Eric heard her voice and turned towards it. It was her, the girl from the second picture. The one who might be his girlfriend. He started towards her but the more he moved towards her the farther away she got. She just smiled at him and stood in the doorway. She motioned him forward with her finger but he couldn't get anywhere near her. "I can't reach you." Eric called out. Shedidn't seem to hear him. She just continued to stand in the doorway an dmotioon him forward. "Who are you?" Eric asked. This time she turned away from the door and disappeared around the corner. "Wait, what is my name?" Eric yelled. He finally got to the doorway but now she was long gone. He leaned against the doorway where she had been standing and suddenly he grabbed his stomach.
Eric sat up covered in sweat and grabbing his stomach. He screamed out in pain and looked around. He started to get to his feet but was surprised to find Layla was already beside him, holding him down. "Don't try to move, what is wrong?" She asked worriedly. "I don't know." He struggled to get it out through deep breaths. He heard coughing and looked off to the side to see Jeff huddled up in the corner. He had gotten paler in the night. He was sweating profusely and the each cough sounded more and more congested. There was definitely something liquid gathering in his chest. "Don't worry about me. How is he doing?" Eric asked Layla. She turned towards Jeff and then back to Eric. "He is not doing very well at all." Layla told him. "This is what I was afraid of." Eric replied. "What do you think is happening to him? Layla asked. "I'm no doctor but I think that he is probably dying." Jeff slumped down further in the corner and his chest slowly rose and fell as he took in ragged breaths. "What time is it?" Eric asked. "I don't know but if I had to guess, I would say about three thirty." Layla replied as she got up and went to the window. She pulled the drape back a little and peeked out the window. A small chill ran through her as she heard the moaning. She couldn't see them but she could hear them, she could always hear them, and her mind went back to those seconds before she had found Eric. The time when she had finally grown weary and was ready to just let it all slip away. She turned back and looked at him again, sitting on the floor, still clutching his stomach even though the pain was gone. She had saved his life that day but he had also saved hers and she loved him for that, even if she could never tell him. Layla turned back towards the window and just looked out at all of the empty houses. She could barely make them out in the darkness, even though they were only across the street.
Eric came up behind her now and looked out the window over her shoulder. He tried to see what was keeping her unwavering attention, but whatever it was he couldn't find it. He turned his head slightly so that he could look at her face. "What are you thinking about?" He asked her. She turned to face him fully and thought about telling him exactly how she felt about him but she figured that he had enough to deal with right now. Trying to find his mother, his sister, and that other matter of the other girl who might be his girlfriend already. "Something complex huh?" Eric said and then offered her that lopsided grin, the same one that he had given her on the highway. Layla felt her knees go weak, she wanted to press her lips against his, to wrap her arms around him. Her body ached for it, she felt her heart start racing, she could hear it in her ears. "It's nothing really." She replied with a smile. "So what caused that stomach ache?" "I saw her in a dream." He replied. "Saw who?" "The second girl, the one who might be my girlfriend. She was calling to me from a doorway but the more steps I took towards her the farther away she got. Finally when I got to the doorway I leaned against it, where she had been standing and my stomach just exploded with pain. I don't know why." "You think it has something to do with her?" Layla asked. "I don't know." He replied. Layla was about to ask him something else when Jeff started coughing in the corner again. This time though he spit something up. Eric and Layla started towards him. "Jeff, are you alright?" Layla asked. Eric crouched down beside him and gently rolled him over. There was a small puddle of blood on the floor. He started coughing again and more blood came out of his mouth. "Jesus." Layla said. Jeff started shaking violently under Eric's hands. He was trying to pull away and get up, coughing all the way. "Let go of me." Jeff muttered said through blood stained, gritted teeth. Eric let him go and Jeff jumped to his feet and ran for the front door. Layla stepped forward as if to try and stop him but Eric grabbed her arm. "Let him go." He told her. Moaning in pain, and still spitting up blood, Jeff threw the front door open and disappeared out into the night.