Chapter 1: Living Memories

"Some of us think holding on makes us strong; but sometimes it is letting go."

-- Herman Hesse

The wasteland was a dangerous place. No place for a girl who had little combat or guns skills. It definitely wasn't a place for me, that's for sure. But there was one reason why I was here, one sole reason why I risked my life night and day; and that reason was him. I could still remember the way his sweet aroma flooded the air, the way he smiled and talked. And most of all, the way he whispered promises to me in the darkest hours of the night. Promises that I desperately wanted him to make true. That's what kept me going, I needed to quench my thirst for Mr. Burke, even if I died trying. I felt the worn out paper through the thin fabric of my pockets. A small smile curled my lips and I looked down towards the ground, thinking of him. My feet just kept walking on their own as I drifted off into sweet memory of the man I loved.

The icy rain came down hard and fast all around me. I was lost in the wet darkness; I stumbled around trying to find my way out. Why had I decided to leave my little town when I knew that it was going to do this? The rain storm was horrible and it hurt to get pelted with the heavy raindrops that the clouds no longer wanted. This was just a minor storm too. My grandparents had told me that rain storm were much gentler back in their days, before the war. I could and couldn't believe it. There was a time where rain storms weren't like this? I suddenly stopped when I could hear something coming, probably raiders with my luck. I tried to look for somewhere to hide, but there wasn't, or anything that I could see that is. My heart began to race as I tried my hardest to look. Still, nothing. I put up my arms to feel around but all I touched was dead trees and rocks. I began to panic as the voices came closer and closer, what if they wanted to kill me, or worse, enslave me? Then something touched my shoulder and I nearly had a heart attack. Over the harsh wind, I heard

"Miss, are you alright? Why don't you come with me, alright?"

I looked up to find myself staring into the dark of eyes of a man who appeared around the age of twenty or so. I blinked a few times, trying to comprehend that I wasn't dead, but decided to take his outstretched hand. It was icy but warm to the touch. He gave me a sweet smile and then we wandered over towards the other gentlemen waiting for us. He held me closely; making sure nothing would hurt me. He was warm and inviting, and protected me. It was like he was sent from God himself to help me. I couldn't help but smile at his kindness. He was my savior, the sweetest one I had ever had.

That was the first time I had encountered him. From that moment on, he held my heart in his hands, even if neither of us knew it at the time. Days upon days, he spent every moment that he could spare with me. People in my little town began to see us as inseparable, wherever one went, the other would go. Those were the sweet times; the bitter was when he had to leave. He had stolen my heart and he knew it. To make it worse, he wrote letters of love to me and I'd write back with the same sweetness. We were both in love, even if we were separated from each other. Then one day, he just stopped, leaving me alone with just memories and words on tarnished paper. Days bled into months, months bled into years. I had written but a single letter to him, but I had never sent. I kept it as a reminder that nothing ever lasts, no matter how much you love it. Then one day, I decided to send it to him personally. I needed to see him, even if he may have forgotten me. I needed to look into his eyes once more and to hear him talk to me with those gentle words again. I simply needed him. It had almost brought tears to my eyes just thinking of the day he left me. But something caused me to be aware of the present again. Someone was screaming at me, telling me to look out.

I realized that I had arrived at the tower where I had heard he was currently staying. I looked towards the tall tower to find myself being told to keep a look out, or else. I walked to the small speaker thing and heard a voice say

"What do you want?"

"I'm here to see Mr. Burke." I replied quietly

"Mr. Burke? He's a busy man, lady; he doesn't have time for you." The voice replied agitatedly "Now get your pretty ass out of the way."

"You let me the hell in. I didn't just walk across half the fucking wasteland just to get denied!" I suddenly bellowed. I had a quick temper, and this was just making it even shorter. There was a sudden silence as I waited for a response. A few more minutes passed, and then I heard

"Sorry miss, you're clear to pass."

The gate squeaked as they opened it and I simply glared at the man I had just finished speaking with. I wandered up towards the large door and opened it. I hoped with all of my heart that he was there. I hoped.