The next day was spent pretty much fixing up the house. All the men were out doing whatever else while the women were stuck cleaning.
“I thought once the world ended, that I wouldn’t have to clean anymore,” I complained to Carol as we finally finished up.
“You’re too funny, Chelsea,” Carol laughed.
I scowled at her laughing form. “No seriously, I was banking on that.”
“At least we’re safe.”
“That’s true. Since we’re done here, I’m gonna go look for Daryl.” I said.
I made my way outside on the front porch, looking out over the peaceful farm. It’s hard to believe there’s an apocalypse happening right now.
“Take him out to Sanoy. Hour there hour back, give or take.”
I looked over and saw Rick and Daryl leant over a map and began walking over to them.
“We may lose the light, but we’ll be halfway home by then.” Rick said.
Daryl looked up, hearing my steps approaching them. He stood to his full height, turned and sat on the railing allowing me to stand beside him.
“This whole pain in the ass will be a distant memory. Good riddance.” Daryl said.
“Carol’s getting some provisions for him, enough to last a few days,” I said joining the conversation.
“Good, good,” Rick commented, folding the map up.
The sound of a car coming down the driveway alerted us to Shane’s presence getting closer.
“That thing you did the other night,” Rick started looking at Daryl.
“Ain’t no reason you should do all the heavy liftin’.”
The car stopped a good fifteen feet from us and Shane opened the door getting out.
“So you good with all this?” Rick asked.
“I don’t see you and I trading haymakers on the side of tha road.” Daryl said picking up the map.
Shane started making his way over to us gaining our attention.
“I gotta take a piss,” Daryl mumbled, handing the map back to Rick.
“Isn’t he eloquent,” I laughed as Rick shook his head. “I guess I’m gonna go to,” I said and walked back inside. I walked over to the little area we had claimed for ourselves and saw Riley sitting there reading the book that I had been reading when Daryl was hurt. “Do you like it?” I questioned sitting beside him on the floor.
“It doesn’t have any pictures,” He complained, flipping through the pages.
I busted out laughing when he said that.
“What’s so funny?” He asked confused as I laughed hysterically.
“Daryl said the exact same thing!” I said once I gained control over my laughter. “I don’t know why I thought that was so funny, but I did.”
“You are so weird.”
“Yeah? Well so are you, little brother!” I said as I threw my arms around his shoulders and pulled him into my side for a hug. “Do you like it here?” I asked suddenly releasing my tight hold on him so he could look at me.
He looked at me a moment before finally answering. “Yeah, I do. Hey, CC? How’d you end up with them?” He asked.
I turned my body to face him, pulling my legs underneath me to sit Indian style. “Daryl saved me. It was three days after that herd of walkers separated us. I’d climbed a tree for the night and I awoke to walkers surrounding me and my gun had fallen. I couldn’t jump without landing in their outstretched arms. And all of a sudden they start dropping like flies with arrows in their heads. When the coast was clear, I climbed down and that’s when I met Daryl.” I smiled at the memory. I remembered the way he held his crossbow, the way his hair stuck to his forehead with sweat, and his blue eyes. Oh man, I loved the color of his eyes! They’re so bright and cold, but I loved the way the softened just the slightest when it was just me and him. “Anyways, after I pestered him, I promised to stop talking if he let me come back to his group with him. And he agreed.” I laughed a bit at the ending remembering him asking if I ever shut up. We sat there a few moments in silence before I asked him something that’s been bothering me since we found him. “Riley, I’ve been waiting for you to tell me on your own time what happened, but I need to know.” I said.
The smile he wore slowly slipped from his face as he looked down at his hands in his lap. “It’s kinda embarrassing,” He whispered.
“Go on,” I encouraged placing my hand on his shoulder comfortingly.
“When we got separated, I panicked. I didn’t know what to do. Everything you ever taught me about fending for myself completely left me. And when I was running, I fell. It was really nasty. That’s when I was attacked by one of them. I was able to kill it, smashing its head in with a rock; that’s how I got covered in so much blood. Some of it was mine and some of it was walker. Anyways, I finally got away and I hid in that SUV. I didn’t leave for anything.” He relayed. “I was so scared,” He softly cried.
I quickly pulled him into me, resting his head on my chest as he cried. “Hey, it’s ok. Everyone’s scared at one point or another. I’m scared of them, but I fight through that so I can take care of you. I promise I won’t let anything happen to you. I promise!”
I held him until his crying finally subsided and he was calm enough for me to let him go. “I love you, CC,” He said, smiling his little dimpled smile at me.
“I love you, too, Riles,” I said poking his forehead like I used to do when he was younger. “I love you, too.”