Conflicts

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They never did come back for us.

The sun peeks over the distant mountains, giving light to the dark world. I can oversee the town from here, and now that I see it in the daylight, it frightens me.

A tall building off in the distance looks like it has been bombed from above. The entire top half of it has been destroyed, leaving the building in poor condition. It crumbles and leans slightly to the right. I can't imagine what happened to it, but it looks as if perhaps a fire spread on the top and took half of it down. Whatever it was, it wasn't good. And it was fatal.

There are some empty spaces where buildings once were but were burnt down. The trees surrounding the space and the occasional ones sprawled out around the rubble are charred and leafless. I can't imagine what the fatality number was.

Not only do I see the leftover buildings, but I see the freeway that we came from. The freeway is crowded with roaming infected and parked cars. I can barely see them from this distance but I know that those are all the dead. Unimaginable things happened to every one of those walking bodies, to their families, to their homes.

I sit up and lean against the trunk of the tree, careful not to lose my balance. I look around the trunk and watch Brenda as she sleeps. She keeps twitching and whispering things in her sleep, but I don't disturb her.

Sweat beads on her face. I have the instinct to wipe it off and wake her but I know I should let her get more rest. She'll be exhausted for the next day or two, all depending on how long she'll last.

Her bloodied hand is wrapped in a piece of her ripped off shirt. The blood has seeped through the cloth and covers her hand and arm. She has cuts on her face and a huge bruise on her cheek and eye from slamming into the door when she lost her footing in the van.

I turn away and tend to my own wounds. I pick out the remaining smaller pieces of glass that I had not gotten out last night. My hands sting, but so does my shoulder and neck from the road rash I got when I fell. I try to ignore the pain and start thinking of what the hell I'm going to do now.

The van lies on its side on the road. I count only four infected surrounding it. All the infected that were in the ditch when we fell asleep must've found a way out because they're no longer there. I see one in the ditch and it is laying face down and still. Must've got trampled.

How could they leave us here? I think to myself. After everything, they just leave us behind?

Tears start to well up in my eyes and I don't bother to push them back. I let the tears flow.

Like mother always said. . . Let the tears flow, it'll cleanse your soul.

I hold my breath as I hear that voice in my head. My mothers voice. My mom.

I picture her picture in my head and close my eyes, focusing. My mother.

Jennet.

I open my eyes again and state out into the distance. A huge wave flows over me and I don't know what the emotion is. I'm not sad, but I am relieved. A mixture of relieved as confused.

Is it possible I can regain my memory?

"Jennet," I say aloud. "Jennet Reed."

"What?"

I turn and see Brenda sitting up and looking at me. I let out a sob with a smile on my face, which most likely confuses her.

"My mom," I explain, putting my hands on my cheeks and covering the tears as if ashamed. "I remember her name."

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