Chapter 23

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Carol and Tyreese looked at me questionably, I really didn't want to have to go through this whole 'Terminus' thing again. There are so many lives at stake this time, and I have to do something.

"Why can't we go to Terminus..?" Tyreese trailed his voice off, giving me a nudge to explain to him.

"Terminus is a huge factory full of cannibals. Everyone who goes there gets captured and eaten, I narrowly escaped last time." I sighed and ran a hand through my tangled hair.

Carol gasped and a pained expression clouded her face.
"We need to get to the others."

"That's what we were going to do." Carl bounced Judith on his hip.

Carol was in deep thought while Tyreese was mostly speechless. What are we going to do when we get there? What is supposed to happen? So we arrive in a heavily guarded factory and just take our people back.

"Get the stuff, Tyreese. We're leaving now. Terminus isn't more than a few hours trip from here. We need to leave. Now." Carol mumbelled grabbing anything of value she had.

I tried to busy myself picking up their supplies, but I couldn't ignore the niggling sickness in the pit of my stomach. I'm not afraid of dying, and I'm not afraid of killing someone else, especially if they're from Terminus. I can save the lives of everyone.

I'm not going to deny the inevitable, some day I'm going to die. It could be soon, it could be years from now, but what I do will define me. I will never run or hide. I will fight for what I have, no matter the cost to myself.

"Lauren, you okay?" Carl asked, watching me with worried eyes.

"Yeah, just zoned out there for a minute." I smiled, he could probably see through my mask, but he nodded anyway and tossed his backpack over his shoulder.

I let Carl walk ahead while I dropped back to where Carol was walking. She looked at me questionably, but soon realised I needed to talk. What I was going to talk about, that was another question.

"Are you okay, Lauren?" Carol asked, hoisting the large rucksack onto her back, the black sniper sticking out from the top.

"I don't know, Carol." I mumbelled.

"What are you thinking about?" She questioned.

"I-I think I need to do this," I grew more confident in myself as the seconds passed.
"I need to go into Terminus, I'll get them out, I promise."

Carol was hesitant, though she knew that she wouldn't change my mind. I toyed with the machete inbetween my hands. I could die in there, then my story would end. Carl would find someone else, and Judith would find someone else to call her mother.

"What if you don't make it out?" Carol sighed.

"Then I don't make it out. Just don't tell Carl I'm going, he wouldn't let me. I don't want him to know until I make it back.. or I don't."

Carol nodded, looking pained. She sighed, like she was already starting to mourn me before I was gone. There is a high change I'm not going to make it out. I need to save their lives, something I failed to do for Chelsie. Call it revenge, this world is to fucked up to limit myself because of my age. In this world, I'm an adult.

"I'll find a way to help you, I promise." Carol reassured me.

The crazy thing was, I wasn't scared. I don't fear death anymore. I fear the death of the people I love. Carol pulled her rucksack off her back, rummaging inside before she pulled out a pen and a piece of paper.

"Tell him how you feel before you go on a death wish." She smiled weakly and brushed some dirt from her cheeks.

I did my best to write on the paper, but walking and writing had never been my specialty. The sun was beginning to dip into the horizon, painting the sky purple, as we got closer and closer to Terminus. I made the most of the small sheet of scrumpelled paper paper, writing what I felt was what he needed to hear.

Carl,

I'm going to keep this short. In the middle of a stupid death-filled world, you showed me what it felt like to be loved.
Someday we are both going to die, maybe sooner than later. If I don't make my way back to you I just want you to know something.

I've fallen in love with you.

Lauren.

I folded the small slip of paper back into a neat square, handing Carol the slip with a weak smile.

"Maybe you should go talk to him for awhile, before we get there." Carol prompted.

"I can't. I don't want him to know something's wrong." I replied with a sigh.

Carl turned back and gave me a wide smile. I weakly smiled back. My heart was breaking into a thousand pieces, but I couldn't show. It would be harder to talk to him when I was in this state.

Carol shifted and dug her hand into her brown trousers pocket, pulling out a clip of black handgun ammunition.
"This is incase you need it."

I smiled gratefully and grabbed the clip, dropping it into the pocket of my faded blue skinny jeans.

I let out a shaky breath when the Terminus building appeared from over the hill. Carol led us up along the side, just outside the gated bounds of Terminus. Black faded lettering painted across the factory building informed me again of where I was. The place I had left behind so long ago.

Terminus

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