Hardships Come With Love

Chapter 5

Thomas's POV

I've been stressing over what to do when this moment came and here it is. Here she is, Teresa, getting closer with every step. A wave of emotions hit me. Can I trust her? She betrayed us. I can never forgive her. But we have a connection. I don't want to lose whatever was between us, what might still be there. My heart throbs as I look at her. I force myself to glance away, but my eyes find their way back to her long and dark wavy hair. It hangs around her face like a curtain, forming in little ringlets near the bottom. Our eyes meet for a couple seconds. I feel myself getting lost in her blue eyes, as if they're the oasis in this neverending desert. She's beautiful. My rambling thoughts come to a stop when there are no more steps to take between us. She is standing still right in front of me. Close enough to kiss. I freeze, suddenly too nervous to say or do anything. Teresa also seems at a loss for words since she keeps opening her mouth to say something but then shuts it.

Newt disrupts the silence by coming to stand next to me and saying to Teresa, "You have a lot of explaining to do."

Teresa exaggerates a nod and adds, "I know."

Let's sit down for a minute," Newt says tiredly.

I feel a pang of disappointment for not getting a hug from Teresa. I remind myself that we aren't friends. Because friends don't do to each other what she did to all of us.

I finally speak, "Let's get some water first," pointing to the stream.

No one argues. I throw some of the water on my face and down my parched throat, regaining a burst of energy. After refreshing ourselves with as much water to satisfy a herd of elephants, we sit together in a circle.

After a painstaking minute, Teresa speaks up, "I'm just going to say what I have to say now. I don't expect you to understand why I did it. But I just want you all to know the whole story."

Teresa sucks in a deep breath before continuing, "I guess I'll start before the Glade. I already told Tom a brief version of what happened with my mother. Here it is. It was just me and my mother. She was all I had. I loved her and was crushed when she got the Flare. She got crazier each day, and I was so scared for myself and for her that I chained her up in the basement. I never felt more lonely each night as I suffocated myself in blankets and pillows and heard her awful screams. A piercing scream that could crack the whole world in half. Anyways, one day the screams stopped and I went downstairs to see what had happened. Had she finally died? No. She had ripped her eyes out. She had that terrifying grin on her face and kept saying, "I'm okay now, honey. The visions are gone." This was when I felt inspired to stop the Flare and save all these suffering families. It wasn't until I experienced the virus up close like this that I knew I would sacrifice anything to find a cure. That's how I ended up at Wicked with you, Tom."

She glances over at me as if she's about to cry. Although, no tears come. I want to run to her side and hold her and tell her everything is going to work out, but know that won't make a difference. It doesn't seem like anything is ever going to be okay for us or for the world. Miracles don't happen.

She takes another deep breath before saying more, "So, I was with Wicked until the Glade where my memories were wiped. It would be safe to say that that was the best time of my life. I know, it's crazy. Being chased by Grievers and scared for my life. But that was the only time I felt like I fit in. Like I had a real family. Then, during our journey to the Right Arm, with some of my memories coming back, like the one of my mother, I started to lose focus of what I was fighting for. I was scared that I was fighting for the wrong cause. That the only way to save those from the Flare was us, the immune. I really am sorry how things ended up. I truly thought what I was doing was right, what Wicked was doing was right. I wasn't brought to the light about how Wicked was hurting all those people. I had to see it to believe it."

I look over at Newt who is studying Teresa intently and Brenda who rolls her eyes.

Teresa is wringing her hands in her lap, her eyes skipping around haphazardly, "I recently realized that you are right. Wicked has it all wrong. They are willing to kill so many people that are irrelevant to finding a cure. I think the search for a cure has no end. We are never going to find one. The only thing we can do is focus on ourselves and others who have a real chance of surviving this."

Teresa is looking at the ground now, her cheeks flushed.

Newt stops walking and starts clapping, smiling his devilish grin at Teresa. He stands up and walks over to Teresa to smother her in a tight embrace, "I'm glad to have you back Teresa. I know Tommy is too." He winks to me at that last part.

Feeling awkward to simply sit there as Newt steps away from Teresa, I stand up too and approach her. I feel so stupid looking into those bright blue eyes, incapable of saying anything.

She speaks for me, "Miss me?"

I step closer and she hugs me securely. I wrap my arms around her in return and nestle my face into her hair. I never want to let go, but force myself to. A smile pops onto my face and Teresa sees it, her eyes crinkling with happiness. No words are needed. I forget Brenda is there, her being so silent. The smile lessens, but I still feel the slight tug upwards at the corners of my lips. I'm a step closer to fixing things with Teresa. I don't know if I will be able to fully recover and love her exactly as I did before. I just know for sure that I feel pretty damn good right now and that's all that matters.

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