Part 52 - One bottle goes a long way

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I sat in the corner of the room with my knees tucked up to my chest, I sat there waiting for Tom to turn. I looked down to see blood in my arm, I had a confused look upon my face, I thought I cleaned that up? There was no questioning that Tom's blood went everywhere, but I know I cleaned it up, I walked to the bathroom and cleaned myself up, I looked at the blood in my shirt, there was a big patch on the side of my body which was soaking wet. Being suspicious, I lifted my shirt to reveal a puncture wound, with glass still in there. "Mother fucker" I mumbled to myself, Tom did in fact stab me with that bottle, but I guess I was overtaken by my rage and adrenaline, that I didn't even notice it. It began to hurt so I quickly picked out as much glass as I could and search through the cabinets to find a bandage or something to clean myself up with.

I managed to find a bandage and peroxide, which stung like hell! I cleaned myself up, that's when the door opened into the room. I looked for somewhere to hide and waited, I did t want to get found out, and I had to be back so the group would be looking for me. "Damn, she did him pretty good" a voice said, I recognised it, it was Daryl "Jess! you in here!?" he yelled, I came out from behind the door, clutching my side, it was really starting to hurt, I realised we went alone as Michonne came walking through the door, katana at the ready. "You're alright" She said, putting her katana down "Rick is going frantic looking for you, we got to-" Daryl's sentence was cut short, by growling and snarling, Tom had finally turned, I quickly walked over, got my knife put and pierced it through the reanimated corpse's head. "Jess we gotta go... now" Daryl demanded, I stood back and nodded, we left with another word.

"Jess! Where did you go! I've been worried sick" Rick expressed as he pulled me into a tight hug, he looked over at Daryl and Michonne, their eyes permanently fixed to the floor. Rick pulled away and gave me a slightly confused look. "Tom, where is he?... is he..." he asked, I nodded. He laced his hand with mine, his eyes on me, staring intently "It's okay... you had to do what you had to... he was out of control and he could have gotten us all killed" He expressed as he gave my hand a reassuring squeeze. "Where's the Governor? Did you see him?" He asked, I didn't say anything, I just shook my head. "Naw, he's nowhere to be seen, I think he's gone" Daryl replied, taking the words from my mouth, I didn't want to speak and I hadn't since I talked to Tom. I wanted to speak but the words weren't coming out, maybe if I slept, I'd feel better tomorrow and talk then.

I still hadn't talked to anyone since last night, Hershel came and sat down next to me, he wanted to check I was alright so he gave me a check up. He shined a bright light in my eyes, causing me to blink "Your reaction seems okay" I looked at him, but still, nothing, I had nothing to say.

Rick's POV -------

"I think she may have select mutism" Hershel explained staring over at Jess who was just staring into space, I was confused, what did Hershel mean? "What's that?" I asked, Causing Hershel to look back at me, "Its a disorder brought on by anxiety and stressful situations... and if she did kill Tom... its bound to be pretty stressful... I don't know how long she won't talk for but I doubt it'll be anytime soon" he replied as he patted me on the back and walked off back into his cell. I stared at Jess for a while thinking, will she ever talk...

Two weeks later - Jess's POV -------

Two weeks had past and Rick had gone back to Woodbury, and collected everyone there. Turns out, when Phillip had tried to destroy the prison, he killed everyone of his soldiers who came with him! Even though the civilians were scared of us, the stunt Phillip pulled, kinda pissed them off so the agreed to come back with Rick, we can protect them here and what I always say, the more the merrier. Since they had all been here, we had gotten the prison in order and it felt more homely than before. There were children here, more adults and we had even began growing our own vegetables and gotten some piglets. Everything really started to come together.

I still hadn't talked to anyone, every time I tried I felt a creeping sense of anxiety fall upon me and I just couldn't speak. Hershel said I have selective mutism of something, I don't know, all I know is that I couldn't speak. My mind kept going back to Tom, that night played over and over in my mind. When I think back on it, it was as though I was watching me from outside my body, a different person that I had never met before. That person terrified me, like she was a character who only existed in someone's nightmares. All I can see is the fear in Tom's eyes... he deserved it though, it had to be done... and what's done is done, I guess I have to try and get on with it. Maybe Rick's right, maybe I should step back and let him take care of Phillip. I don't think I could endure that psychological instability I received from killing Tom, but then I guess it was just shock. I've taken care of countless walkers, more then I dare to admit, but I've never killed someone who was alive before.

I was sat in the middle of the courtyard, cross legged, I had shorts and a vest top and my eyes were shielded by some sunglasses that I had found on the last run Maggie and Glenn had cone back from. I had just finished my shift on watch with Carol so I decided to take some time to relax. "Jess, are you alright?" An all too familiar voice questioned me, I just nodded and looked up to see Rick who was lowering himself and sat down next to me. "Still not talking?" He asked with a concerned look across his face. I shook my head, looking down at the floor as I did. "Look at me" he said calmly, two of his fingers pressed against my chin, lifting my head up, my eyes forced on his. "I know you won't answer... And god knows how much I miss your beautiful voice... All I want to sat is that, I love you... And if you never speak again, I will still love you, and always will" he said as he pecked my lips and pulled me into a hug. For the first time in weeks, I could definitely say that I felt safe, and that this was the first time that I actually wanted to say something. "I love you too" I replied, my voice hoarse form not speaking and it felt weird to say something as though I hadn't talked for years. It felt good and I felt as though it was time to speak, I had suffered in silence for long enough. Rick jerked away from me "Did you just talk?!" He questioned. I nodded my head "Yes" I simply said, causing Rick to envelope my head between his hands. "This is amazing!" He yelled as he got up and pulled me up with him, pulling me into the tightest hug I have ever had the pleasure to endure. Yep... I was right... I definitely do feel safe.

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