The Promise

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Rachel Gardner was now an adult. She had seen many horrors through the eyes of her child self. Death, calamity, it was all brimming over in her mind. These thoughts haunted her greatly. She'd often wake up screaming in the middle of the night, causing her bandaged friend to jolt and run to her side. Zack wasn't much of the nurturing type, though when she got like this he would try to comfort her by firmly patting her head and telling her to "shut up and sleep." Which was his own way of saying "It'll be alright, now please rest." From time to time she would cling to his arm as though it were the only thing keeping her sane during these moments of panic. Truthfully, he hated to see her this way, so much he wanted to put her out of her misery.

Though he fought himself. Because with her gone, he'd be all alone just like before. Ray was now an important part of his life, a dear friend, and although he promised he would kill her someday he couldn't even begin to imagine what his life would be like without her in it. He squirmed internally at the thought. He knew he had to hold true to his promise. He just couldn't bring himself to act. The guilt often ate away at him. He hadn't forgotten the promise they had made back at the facility but the very image of slashing her with cold steel caused him to feel gravely nauseous. Sometimes, his stomach got the best of him and he puked once he could get away from her.

By the time he finished, Ray had finally relaxed and dozed off, he brushed her silky blond locks out of her face. She looked so peaceful. Almost as though she were already dead, though not in a morbid sense. More or less calm, as though she drifted off peacefully in her sleep. Upon realizing how awkward the situation was, he turned away, heart beating quickly beating against his ribcage. What was this feeling? Before, the only time he got such a rush was from killing. Now he was flustered by touching Rachel. Such an alien emotion caused him to grow nauseous again. Much to his relief he fought back the nasty gurgling in the back of his throat. Swallowing hard, he stood up and walked over to the makeshift bed in the abandoned shelter they called "home" now. Prior to this, the two of them hadn't really had a place to call home, at least not in a long time.

The both of them had some pretty morbid memories of the past and their families. Zack being burned by a man who came to visit his mother, being dropped off at an orphanage that didn't live up to proper standards of living, and having to bury the decaying, decrepit bodies of children that had passed away, possibly from poor living conditions. Ray herself lived a life of misery before now, having an abusive alcoholic father, and abusive mother. It seemed as though these kids had always gotten the short end of the stick, which was what made them able to connect with each other in a personal level. In the earlier years, all Zack cared about was himself and his own selfish desires. Now he was taking care of the very girl who wanted to die by his hand. Though Ray in her own strange way, saved him too. They both ended up caring for each other deeply after they escaped the hospital.

Ray wasn't the only one still haunted by ghosts of the past. Zack would also be up for a few nights in a row, remembering what went down back at that burning building. How smoke filled his lungs, instantaneously bringing him back to the most horrific nights of his life. How cold the gasoline felt as it splashed on to his small body, and how agonizing it was to be bitten by flames. Isaac Foster was not intimidated by much, considering his criminal history and constant escape from the law. But if there was anything that scared him it was most certainly fire. Being dragged back to that night caused him to subconsciously rub his arms as a means to calm himself. Though much to his dismay, tears welled up in his eyes and he began to sob quietly, now wetting the bandages on his face in a soggy, uncomfortable fashion.

The sounds of his small sobs caused Ray to sit up groggily. She rubbed the sleep from her eyes.
"Mnnn....Zack? What's wrong?" She inquired.
He straightened up, trying to hide the fact he was crying. He'd be damned if he let her see how much of a wimp he could be. "I dunno what yer talkin about. Shut the hell up and go back to sleep, already." He said, a stern tone to his voice. Ray knew he was lying when he'd act like this. She blank with an expressionless look on her face, staring at his back intently, awaiting his next reply. He felt her staring daggers into his spine.

Eventually he turned to meet her bright blue gaze. "Ah shit..." He thought to himself. Noticing she could probably see the stains of his tears on his bandages. "Hey! It's not what it looks like. Forget you saw anything!" No reaction to be found. "Geeeez! Quit fuckin' staring at me like that! You're like some creepy doll. It's weird!" He yelled. Ray crawled over to him, still slightly lethargic."....It's okay, Zack." She replied, a clam yet warm tone. She crawled over to him, cupping his face in her hands. Electricity shot up his spine, causing him to grow even more flustered than before. He froze in a statue-esq way. Now looking her directly in those sapphire eyes. He felt sick again, almost to the point of throwing up but successfully fought the urge. She repeated herself, this time her voice had an even sweeter sound to it. "It's okay Zack... It's okay to cry. It's only human. And you and I, despite everything that happened to us, we're human. So don't be afraid. It's alright now... You're allowed to be human."

Ah...And there it was again....

She knew exactly how to tug at his heart strings. She was almost too good at it. Her words moved him to the point where he wanted to break down then and there, yet he still wouldn't allow that. He had to be a man. He had to be strong. If not for him, then for her. Crying was a sign of weakness and Isaac Foster was anything but weak. He grabbed her hands and pulled them off his face, once again shielding himself from any positive emotions he wanted to feel. Isaac had always protected himself. Looked out for his own best interests. If he wanted something badly enough, he took it without even a second thought. He felt no sympathy or remorse.

The past still hurt and that's why he wouldn't allow himself the pleasure of such feelings. Feelings of compassion, or even love. The words left a bitter taste in his mouth considering no one had ever really treated him with such. That was until he met Rachel. Although, he knew now that she had really turned him soft, he wouldn't let her change who he was at his core. A sadistic, sociopathic, twenty five year old. Even so, he was as stubborn as the day they first met. Fixated on his own wishes. Whether it be accommodations or bloodshed. He still had not matured enough to let her help him or let him show his sensitive side. He had never showed such compassion or care to any other human being as much as he had towards her but he sure as hell wasn't about to let her in....

Just yet.

(And that's all for the first page! Please let me know in the comments what you like or don't like about it and whether I should keep writing! Thank you so much for reading my stories! ~<3)

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