As the happy memory began to turn into a terrible nightmare, my body lurched forward with heavy force. Sickness poured out of me, a dry wretching that left me weaker than before. I looked around at the dim chapel and began to weep. Someone grasped my hand and attempted to quiet me. As I looked up at her, my tears vanished and a renewed energy flung my arms around her neck.
"Thank you! Oh, God, Thank you!"
She tried again to calm me and as I settled myself, I remembered what had happened. There was the man that she had been talking to when I cried out. And there was another in the shadows... something about him seemed resentful but I knew that there was currently no danger from him. It had been a week at least since I had found familiar comfort from anyone, maybe even longer. And I knew that somehow things would work out with this company of strangers.
"Mateo, give her some water, quickly!" she said to the man nearest us. I smiled greatfully but could barely sip what he had to offer. I was used to going at least a full day without hydrating and the water had a coarse feeling down to my system.
"I am Marissa. My friends.... they... there is no one left here."
Again she tried to calm me, giving the man in the shadows a challenging stare. Sighing with exasperated relief once more, I slowly sat up to try to focus myself, knowing that I could only survive each challenge if I were fully aware of what is going on. As I did so, however, that same awareness suddenly focused on the other activity that occured before I called out for help. Weren't they looking in the rafters? A sound... something they were afraid of being in the room with us. Was it now gone?