Chapter 10

Shauntell looked at his friends all sleeping. Unfortunately he could not sleep. Rest was hard to find, but alas he could not capitalize on the opportunity. He was restless, but there was no true explanation as to why. He simply stood in the doorway, staring out the window.

He made his way up to the top of the hotel. He walked to the side and looked up. There was the sky, and its ever present stars. It reminded him of a simpler time, just a few weeks prior. He remembered running down the field for the go-ahead win under this very same sky. He remembered parties and cook-outs, he recalled everything that he missed about his old life.

Now, his money wasn't worth anything. His stardom mattered to no one, and his status was virtually gone. What mattered now was two things: Will and Speed. He had both. The will to survive, and the speed to get him to that point. He could easily have been to the drop off zone inside of two weeks. However his friends had hindered them with their incesant bickering and detours.

At this point he began to think. Was the safety of his friends worth his own? His friends meant almost everything to him. They had always been there when he needed him. They had always supported him, even when it may have been a decision not worth making. How could he be so selfish as to forsake them in a time like this?

But perhaps it wasn't selfish-ness so much as selfless-ness. Why put them through such a arduous and rigorous task when he didn't need to? Why put them through all the emotional and physical pain when he didn't have to? Such thoughts crept into his mind.

As he was thinking, the door behind him slowly opened. Shauntell pulled out his pistol and aimed, but he did not find an evil creature. It was instead only Missy. She put up her hands and spoke with a slight grin.

"Do I look dead to you? Relax I won't disturb your... whatever it is you're doing."

Shuantell slowly lowered his gun. He sighed and turned around. He continued to think about options when he noticed a form lay down next to him. She spoke without indication after a few minutes.

"I come up here every night. I look at the stars. It's relaxing to me." She said without ever looking at Shauntell. It was if she was speaking to herself.

"I even did this before the virus hit. Every night I used to sit in my yard with Geoffrey and we would just look at the stars."

Shauntell sat down and spoke, "I just had a lot on my mind."

"And did the stars help?" Missy asked.

"Before you got here? Yes." Shauntell replied coldly.

"You want me to leave?"

Shauntell thought about the unintended importance of this question. Missy couldn't have imagined how much that question actually weighed down on Shuantell. Did he really want to be alone?

"No. Its alright. I'm just a bit frustrated."

"Why?"

"You mean besides the fact that I'm running for my life from something straight out of a Sci-Fi movie?"

"Oh... good point. But thats something we all have to deal with. Its not like your the only one. We all have to deal with this."

Shauntell couldn't argue with that.

"I just want everything back. I want to go back to how everything was. I'm tired of this. Sometimes I just want to stop running. I just want to give up."

"Why? It might be easier to you. But what about to your friends? They've been looking up to you. They've been depending on you. You've lead them this far. How could you leave them now?"

Shauntell thought about the question. But finally, he formulated an answer.

"I couldn't... wow. You're good." Shauntell said. For the first time in weeks he cracked a smile.

She gave him a quick pat on the back and said, "Yeah. I know."

Shortly after she left. Shauntell's face retained the grin as he stood up and walked to the stairwell. He found his way down to the room with his friends and curled up in the corner. His mind now settled, he drifted off into sleep.