"Where is she?"
The panicked scream wakes me up. I look around, worried and confused. Chris is standing, to my surprise, with his hands on his face and his eyes wide in fear. Anne and Jose are trying to calm him down but their faces are also full of worry.
"What's wrong?" I ask.
Johnny leans over to me and whispers in my ear. "I think he said he has a sister?"
Then it hits me.
Anne turns back to me with sad eyes. She walks over to me when she notices my confusion. "We forgot about Kim." The sorrowful tone in her voice breaks my heart.
"How do we just forget about her?" I want to scream at Anne for the first time. "Where was she last?"
"I don't know!" Anne's voice rises into a high-pitched panic. "The whole thing happened with the neighborhood and you getting kidnapped and then Dawn getting killed and Brenda ran away and . . ."
"Where is she?" Chris is nearly screaming now.
"Shut him up!" Shayla orders from across the store. "He'll attract them to us if he gets any louder."
Brenda tries to calm him down. She speaks soothingly and rubs his shoulder but Chris walks away from her.
I turn back to Anne. "When was the last time you saw her?"
"In the neighborhood."
"In the neighborhood?" I cover my face with my hands and shake my head repeatedly. Oh no. Oh no, oh no, oh no. "How could you miss the fact that there wasn't another person!"
"I did counts more than looking at faces," she says in disappointment with herself. "I counted six of us because Dawn had died but I didn't think about Johnny. I was counting Johnny. I was so out of it, Alice. I had to kill people. I didn't think after that. I had to kill and I had to see Dawn be killed. The weight of guilt, Alice . . . It was too much for me."
"But I thought Kim was your closet friend," I say harshly.
"Don't be angry," she says quietly. Tears begin to stream down her face. Seeing Anne cry is like seeing a purple elephant. You don't.
I pull Anne in for an embrace. She sobs into my shoulder and I hold her tightly. She's saying things but I can't understand her words through her crying. I run my fingers through her hair, something that I remember would always calm me. She pulls away after getting herself together. She looks up to me and wipes a tear from her cheek. "It's all my fault. What do we do?"
"What can we do?" Jose asks.
"We look for her!" Brenda says. "We're not just going to leave her!"
"What happened to her?" Chris yells.
Anne explains to him what happened. His face falls in utter despair. When she finishes, he slowly walks out of the bookstore and into the parking lot. We all look around at each other, not knowing what to say or do.
"How do you guys feel?" Anne asks. She puts one hand on my forehead and the other on Johnny's.
Johnny says, "I feel just fine.
"A lot better," I say. "Really sore and pretty weak, but I think I could make a journey."
"You both lost your fever," she says, pulling herself back together.
Naoto peeks around the bookshelf and says, "I don't think they should be going out and exerting any more of their limited energy."
"Thank you, doctor, but we need to go and find someone we lost," Anne says with a polite smile.
Naoto walks a little closer. "Call me Naoto, please."
Anne nods. "Thank you, Naoto."
"I really don't think it's a good idea," he continues. "All three of them are too weak to make a long journey on foot. Not only them but the rest of you who aren't even injured. You're all weak and need to get a meal in before you can attempt to go."
"I thank you for your concern," Anne says.
"We can try to find a car," I suggest to Anne.
Anne looks at me and nods. "Yes! We've tried before but most of the cars were left running when the drivers died. Some of the batteries were dead and others didn't have gas. And of course the parked ones didn't have the keys. So if we're able to find something with a good battery, gas, and a key for the ignition, we can jump in a car."
"Then we have a plan," Brenda says.
"I'll go check on Chris." I walk out and look around the nearly empty parking lot. For a minute I can't find him, but then I spot his blond hair in the sunlight. He's sitting behind a car. I walk over to him and sit down beside him. He doesn't turn to look at me. I say his name but he doesn't respond. "Hello?"
Chris stares forward, his eyes locked on something in the distance. Beads of sweat form on his forehead and his hair looks messy and unclean. He looks like he's been through hell. But I think we all look it.
"Chris, we're going to look for her."
"How can you forget about a member of our group?" he suddenly snaps at me. When he looks at me I see rage and sorrow mixed into one in his clear eyes. "How could you just leave her?"
"You heard what Anne said," I say quietly. "We were emotional and not in the right mind."
"Yeah, well how about Jose?" Chris says. "I'm sure he noticed she was gone. He's the only one who was probably in his right mind at the time she disappeared."
"The night I was saved and Dawn was killed was the night Brenda went missing. They noticed she was missing because she was supposed to be with you because you were ill. They didn't realize Kim was gone, Chris. And you were unconscious and I was in and out of it. It's only been a few days, I'm sure she's fine."
"You didn't see her after Dawn was killed," Chris says. "That means they must have her!"
"It doesn't mean anything!" I argue. "We're going to go look for her. That's better than leaving her."
Chris stays silent after that. He presses his lips together and looks forward again, locking his eyes on something in the distance. I notice how he's unbuttoning and buttoning the button on his shirt, like a nervous twitch.
"Are you just going to sit here and mope?" I ask in frustration.
"I'm going to sit here and try to get my shit together, thank you very much," he snaps. "How would you feel if your sister was missing? How would it be if you don't know where she is?"
I give him a look of anger and shock and he stops himself, realizing what he's saying. He puts his head back in his hands and shakes his head. I stand up and start walking away but I can hear him quickly following from behind.
"Wait! Alice, I'm sorry!" he shouts from behind. "I didn't think." I turn around and stop, not realizing how close he got. He has to halt and take a step back or else he would have ran straight into me. He grabs my hands, holding me in place so I don't walk away again. "I wasn't thinking. I'm sorry. I know you're worrying about your family."
"I may not remember them, but I worry a hell of a lot about them," I say, trying to hold back any emotion from seeping out. I can't show him how weak I am; how weak I feel. I look him straight in the eye and say, "I brought you back and this is how you act? I saved your goddamn life, Chris!"
And then he's grabbing both sides of my face with his hands and pulling me in. Our eyes close and lips touch in a sudden but swift movement. I wrap my arms around his neck and press myself against him to get closer. Then his soft lips are gone and I open my eyes to see him looking at me with something new, something different. A sweet yet goofy smile spreads across his face and I can't help but feel a tingling sensation run through me. I smile back at him but I can feel my face reddening in embarrassment. I felt something that I don't think I've ever felt before.
YOU ARE READING
When Alice Reed awakens from her coma, she's met with nothing. Literally. She wakes up in a house she doesn't remember is hers. Her family? Whoever they are, they're gone now. She has no memory of anything in her past after a fatal accident. Clueles...