This place was like a fucking ghost town. I found a few walkers but it looked like they’d wiped out the population a long time ago. I forced my way into a drug store, looking for whatever I could use to try and fix my arm myself.
There were still a few things left in the first aid bit - a bunch of bandages and bottles of antiseptic. I grabbed a big canvas bag from the front of the store and filled it with painkillers, bandages, antiseptic, antibiotics from the chemist's bit, and whatever else I could find that looked like it might be of some use. I was hardly going anywhere for a few days, after all. The town was near enough totally deserted as far as I could tell, and I was still recovering from running so far so fast.
Every time something reminded me that it hurt, I thought about how I'd drawn off those zombies to save Sophia. Every time I thought about it, I got angry. Every time I got angry I punched the nearest thing to me. By the afternoon, my knuckles were bleeding and I'm pretty sure I'd cracked one of them.
Maybe it was about time I made solitude suit me again. Being social was hardly working out for me, was it?
Eventually, I was distracted from my own thoughts. I was hardly sorry for that - they'd been drifting from Sophia to home back in America, to Sophia, to where I could get something to get a hit of something - anything - and just forget about everything, all day. What distracted me in the end was a house. Not any old house, no. A house that clearly belonged to a maniac. Or someone that had been prepared for the zombie apocalypse for his whole life. Not that it did him any good, if the shredded corpse sat by the front door was anything to go by.
The whole place was filled with weapons. Guns, crossbows, knives, swords, a mace, axes, grenades, a few half finished bombs. The guy knew what he was doing. I didn't think the English had it in them; I was impressed, to say the least. I took another look around outside making sure I was alone and safe enough to have a proper look through this guy's collection. I spied an old American muscle car peeking out of the garage and smiled to myself. Either this guy was a fan of America, or he had decided it would be a good idea to move to this godforsaken bog.
In a fit of nostalgia, I moved the car from the garage and popped open the trunk, dumping the bag of supplies from the drug store. There were a few weapons in there, as well. I grinned to myself.
Over the next few days, I made that house a sort of makeshift stop to give myself some time to recover. While I was there, I collected all the best of that collection - mostly the long ranged weapons and a few new knives. He had a few sharpening blocks, which I took, and best of all? He had silencers. I could finally use my gun again without attracting a massive crowd. Aside from using the time to collect myself an arsenal of weapons and fix up that old muscle car, I had a long hard think about what I was going to do next. I'd found myself missing Sophia. It wasn't something I'd ever felt before, and though I'd done my best to shut it out, it wasn't fucking happening. I didn't really know what I was going to do.
In the end I figured I'd go back, just to see... just to see if she wanted me, I guess. I'd deal with it if she didn't. I just needed to know for sure before I moved on. I'd try not to lose my temper with her when I caught up with her - when, not if - but I didn't know if I'd be able to keep it under control after that. I was pissed, even though it had been days since I last saw her. Every fucking time I saw her face in my mind's eye, I wanted to slap it. I wanted to make her hurt like I had. I know, it's irrational - she might not have even have wandered off because of anything to do with me. Maybe it was just chance, or bad luck, or something else. I tried to keep telling myself that, but something in the back of my mind had made it personal and it wasn't going to give up a grudge like that so easily.
Taking a deep breath, I stood out in the cold morning sun. I wasn't sure how long it had been since I got here anymore. Certainly wasn't long enough for a bottle of TCP to fix my arm, but it had maybe been too long for my head. Whatever damage had been done by me jumping to the conclusion she'd run off because she was using me, had only gotten worse.
I let out the breath. Today, I was going back. If Sophia wanted nothing to do with me, maybe it would be okay. I'd apologise to Joe for abandoning him, if he was still alive, and offer to take him somewhere else unless he wanted to stay there. I'd do my best not to pick a fight with the handful of living humans left in the area. And I'd stay or go. It all rested on Sophia.
I fired up the car, made one stop at the gas station on the edge of town, and headed back the way I was fairly sure I'd come.