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Pen Your Pride

Chapter 8

“We can only fit six to a room, so can you all split into groups for me?” the woman said, leading us into an actual building. There had to be at least eight here, and they were big. We were in a hallway and she paused so we could get in order. I was standing with my friends again, and when I counted the numbers my heart sank. Clara, Levi, Mason, Clara’s parents, and Levi’s dad already made six. And I knew that I couldn’t split them up, their family.

          “I have friends I can bunk with,” I said, my stomach tightening.

          I really wanted to be with them, my childhood friends, they were the only connection I had to my past life in the society before the invasion. The only connection to everything that was at least okay. The place where I had my family at one point.

          “No! I’m sure we can make room,” Clara said.

          I gave her a smile, “Don’t worry about me, Clara. I’ll go by them,” I said inching away.

          “But we can make room!”

          “Why make it more crowded than it will be?” I said.

          “But-” Levi started to say, but I cut him off.

          “Don’t worry guys! It’s only rooms for now.”

          Clara slumped in defeat. “Fine.”

          I looked around and finally saw Ryan standing with Paul and a few unrecognizable people, people that had to be from the other society. Two older women who had to be in their twenties and that little girl now joined them.

          “Do you guys have room for one more?” I asked.

          “Sure,” Ryan said and gave me a smile.

          I attempted to smile back, but it felt funny on my face. I wanted to be with Clara, at least. She was the closest thing I had to family, growing up together has made us practically sisters.

          That woman gave each group a room, and we all filed into it. It was weird not having anything with me to place in here. To make it more of a home to myself. I felt like I needed possessions, but the only things I had was what I had on. The only valuable I had was my great great great (many greats) grandmother’s necklace.

          I heard someone’s breathing hitch and turned to see one of the woman sharing the room with me start to cry. She shook her head as her friend moved over to her to hug her.

          “I- I’m fine. I just need some air,” she said, turning back around and heading out the door.

          I took in a deep breath and looked out my window. This building was built right next to the fence; and I finally got to see what was beyond it. More of The Dead than I had ever imagined were all clawing at the stone wall.

          Realization hit me. This was my new life… and I better start getting used to it.

          We didn’t get beds. All we got was a blanket and a hay-filled pillow, each, and were forced to sleep on the ground. We were all so worn out from the long travel, emotionally and physically. But once I was situated on the ground, ready to sleep, it just wouldn’t come. I stared at my ceiling, hoping, wishing that I could relax and let my thoughts drift away to dreams, but it wouldn’t come.

          Around me my new small group was snoring and long gone. After an hour of just lying there, I had to get up. I looked out the window again; all I could see from here was the fence and The Dead behind it. I wanted to explore this new village, but I was still afraid. What if the people had stricter rules here? Or they didn’t like having us new survivors join them? Despite these thoughts, I put Paul’s jacket back on and left the room quietly.

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