Everytime We Touch
Enid woke up the next morning, feeling very sore, her face hurt and she had a headache. She felt Carl's arms around her waist and relief washed over her when she saw his face, a smile on her face.
His arms were like a castle, she felt safe and secure, more than she ever had in the past three months.
Her emotions were all over the place, she hated Ron for what he did to her and she wanted him to face justice, she wanted to kiss Carl and tell him how much she felt for him and she wanted…she wanted…
She wanted this to all be over.
"Morning Enid," Carl mumbled as he smiled at her with his deep blue eyes, "Did you sleep okay…I didn't hold you to tightly did I? Because I didn't mean to hurt you-,"
"Carl everything is fine…Um thanks for sleeping here last night, It felt…I felt safe," She stuttered. It wasn't noticeable with the bruise on her cheek, but she was blushing.
"Your welcome, I'm glad you slept okay…Do you still want to talk to my dad today?"
Enid nodded, "Yeah."
Carl gave her a supportive smile and squeezed her hand, "Okay um they should be home by eleven so I guess we should get ready…do you want to shower?"
"Please," Enid said.
"Okay let me help you up," Carl said and pulled Enid up out of the bed. He wrapped his arm around her shoulder, but when he felt her tense, he realized he probably shouldn't have.
"Carl I'm fine," Enid snapped, "I can get there myself."
"Okay," Carl said as he stepped back…Just uh- let me know when you're done."
She nodded and walked down the hall to the bathroom.
She pulled of the close Carl had lent her and looked in the mirror, she noticed the greenish yellowish bruise on her thigh…a result of Ron kicking her last night."
She turned on the shower and stepped in. The warm water felt great on her skin and tired muscles.
She felt bad for snapping at Carl, she knew he'd only been trying to help. When he had touched herm she'd felt this static feeling in her heart and she assumed it was a good thing, she'd never felt that static with Ron.
The problem was that way he put his arm around her and guided her…it was what Ron used to do and it had scared her.
As the water washed over her, she started to cry, she hated Ron and she hated herself and right now all she could do was cry and hope that soon she'd be back to normal.
"So just so we're clear, you do want to press charges against him?" Rick asked Enid as he and Michonne sat across from her and Carl.
Enid nodded, "I do…Ron needs to face the consequences for his actions and I believe that if something isn't done he'll come after me and possibly hurt another girl," Enid said in a shaky voice and she felt Carl slowly place his hand over hers.
"Okay, I'm going to go down to the station and file this and then I'll call Judge Hovarth and get a warrant for Ron's arrest," Rick said as he stood up.
He placed a hand on Enid's shoulder and smiled supportively, "Enid I want you to know that you're very brave for doing this and I'll make sure that Ron doesn't have any contact with you."
"Thanks Rick," Enid said.
"Enid when will Glenn and Maggie be back?" Michonne asked.
"Not until tomorrow," Enid said.
"Alright we'll you're staying here tonight okay" Michonne said kindly but Enid knew it wasn't up for debate, and frankly she didn't want to be anywhere else than with Carl and his family.
"Thank you," Enid said and smiled at Michonne who smiled back.
As Michonne left to say goodbye to Rick, Enid turned to Carl.
"Listen Carl about this morning-"
"Enid you don't have to apologize, I should have been aware of the boundaries," Carl said.
She shook her head, "No Carl it's not that," She signed, "Ron used to put his arm around me and guide me like you did this morning," there was sadness in her voice and Carl frowned.
"I'm sorry Enid…"
"Carl you didn't know and I know you'd never hurt me…I guess some things are going to take some time," she said with a tired sigh.
Carl took her hands and rubbed his thumb along her wrist, "I get it and I meant what I said last night…we can take things as slow as you want and we'll just take this one step at a time," he said sincerely, "I mean if it took us this long to admit our feelings for each other I'm sure we can wait a little longer before we become official."
Enid gave him a smile, "Thank you," If it wasn't for Carl she didn't know if she'd be able to survive this. She'd always been independent, but having Carl here with her, it was the glue keeping her from falling apart.
"You're welcome, so is there anywhere you want to go today, anything you need to do?"
She shook her head, "No but I was thinking maybe we could have-"
"A comedy movie marathon," Carl finished and smiled when her face lit up.
She nodded, "Yes but more specifically movies with either Adam Sandler or Mellissa McCarthy," She said.
Carl and Enid spent the rest of the day watching movies, eating junk food and laughing at cheesy jokes. At one point, Enid nuzzled into Carl's shoulder and on instinct he wrapped his arm around her, only after did he remember what had happened this morning.
Enid, however reacted quite differently, instead on flinching and pulling away, she cuddled into his side more and took his hand in her own. She let out a content sigh.
His arms, and his hands made her feel safe, she wasn't scared this time, she just knew in her heart that she was safe in Carl's hands.
This time the same static won, she wasn't afraid of him,
Enid whimpered in her sleep and Carl noticed the tears running down her cheeks. She'd been having nightmares like this almost every night for the past few weeks and it was painful to watch. Sometimes she didn't even wake up, eventually the nightmare passed and she'd become peaceful again.
Carl wanted to wipe her tears away, but after what happened the other night, he knew that would do more harm than good.
The other night, Enid had woken up having a horrible nightmare. She had been crying and when Carl went to wipe the tears from her cheeks, she had freaked out, slapping his hands and pushing his away with so much force that he'd fallen off the bed.
Enid later told him that feelings his hands on her face had somehow caused her to have flashbacks to the night Ron hit her.
She'd felt so ashamed and embarrassed but Carl assured her that she didn't have to hide her emotions, he wasn't going to run, she was safe with him. He was going to be here for her through the good times and the bad times.
Still watching her suffer, made him feel helpless.
Enid tapped her foot nervously and chewed her bottom lipped as she stared at the grey haired women sitting across from her.
Carol Peletier was something of a legend in Kings County. For several years she was the squirrely abused house wife of a man named Ed. After years of suffering in silence, she left with her daughter Sophia and Ed was arrested after beating former deputy Shane Walsh almost to death.
That was eight years ago and now Carol was a counsellor who helped women who had been in an abusive relationship.
Enid had been seeing her for a couple weeks and it had been going okay. Sometimes though the questions Carol asked were deep and Enid, who had never been one to talk about her deep feeling with people she didn't know that well, found it difficult to answer.
"So what's preventing you from being with Carl?" Carol asked.
"I don't know, I guess I'm scared," Enid said, playing with the strings on her navy blue hoodie
"What are you scarred off? Ron? Or are you scared of Carl?"
"God no!" Enid said, shaking her head frantically, "Carl is really one of the few people who I've ever felt really safe with."
"What about him makes you feel so safe?" Carol asked.
"There's so many things…he's always been such a good listener and he was the first person I got close to when I got here, I've just always known that he wouldn't judge me and he doesn't coddle me, but he's supportive and kind and he's my best friend," Enid paused when she thought of something else, "His touch."
"What about his touch?"
"I don't know. it's like I get this feeling that makes me feel safe, ever since the first time he hugged me, he's have always made me feel safe and secure and like…warm, its good you know, and with this whole Ron thing, there's been a couple times where his touch has scared me and I hate it…but most of the time I feel safe," she explained.
Carol nodded, "Eventually Enid, you won't have those flashbacks when Carl does touch you, it's only been two month, give it time. I used to have them with Ed and it took a few months to get over it, but by the time I started dating Ezekiel, they were long gone."
"Can I ask you something?" Enid asked.
"Of course," Carol said, giving Enid a supportive smile.
"When did you know that you were ready to date again?"
"That's a hard one," Carol said, "It's going to be different for me, but for me it was when I felt I could trust a man with my heart completely, that I trusted him enough to open my heart completely to him."
"…I trust Carl with my heart," Enid stated, "I know he'd never hurt my heart or me and I think I'm ready to start a relationship with him…but I don't think I'm ready to kiss him or be intimate with him just yet…do you think that is still possible to have a relationship without the intimacy?" Enid asked.
"I can't speak for Carl, but I think it's possible," Carol said.
Enid nodded, "So do I."
It was about a week before the trial when Enid told Carl she was ready for a relationship.
They were in the middle of watching a movie when Enid hit pause and look at Carl.
"Why'd you pause the movie?" Carl asked.
"Because I need to tell you something," Enid said somewhat nervously, "I'm ready…for a relationship," she said and looked nervously as Carl.
A smile spread across his face, "Really?"
"Yeah but I'm not ready…for anything intimate including kissing. But I thought that we could at least call ourselves a couple and maybe we could go on a few dates," Enid said. She felt like a twelve year old asking out her crush, "You said one step at a time and this is a step," She said.
"And it's a really good step," Carl said and they pulled each other into a long and tight hug, smiles on their faces.
That night, Enid slept undisturbed for the first time in what felt like ages, she was secure and safe in Carl's hands.
A week later, with the trial fast approaching, Carl and Enid went to the roller derby for their first date.
At one point Carl nearly fell down and took Enid with him, their faces were inches from each other but Enid still didn't feel ready to kiss him, so instead she hugged him.
In her mind, she was praying that one day she'll be ready.
"I'm nervous," Enid said as they walked into the courthouse.
Today was the day of the trial and Enid hadn't slept well the night before and due to her tossing and turning, Carl hadn't got much sleep either
Enid's mind was a mixture of different emotions, fear, anger, hurt and a few others.
She hadn't seen Ron since everything had happened and part of her was scared to see him and part of her wasn't.
It was so damn confusing!
"You're going to be fine," Carl reassured her.
"It's just that what if when I'm testifying, Ron does that something to scare me? What if tries to come after me? What if I see him and I freeze up?"
Carl placed his hands on Enid's shoulders, "Alright stop rambling," he said and slowly her rapid breathing settled and she looked at him with her pale blue eyes, "You have this Enid, you are Brave, and Strong and Beautiful and Smart and when you get up there today and tell your story, just remember that, just remeber how amazing you are and that Ron can't take that away from you," Carl said.
Enid let out a muffled sob and pulled him into a tight hug, he could hear her heart beating fast.
"All Rise, The honourable Judge Dale Hovarth presiding," The bailiff called and Enid stood up beside her lawyer, ADA Andrea Harrison.
Behind them, Carl, Rick, Michonne, Glenn, Maggie and Maggie's father Hershel rose from their seats.
On the other side of them Room, Ron gave Enid a dirty look as he stood beside his lawyer, a creepy looking man named Gareth.
"Your Honor the matter is the state versus Ron Anderson, on the charges of assault and battery in the second degree," The bailiff read.
Dale nodded and surveyed the room, "Counsellor Harrison you may make your opening statement,"
Andrea nodded and began to speak to the jury. Enid sighed in her seat, this was going to be a long day.
"And Sherriff Grimes. What was Mr. Anderson's demeanor when you and officer Williams went to arrest him?
Rick sat forward on the stand, "He didn't acknowledge what happen. He informed my partner and I that 'She was a lying, stupid, whorish bitch'," Rick explained.
"And how did you react to that? I understand you have a close relationship with Ms. Rhee," Andrea said as she paced by the witness stand.
"Do be honest, I wanted to kick his ass and yes I do, she's been our neighbour for over six years and she and my son have been quite close since she first moved in."
"Is she an honest person?"
"Yes, she's one of the most honest kids or person that I've ever met," Rick said sincerely.
Over at the desk, Enid wiped away a stray tear. So far, Maggie, Michonne and Rick had all testified and the things they had said, made her feel loved and safe. They'd been by her side through this. She wasn't alone, she had her family who been her since day one.
She felt someone squeeze her shoulder and knew by that static feeling and the little shock she felt that is was Carl.
Out of everyone, Carl had been her number one supporter right from that first night. Through the good times and the bad times, they'd been through it all. Not just with the 'Ron thing' but other things over the years. No matter what happened she'd been there for him and he'd been there for her.
It was at that moment that she was hit with a sudden realization. She loved Carl, the spark she'd been feeling whenever they touched, how safe she felt in his arms, how he'd gently wipe away her tears whenever she'd cry and when she felt like her world was falling apart, he was there to pick her up.
He made her feel, loved and warm and safe and beautiful and…
She loved him.
"And throughout your entire relationship, you'd say that Mr. Anderson was abusive?" Andrea asked Enid.
Enid didn't hesitate to answer, even when she noticed the glare Ron was shooting her, "Yes he was, throughout the three months together, he was abusive, emotionally, mentally and physically," Enid's voice was firm and certain.
"You Lying Whore!" Ron yelled and jumped up, slamming his fists on the table.
Some people had expected Enid to jump out of her seat or at least flinch, but the young woman remained seating, continue to give Ron a hard stare as a court officer restrained him.
She wasn't afraid of him, he was weak, he'd tried to make himself look strong by abuse her and making her feel worthless.
He had failed, she wasn't worthless, and she wasn't weak. She was strong and smart and beautiful and brave.
She wasn't broken, she was a survivor, and she had won because she hadn't given into his attempts to scare him, he no longer held power over her.
"Mr. Anderson, I find you guilty of Assault and Battery in the second degree," Judge Hovarth said as he looked Ron directly in the face, "You are hereby remanded to the Atlanta Correctional Facility until sentencing."
Enid let out a breath of relief, it was over…Ron would be going to jail, she hadn't let him break her.
She turned around and saw the looks of relief on her families' faces. Carl looked at her and flashed her a smile, letting her know how proud he was of her.
She was proud of herself, she had stood up to him and she had paid sure he faced justice for what he'd done to her.
"I love you," Enid said to Carl as they washed and dried the dishes from the BBQ they'd had for Rick's forty-fifth birthday.
He dropped the dish he was drying and hit the counter with a clunk. He turned and looked at her, shock on his face, "Really?"
She turned, smiling at him as she nodded, a noticeable blush on her pale face, "Yeah I do, I really freakin love you Carl Grimes and I'm finally ready to go all in," She said.
She wrapped her arms around his neck and pressed her soft lips against his.
Carl was surprised for a split second but soon his lips began to move with hers and he placed his hands on her waist and small of her back. Their tongues collided and their lips moved in perfect sync.
As she was kissing him, Enid felt as though she had the energy to jump and touch the sky, it was like she was flying gently through the air, his scent, a mixture of Axe and pinewood wafted through the air.
Kissing him was freakin amazing.
Finally they pulled away due to lack of oxygen. They looked at each other lovingly.
"I love you too Enid," Carl whispered and her smile brightened like the sun as she pulled him into another kiss, feeling the static as their lips connected.
Through the rest of her life, every time they touched, that static always remained, just like their love for one another.