I wake up hugging Aaron, both of us in just shirts and undies. We must’ve managed to get our underwear back on in case anyone decided to zip open the tent. It’s slightly light out but not extremely.
“Hey, I’m going to have to head out soon, I need to get a little bag ready,” I whisper at Aaron, waking him up.
“Alright, I’m up,” He says, sitting up.
“Put on your pants and meet me at the gate in 5,” I say, putting my pants on.
I unzip the tent and quietly make my way to where Isaac and Rayla are sleeping. I unzip their tent and luckily they are sleeping on Rayla’s side. I reach in, grab one of Rayla’s shirts, pants, and grab my bag, water bottle, and a few rations. I quietly zip shut the tent and walk over to the gate.
“I still don’t know about this, it seems really risky,” Aaron comments.
“I’ll be okay,” I say, hugging him.
He tilts my chin up towards him and kisses me deeply, “I don’t want to lose you so don’t do anything stupid.”
“No promises,” I say kissing him once more before he releases me and I begin making my way towards the border.
I cut into the forest to change into different clothes and bury my old ones about 3 miles back, it is a whole lot harder to walk in here than it is on the road, my leg is killing me and I ran out of water about a mile back. So far I haven’t run into any freaks which is extremely surprising.
The shed Aaron and I spent the night in is just up ahead. I start making my way onto the road and as I get closer to the shed, I hear barking, whining, and yelping. I pick up my pace, pushing through the pain I run past the shed and make my way to where the noise is coming from. The sound got farther away, it must’ve echoed in the forest.
I look around but gunshots hit the ground in front of me. I jump back slightly before looking at some of the trees, looking for people.
“Hello?” I holler, “Please, I’m injured and I need help!”
A man and a few other people walk out towards me, “What injuries do you have?”
“I was shot with a crossbow in my upper leg and I received head trauma after tripping in the woods. Other than that some minor bruising I believe” I answer, standing still.
“Put your bag on the ground and disarm yourself completely,” The man demands, pointing his gun to the ground in front of me.
I slowly set my bag on the ground and put my knife on the ground next to it, “Anything else?”
“Put your hands above your head and walk towards us slowly,” The man directs.
I put my hands above my head and limp my way towards them. The man gestures towards another man to grab me. The second man grabs my arms and guides me at knifepoint.
“Do you guys have any water by chance?” I ask innocently.
“Here,” the first guy answers, handing me a canteen. I open it quickly and take a large gulp out of it.
“Thank you,” I say, handing it back to him. He says nothing in response and just waves for everyone to follow.
We walk for a while, cutting into the woods. I see a handful of small buildings, one is larger than the rest. “Can we stop for a minute? My leg is going to give out,” I beg, beginning to limp more severely.
“No,” The leading guy replies.
“Please! What would your leader think about a potential new person dying on your watch!” I plead.
“New person? You’re funny, you’re going to the dogs, they need new food,” the guy behind me adds, shoving me forward.
I stay silent, pushing through the pain in my leg as we continue walking toward the buildings. As we get closer I hear howling, barking, yelping, and whining.
“Logan, what have we here?” a woman asks, walking up to us.
“Dog food,” He answers, grabbing my shoulder, shoving me to the ground.
I grunt as I hit the ground, I grab my leg as dirt gets into it, making it sting. “What was that for!” I yell.
“Ah, so you do have a backbone,” Logan comments, grabbing me by the collar of the shirt and lifting me up.
“Logan, let her go,” the woman demands.
“Why?” He questions, gripping my collar harder.
“Because, she’s a lot better than dog food,” she comments, looking at me, “What happened to your leg?”
“Crossbow arrow,” I answer, looking down at my leg then back up at her.
“Really, you’re going to try and lie to my face? You haven’t even been here for 5 minutes,” She comments, walking closer to me, “Once again, what happened to your leg.”
“I told you, it is an arrow wound,” I answer again.
The woman looks at me and says, “I like you, you got a hell of a backbone if you get an attitude with both Logan and me.”
“Let’s get someone to stitch up her leg, and get her some pain killers,” She says, walking away, “I already have the perfect job for you.”
“And that is?” I ask, not wanting to move until I get an answer.
“See we have a few dogs and some of them need to be dealt with by someone who has a backbone. Logan is allergic to them and pretty much everyone else doesn’t want to get near them.” She answers, looking back at me, “So now, it’s your job.”
“Well, I’ve been around quite a few dogs in my life, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to help or not,” I comment, finally budging and walking towards her.
“Well, our worst one is a pitbull, we’ve had her about a month and she snaps and bites at everyone who comes near her. We need someone on her level to get after her,” the woman adds.
“What do you guys use them for?” I question, as we walk towards what looks to be an infirmary.
“Well, we use them out on the watch team and as guard dogs. They alert us when there are freaks nearby,” She answers, opening the door.
“Well, has she been around any of the other dogs?” I ask, shutting the door behind me.
“She seemed to be okay with a new dog we just got in the other day. He’s a big wolf looking dog. Although he didn’t like us either. We’ll see you do with the pitbull and then we’ll look at the wolf-dog.” She commented.
“Major,” I whisper to myself.
“Hmm?” The woman asks, looking back at me.
“What?” I reply quickly, my face turning red.
“Who’s this?” another guy asks walking up to us.
“This is our new girl, we need you to stitch her up and get her something for the pain,” the woman asks, “This is Jake, he takes care of everything here in the infirmary, with help of course, but for the most part he works in here.”
“I’m, Alya,” I answer, not wanting to tell him my real name.
“Hi Alya, I’d introduce myself but clearly Grace wanted to introduce me,” He answers, gesturing towards a chair, “Here have a seat and I’ll start stitching up your leg.”
I sit down in the chair, looking around the room. I notice a box of pregnancy tests and my heart stops. Aaron and I had sex but we didn’t use protection.
“Hey, would you mind I took a pregnancy test?” I ask, looking down as he stitched up my leg.
“Why? You came here alone didn’t you?” He questions, confused.
“Well, my boyfriend and I well, you know a few weeks ago. We got separated right after by a horde. I don’t even know if he’s still alive but I just want to see if I’m pregnant,” I explain.
“Oh, well, yeah sure I guess,” he says, continuing to stitch my leg.
He finishes stitching up and cleaning my leg before handing me a Naproxen pill.
“I don’t think I should take this, just in case,” I say, handing him back the pain.
“Well, take the test and if it comes negative take it, if it comes positive, don’t,” he suggests, setting it on a small table, unboxing the pregnancy tests and hands me one, “You can go in the back corner there, there is a privacy curtain.
“Okay, thank you,” I comment, grabbing the stick from his hand and walking towards the corner. I pull the privacy curtain and pull down my pants. I hold the stick and place it under my bladder, urinating onto it. I pull up my pants and open the privacy curtain. “How long does it take for the result?” I ask, walking back over towards Jake.
“It says 3-4 minutes on the box. Do you want to just take it with you and check it whenever or do you want to wait in here?” Jake questions, looking over at me.
“I’ll sit in here, just to rest my leg for a bit, and that way if it comes back negative I can take the pain killer,” I explain, sitting back down on the chair.
“Okay, well I have to organize some of the stuff in here, so if you need anything just tell me, or if you feel you want some privacy you can go back over there,” he says, turning towards the counter and cabinets.
After a few minutes, I look down at the test. It shows one line, negative for pregnancy. I stare at the test, not knowing whether or not I’m happy or not.
“What’s the result, if you don’t mind me asking,” Jake questions, looking over at me.
“Negative, and I don’t know how to feel about it. I feel like I should be happy considering I’m only 17, but I’m kind of disappointed,” I explain, looking over towards him.
“Well, at least, if your boyfriend didn’t make it, you won’t feel guilty that he didn’t get to see his potential child grow up,” he answers, turning back to the counter.
“Yeah, I guess,” I say, putting the test into the garbage. “Well still okay if I grab that painkiller?” I ask, hovering my hand over the blue pill.
“Go ahead, you won’t be able to have anything else for about 12 hours because it has such a large milligram amount,” he explains.
“Okay thank you,” I say, putting the pill in my mouth, dry swallowing it.
“See you later,” Jake hollers as I walk out the door.