen sized mattress as I let it out. I try to be quiet and ignore the aching in my head, heart, and stomach. The two grazes from earlier had stopped bleeding, but I felt dizzy, so I fall asleep.


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