It's the first night of absolute rest I've gotten in a long time. I let myself wake slowly, drifting in and out of dreams, ignoring the people rushing around me. My eyes stay locked shut as I stay in the warmth of my blanket.
But, I must get up sometime. Ryan will be waiting.
I consider staying in bed, letting him come wake me up. I daydream that he'll say "Good morning, beautiful. How did you sleep?" and he'll stroke my cheek with the back of his hand until I open my eyes. And I'll roll over and he'll lean down to give me a good morning kiss. And then we'll start the day. Together.
But he doesn't come wake me up. And before long my body decides it has had enough rest, and I open my eyes. I sit up and look around. There's not many people in here now, and Ryan isn't one of them.
I stand up to go find him, and a piece of folded paper falls to my feet. My name is written on the outside, and my first thought is that he had gone out and didn't want to wake me.
I pick it up and sit back down. Unfold the note. And read:
You're safe here. You have food and a shower and a place to lay your head. This is hard for me, but I'm taking Sparky and me and her are going somewhere. I don't know where. But she isn't safe here. I'll be back, I promise. But it won't be for a while. I just need to get her away from society, then I'll find a way back to you.
The important thing is, you're safe now. You and Joseph and every other person will here have a future. I couldn't save... the others... the little girl on the street, John, all the people on the bus... Janice.
I just need to get out of here. Keep going. Please, my beautiful girl, just stay here. I'm going to be back soon.
I love you.