What did she want from me? To suddenly get over everything and suddenly find a way to trust her completely and immediately?
And just to rub salt in the wound she went and slept near Scott. Joe took one glance at me and decided to keep to himself over the other side of the drug store.
I glanced around at the doors - they were barricaded shut. I needed to get out of there but there wasn't any way out. Not until we started moving again. I got up and wandered around, feeling my temper creeping up on me. I walked once around the room and once back before I snapped and drove my fist into the wall. Pain shot up my arm. A growl left me.
In the corner of my eye, I saw Sophia flinch. She was curled up pretending to sleep just to ignore me. Between that and Scott trying to comfort her I just got angrier. Joe pressed himself up against a wall to get out of my way as I searched for a way to get out. I needed to get out. The room felt tiny and claustrophobic, and everyone’s eyes were on me. What was I, some kind of zoo animal?
I couldn’t find a way out that didn’t involve taking down all their barricades. For some reason I couldn’t make myself do that. As much as I hated every single one of them right now, I wasn’t about to endanger them just so I could walk down the road and find something to punch that wasn’t a wall. Or Scott’s face. I really wanted to punch Scott’s face.
It wasn’t going to help, though. I mean, it would’ve helped my mood a bit, but then Sophia would’ve hated me more. A pretty big part of me was wishing right then that I’d never gotten involved with her. It had confused things. Life was simple before Sophia. I killed whatever, or whoever got in my way, and I survived well enough like that. And now, I wasn’t even allowed to kill a few scumbags that were going to rape her – or might have done already, for all I knew. It’s a kill or be killed world, it always has been for me. I’ve never known any different, except now it’s zombies as well as other people that I had to watch out for.
After a couple minutes, I fucked off into the back room, y’know the one, where they keep all the prescription drugs. My stomach gurgled angrily at me and as a wave of nausea washed over me, my rage came swimming back with it. Someone had pumped me full of opiates while I was out, and now my body and head were both begging me to get some more. I’d already done the withdrawals once, I didn’t want to do it again. Maybe I just wasn’t meant to be sober.
I kicked a fallen tray of meds across the room. I might have punched the wall a few more times, too. Just because I hadn’t bled from enough places lately. Dizziness hit me, and I slid down the wall until I was sitting, my knees up against my chest.
I sensed, rather than saw, as Sophia quietly wandered in. I think she was scared. She approached carefully, sitting down next to me when I didn’t snap or react in any way. She didn’t say anything, and for a moment, neither did I.
Eventually, I broke the silence, not looking at her. “I don’t know what you want from me, Sophia,” I told her.
She let out a sigh, “I just wish you could trust me. I get that that’s not easy for you, but I haven’t given you any reason not to.”
“Well, it’s not like I don’t want to,” I admitted. It was true. I wanted to be able to put my trust in someone other than myself or Rayn. Rayn wasn’t here with me. It didn’t matter if I trusted him or not anymore. “I just can’t get over a lifetime of shit in the space of a couple weeks.”
“I know... I get that,” she sighed again. I glanced over at her. She looked tired, like really tired. That kind of exhaustion you get when you’ve spent so long worrying about something that you just can’t worry about it anymore. At least not until you’ve slept it off. “I just hope that maybe you can try,” she said, holding out a hand for me. Silently, I took it. “And talk to me about things. I need to know what’s going on with you so I can deal with this, otherwise things like this are just going to keep happening.”
“Get me some morphine for my arm, and I’ll answer whatever questions you have. Deal?” I hoped that would work. I just wanted to stop feeling sick. She hesitated. I could see in her eyes that she wasn’t sure about it, in case I was just using it to get high. But to be fair, if whoever had given me it when I was asleep had found something else to give me, I wouldn’t have woken up craving it, would I?
“Okay,” she nodded, getting up to fetch me some. I insisted on doing it myself, but Sophia was watching like a hawk. I could see her mentally taking note of how much I was drawing up. I played it safe – I took just enough to get rid of the dope sickness, and get a little bit high, but not so much that it would worry her. It’d been months since I last took anything anyway. I wouldn’t need as much as I used to. Satisfied, Sophia smiled, settling back next to me when I’d finished injecting, resting her head on my shoulder.
Slowly, slowly, I started to relax again and my stomach settled back down. I waited until my head was feeling a bit more cloudy before asking her what she wanted to know.
“What were your parents like?” she asked after giving it some thought.
“Argumentative, to put it mildly,” I replied. I don’t think I was quite high enough for this, but I’d started it. She wasn’t going to let me get out of it again.
“Did they ever...” she paused, trying to think of how to put it, “did they turn on you?” Why couldn’t she just come out and ask if they’d hit me?
“Sometimes. Mostly they fought each other. I just always got dragged into it one way or another. I remember being used as a shield a lot.” I closed my eyes against the memories. They were dead now. They couldn’t fucking hide behind me anymore.
She stroked my good arm gently. “Not all the scars came from the virus, did they?”
“Twenty three years is plenty of time to build up a collection of scars,” I muttered.
“I guess,” she said, not sounding too sure about something. “What about Rayn? What was he like?”
I smiled to myself. These were better memories. “Rayn was the small, skinny kid that was permanently hyper and happy. Total opposite to me, really. He kept me balanced, I guess, or as balanced as I’d ever get.”
Sophia matched my smile. “He sounds pretty cool. Do you think... he made it?”
I shrugged, “I doubt it. He never had much sense. But then he was always full of surprises, so you never know. I hope he has.”