~Seattle~

   Tammy left the room in a fluid motion that belongs on a runway. I still couldn't believe, though, that she wasn't dead. They had spared her life. I wondered... did they save the others? No. They were dead when I ran. The dead can't be brought back.

   After too long of an hour, the bell rang, and I was out of my chair and out the door, Carson just steps behind me. We nearly reached the back door to the student parking lot, when I heard my name.

   I turned, even though I didn't need to. It was Tammy.

   "Sandra," I said cheerily with a forced smile. She closed the distance between us.

   "Oh please. Cut the act. You know who I am, and I know who you are. I also know who your little friend here is. You've got one chance to get out of Coldwater before Jason gets in town. He was supposed to be here yesterday, like I was, but we got a little separated. He's coming in tonight at midnight. If you're not gone by then, you are coming back to Florence Crane with us. And you won't be escaping this time, or any time. Have fun you two!" She called over her shoulder as she walked away. She flipped her blond hair over her shoulder, the way you see in movies. Of course, this isn't what she used to look like.

   She used to have really pretty red hair and brown eyes. She was tall and slender. Today, she was still tall and slender, but with long, straight, blond hair and bright blue eyes. She had a heart shaped face. She looked like her face was airbrushed, and she was undoubtedly one of the prettiest girls here.

   I looked at Carson. His eyes were as wide as mine in fear. "She's right. We need to get out of here. I know Jason, personally, and he's not a nice guy," I said as we finished the small journey to the doors.

   "So, where do we go from here?" Carson asked me. I sighed.

   "I have no clue. Maybe, we should try... " I trailed off as I slid into Carson's passenger seat.

   I kept thinking... We needed to find a place we've never been, and also where they wouldn't find us too soon. There was Alaska. But it was way too cold up there. Though, it would work. Definitely.

   "Well, we could go to Alaska," I suggested my thoughts.

   He laughed. "I'm not going to Alaska."

   "Well, do you have any better plans?" I asked him, getting frustrated.

   "No, but I'm not going to Alaska. What if we went to Hawaii. It's a lot better, and I doubt they would find us there for a while," he said.

   "No. Hawaii is too far away. At least we could drive to Alaska. It would take us three days at the most if we don't stop and we take the highways," I told him.

   "I'm not going to Alaska," he insisted.

   "Okay. Fine. But I'm not going to Hawaii, either. This isn't a vacation. It's survival," I told him.

    We fumed in silence, cooling off. He was being so difficult about this... then again, I was too. Honestly, all that ocean scares me. I'm not taking a plane, and it's too far to fly. We could swim, but I really don't want to be a whale or fish for several days. I'm not a big fan of fish. But, if it was the only way to survive, then I would do it. But there were plenty of other states we could go to.

   "Take us to Rotary," I said quietly.

   "Rotary? You want to go to Rotary, when we could end up killed at any moment?" He asked incredulous. But he drove there all the same.

   I needed to see this place one last time. With snow covering the ground and the branches, things looked a lot different. It was like a magical snow kingdom. I watched the snow tornado things as the wind blew the powdery fluff in lines and zig-zags across the gravel of the trail. I was truly mesmerized by how magical it all felt.

   "So, if not Alaska or Hawaii, then where are we going. We have to decide soon. And, I'm talking today-soon," Carson asked.

   Exasperated, I shouted, "I heard her too! I don't know, Carson! I really, really don't know. And I'm sorry that I don't happen to know everything despite my ability! But I DO NOT KNOW WHAT TO DO RIGHT NOW!" Carson looked at me shocked. I hadn't meant to explode like that, but I was so wound up right now.

   I couldn't understand why Tammy had given us a fair warning. I  had left her to die, for God's sake. Or, so I had thought. But still. I wouldn't have forgiven me if I did that to myself. But, I don't have to worry about doing that to myself, because I'm me.

   "I'm sorry," I said in a quiet tone this time. "I didn't mean to burst out like that, but I'm just very stressed right now. We have to find out where we're going next, and I just found out that my best friend isn't dead even though I accidentally left her to die. And then I find out, also, that Jason is supposed to be coming, and... I'm sorry. I didn't mean it," I said in a rush.

   "Seattle," Carson said for the eighth time. I had been talking so fast that he couldn't have gotten a word in.

   "What?" I whispered. He was inches away from me, cupping my face right now.

   "Calm down. It's going to be okay," He told me. He kissed my forehead and smiled at me. I couldn't return the smile, though. Not with what was on my mind now.

   I sighed. "Maybe we should..." I trailed off. I couldn't get the words out. My throat constricted, blocking off  what I had to say. I swallowed, and tried again.

   "Maybe we should go our own ways, though. We wouldn't have to look after each other; and you know that if we do get caught, and I have a chance to escape, I can't have the possibility that you don't have that chance. I wouldn't go without you, and that could be dangerous for me. And the same goes for you. I wouldn't want you to stay behind for me, but you wouldn't want to go. That would be dangerous for you. Who knows... maybe we'll meet up again someday. I really hope so. But, for now, I think this might be the best way to go," I explained.

   He nodded. "So, this is goodbye, then?" He asked.

   "It looks like it," I answered. Before I realized it, I had tears streaming down my face. The strong wind blew, and my cheeks were very cold now.

   Carson pulled me into a really tight hug, and I hugged him back. I feared that this would be the last time I ever got to hold him, or be held by him. I didn't really want to be apart from him, but it was probably safer.

   I realized I loved Carson.

The End

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