SUNLIGHT peeks through the clouds as wind sways the tall grass back and forth. Cows across the countryside graze and the smell of flowers fill the air.
But a daunting situation ruins the moment.
My mother stands in front of me, with a look of sympathy.
“Son,” my mother says to me, “I am sorry.”
“I don’t understand,” I pause, trying to hold back tears, “How can you so simply say sorry for sending people here to kill me? Why would you do such a thing? How could you do such a thing?”
My tears cloud my vision, forcing me to blink to see her clearly.
“It’s for a good cause,” she says.
“What do you mean?”
“You are unwanted.”
She smiles and my visions clouds up again, forcing me to blink and she’s gone.
I wake up from the dream and slowly open my eyes. I squint to see Delilah hunched over me in the dim moonlight.
“Blake,” she whispers as my face is soaked from her tears, “I love you. Don’t die on me, Blake. Don’t.”
“I won’t,” I respond.
“You’re alive!,” Delilah shouts in a praise of joy.
I slowly sit up and she hugs me harder than she ever has before.
“I’m a little sore, you know,” I say.
“Sorry,” she says as she lets go of me, “I just can’t believe you’re alive!”
I give her a second to wipe away her tears before asking questions.
“How am I alive, anyway?,” I say, “After taking a bullet to the chest, I don’t see how I’m alive.”
“It has been a few hours,” she says, “I got the bullet out and the wound disappeared, like your previous wounds have been. And since then, I haven’t brought myself to leave your side.”
“Thank you so much,” I say, “You don’t know how much you mean to me.”
I hug Delilah again.
“Where’s James?,” I ask.
“He’s after Carmen and Zeke,” she pauses, “I can’t believe what she has done to him.”
“I knew she was hiding something, but I didn’t think she had anything to do with these people that keep trying to kill me,” I say.
I stop to close my eyes and hear the rushing river water and the bees buzzing and the birds chirping. I am thankful to be alive.
I open my eyes and look at Delilah.
“Do you believe what he said?,” I ask.
“I don’t know,” Delilah says, “How can you trust some random man who is hired to kill you?”
“If you think about it, though,” I theorize, “He was hesitant to tell me that my mother sent him.”
“That’s true,” Delilah says, “But I’m sure he’s lying. He probably backed out of telling you the truth and just went with saying your mother sent him.”
“You really think so?,” I ask her.
“Surely,” she assures me.
“And what is this ‘mission’ he said he and Carmen needed to accomplish? And what’s Htrae?,” I ask her.
“I’m just as clueless as you,” she mumbles.
She smiles and I smile back. She stands up, with the mud on her jeans dripping, and she holds out a hand.
I grab her hand and get up.
“Thanks,” I say.
“No problem,” she says, “Now we better get going to find James. Hopefully he hasn’t got himself in any trouble.”
I limp trying to catch up with Delilah and she turns around, realizing she’s getting a little too ahead of herself.
“Oh, I’m sorry,” Delilah says, “I keep forgetting that you were just shot because of your wounds disappearing.”
She waits for me to catch up and slows pace, as she helps me walk. I feel so weak and I hate for her to continue doing this.
“Let’s settle somewhere,” I suggest.
“What?,” Delilah says.
“Let’s settle somewhere,” I repeat myself, “I can’t keep going like this.”
“I don’t know,” she says, “I’m worried about James.”
“Okay, you go on,” I say, “And the first house I find, I can stay in while you go search for James. Oh, look-there is a house coming up. I can stay there.”
“Are you sure about that?,” Delilah asks.
“Yeah, I’ll be fine,” I say.
“Alright,” Delilah says, “But stay put.”
I nod as I limp to the house.
When I arrive at the house, I force myself to take a shower in the dark and put some clean clothes on that I found somewhere in the house. Since I am starving, I grab myself some fruit and then head to go to bed.
I lay there staring at the ceiling, unable to go to sleep. What if my mother did send Zeke and Seth here to kill me? Maybe she did. Maybe she didn’t. But if she did, then that would mean she is alive. I just don’t understand why my loving, caring mother would want me killed. I don’t understand any of it.
I force myself to close my eyes and slowly, I drift off to sleep.
I wake up in the middle of the night and I feel great. My bullet wound has completely healed and I don’t feel weak anymore. I get up to see if Delilah and James are back and walk to the kitchen like normal, not limping, and I stop when I hear someone talking.
I slowly and silently walk to where I hear the voices coming from. The front door is cracked and I look through the crack as the voices stop.
I see James and Delilah.
End of chapter one.
Copyright. 2014. Corey Webb.
The Remaining, Part Two.
All rights reserved.