For the second time in as many days, I wake up in my own bed without any recollection of how I got there. There’s a fresh bandage on my arm and I’m wearing pyjamas. The blood has been wiped away from my skin, as best as a packet of baby wipes can manage.
Even so, when I manage to sit up and take a look in the mirror opposite the bed, I still look fucking terrible. Battered and bruised, it’s a wonder I managed to sit up at all. My arms are covered in scrapes from my fall through the window and, touching the back of the head, I can feel the lump where I hit the railing. My palms are cut and scratched from when I scrambled away from Marco and the infected and I already know that the second I try to stand, my legs are likely to give way. And that’s just from running around the town. A little closer and I should be able to see the damage the infection is doing to my system, but I’m not ready to do that just yet. The smell emanating from the wound on my forearm is evidence enough for now.
I collapse back against the pillows and draw the covers right up to my chin. All I want is to fall back asleep and never wake up but I can’t will my brain to stop thinking. Thinking about Marco, thinking about the mob, thinking about that little girl, thinking about her mother, thinking about how I've just slept another day away. I rub my forehead with my hand and sigh. What a fucking mess.
Beth comes in. She sees that I’m awake and hovers in the doorway for a moment, a bowl of what looks like tinned soup, resting on a tray in her hands. I feel my mouth stretch into a sad half-smile.
“Don't waste it on me, Beth,”
She looks down at the food and shrugs, putting it down on the dresser. She walks over to the bed and climbs in beside me. She wraps her arms around me and I lean back into her, staring at our reflection in the mirror.
“I don’t think I’ll go out again,”
She nods. “Maybe it’s for the best,” She leans down and presses her lips to the top of my head. “Go back to sleep,”
I sit up to let her get out of the bed and then burrow down into the covers. I watch her leave the room, my eyes already half closing. She picks up the soup as she goes, pausing by the door.
“They’re burying Marco this afternoon,”
My eyes snap open. Well, that’s fucking torn it.