I sat in a chair next to the bed later that night or really the next morning; probably two or three. It was completely silent in the room, except for the soft sighs coming from the bed where my brother slept. I leaned forward, my elbows on my knees and my head in my hands. I was tired, but I knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep. Not until he was up and I knew that he was ok. My mind replayed the day’s events as I struggled to keep my eyes open. The moment we found Riley, the run back to camp, pleading for Hershel’s help. The conversation with Glenn, Rick, and Shane about what happened. The way Daryl held me as I cried. Hershel coming to tell me he’d done all he could for Riley. He wasn’t bit, but he was so malnourished and dehydrated that he didn’t know when he would wake up, or if he would ever would. That was a scary thought. I sighed and massaged my head.
‘Don’t think like that, Chelsea.’ I chastised myself. ‘He will wake up!’ I sat there for the rest of the night praying that he would wake up.
I snapped my head up at the sound of a knock coming from the door. ‘I must have dozed off,’ I thought as I rubbed the sleep from my eyes and called out a ‘come in’. Maggie stood in the door way with a plate of food and a glass of water on a trey.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to wake you,” She said as she placed the trey down on the nightstand.
“You’re fine,” I said, sitting up a bit and yawning.
“I just wanted to bring you some food before the others ate it all,” She laughed quietly and I smiled at her.
“Thanks, Maggie. It means a lot.”
And with that I was left alone with my brother again, except this time I had a plate of eggs and a glass of water. I slowly ate the eggs, savoring their taste as Hershel walked in.
“Good morning, Chelsea.” He said as he walked over to check Riley out.
I watched as he checked his pulse and fever. “His fever’s gone down. Now we just need for him to wake up and tell us what happened.” I nodded at him as he, too, left the room.
I sat there in silence again, begging, praying that Riley would open his eyes, but it was of no use. I hardly left his side. Maggie would bring me food and Hershel would come and check on him. Every once and a while I got a visit from Carol and Glenn, but they didn’t stay long. I only left Riley’s side to use the bathroom and shower and I made Maggie sit there with him just in case he woke up he wouldn’t be alone. Once while Glenn was visiting, he told me that Randall, the guy him, Rick, and Hershel saved was getting stronger and they were going to take him out and let him go soon. I didn’t really care what they did with him.
As the days passed and the visitors came and went, I was a little disappointed Daryl hadn’t come by. He’s the person in this group that I trust the most and I consider him a friend, even though I like him a lot more than that. From the way Glenn spoke, I assumed he considered me at least an acquaintance. Someone he could stand. But I knew that he didn’t like getting close to people.
“Hey, Chelsea,” Glenn poked his head in the door and smiled at me. “How’re you doing?” He asked as he walked in the room.
“I’m alright,” I stated.
“Rick and Shane have taken Randall out to let him go.”
I heard Glenn sigh. “You know everyone’s worried about you. Even Daryl, though he won’t admit it to us.”
“I’m fine. It’s Riley we should be worried about.” I said, tearing up but I refused to cry anymore. “He should have woken up by now.” I softly sighed.
“Hey, he will. He just needs some time. Hershel says he’s fine, his body just needs to recuperate from what it’s been through.” He said, crouching in front of me and taking my hands in his. “He will.”
I smiled a lone tear escaping. I squeezed his hands, “Thanks, Glenn. I really needed that.”
“That’s what friends are for.”
“What’s that?” I asked, hearing Maggie and Lori yelling and banging on a door.
“I’ll go check it out,” Glenn said standing up and running out of the room.
I waited a few minutes before Glenn returned. “It was Beth,” He started. “She just tried to kill herself.”
“Don’t worry, she’s fine now. Hershel’s fixing her up.”
“Thank God!” I said. “How’s Maggie?” I asked, knowing she’d be shaken up from that.
“She’s alright now, too.”
“You should probably go to her. Go on, I’ll be fine.” I said smiling and pushing him to the door.
“Alright, but if you need me don’t hesitate to come get me.”
I just nodded and waved him off. I sat back down in my chair next to the bed and watched my baby brother once again in silence. I began to doze off; not sleeping was taking a toll on me. I don’t know how long I was asleep when I jolted awake. I sat there wide eyed, not knowing why I’d been woken from my slumber. I looked around the room trying to find what had waked me up but coming up empty handed. I shook it off and snuggled back up in my chair and closing my eyes.
And that’s when I heard it; my name being whispered. I sat up and looked at my brother, the only other person in the room. His eyes were slightly open and he was staring at me.
“Chelsea,” He whispered again.