Lost: After surviving a night of terror, Kirron finds one last tragedy waiting for him.
"I love you."
"I love you too."
That had to of been the dozenth time Emily and Kirron had has that same exchange that morning.
The pair were walking aimlessly, something they hadn't done in what felt like years.
The road before them was cracked and overgrown. Abandoned and stripped cars were pushed to the side. They were the only sign of life on the long stretch of road. They were both carrying bags, though Emily seemed to be weighed down by her, something that wasn't common. She was also limping, though trying painfully hard to make sure Kirron didn't notice.
The sticky air clung to them as Kirron shed one of his coats and Emily tried to adjust her pack. Neither of them was sure of where they were going, Kirron hadn't even mentioned a plan. Emily didn't expect him to this time though. It was too soon, they'd lost their home just a day ago.
The small, but safe collection of houses that they had found fenced off from the horrors of the apocalypse. They lived there for nearly two years with the others. Their friend's from before, family, new people the carefully allowed to join their group. Of course, not everyone had made it from the start. Many died in the early months of the outbreak, while others died slowly along their long journey of surviving. Even while living in the settlement friends died. Sparsely of course. They had made living there the best they could. It felt as if they had created a new life within the shambles of their old ones.
But as Emily had come to accept, nice things never lasted long in this world.
When a chunk of the walls fell, the dead had poured in. they had had it covered at first until the hoards starting to appear in the wake of all the commotion. Emily new most of their friends were dead. Some she liked to imagine had escaped and found safety somewhere far away, but they had yet to come across any familiar faces.
Looking over and Kirron Emily would still see the worry in his eyes. Concern for his brother mainly she was sure. Bryson had passed away a year ago, so had Lily. Emily supposed she was lucky to not have to worry about her sister possible being out there somewhere. Kirron didn't, Valerian had very much been alive the last time they saw him among the chaos. They had run together even, but along the way, they were all separated from each other. Emily had cried as she tried to find Vanemy, or Jasper, or anyone among the night air. But she hadn't found anyone. Eventually, she had gotten too afraid to stay, so she hid. She hid under the bridge in the woods, kneeling in the freezing reek water and buried herself into the shadows without a weapon and a hope that nothing found here.
Eventually, Kirron had found her, but they hadn't been able to find anyone else.
"Let's rest over there." Kirron led them off the road and slowly through the trees. After checking out the area surrounding the small meadow, they sat down and searched their bags for something to eat. Emily was quiet as she thought about why she was limping.
I have to tell him. She thought solemnly. She looked over to Kirron and her bottom lip trembled. His brother and their friends were likely dead for all they knew. They were alone with nowhere to go. She couldn't tell him. What would he do? Tears flooded and blurred her vision. "I love you" she decided to say.
"I love you too" Kirron looked up from his food. "Why are you crying?" He moved closer to her, cupping her cheek. "It's going to be okay."
Emily shook her head, "no."
"Come on" he frowned, "where my optimistic Emily. Through everything we've been through, you think we won't get through this?"
Emily began to cry harder as sweat beaded down her neck and forehead. She moved away slightly, pulling her leg in front of him and with shaky fingers she tugged her pant leg up.
Kirron hadn't been the first to find her hiding under that bridge.
Her skin was dirty, almost black around the wound. The bite mark had torn a chunk of her skin out of her ankle. Kirron stared down at it in silence. He'd seen so many people get bitten these past few years, but he had never imagined seeing Emily presenting a bite to him.
He gripped her ankle perhaps a little too tight, there was no coming back from this.
Emily's head was down as she didn't want to explain she'd been bitten just minutes before he found her under the bridge. She had scrambled to hide it from him in panic. She had been too afraid to tell him until now. How was she supposed to tell him she was going to die when they already believed everyone else had died?
"You know what you need to do" Emily cried. Kirron looked up at her wide wide eyes.
"No" he quickly shoots out, "no I can't."
"You have to" she begged, "I don't want to turn into one of them, please don't let me!" Emily's crying quietly down as Kirrom moved the tightly wrapped his arms around her, losing balance as they both fell back into the overgrown grass.
"I can't lose you too." He spoke, muffled. Emily squeezed him back.
After all this time and everything they'd been through, why now?
Kirron pressed a shaky kiss to her lips, his eyes were brimming with tears, but none had fallen yet. Emily was still laying there, her face pale and flushed, running a fever with heavy eyes. She really didn't have much time. Kirron took her hand gently and she threw him a pitiful look, as if guilty that she had to be the one to put him through this. Her free hand trembled as it moved to grab the knife from her belt and hand it over to him.
Kirron took it slowly. A tear escaped his eye as he tried to keep them in. He looked between Emily and the knife slowly. Emily made one last move, pulling the necklace off herself and giving it to Kirron. Then she closed her eyes, waiting.
When it was all over the world around Kirron was silent. There was no breeze rustling the forest. No birds, no growls. There was no breathing to accompany his as he tried to keep his eyes off of Emily's body. He'd dropped everything, laying down back into the grass beside her with a distressed expression. He held the sapphire pendant tighter in his hand as his free one grabbed hers one last time. He brought her hand to him, pressing it to his cheek as he looked up at the bright sky.
For once, he had no idea what to do next. He felt lost.