First story for Planet Terror.
Hope you all like it and that I didn't fail the plot too miserably ;)
If you close your eyes, your life, a naked truth revealed,
Dreams you never lived and scars never healed
In the darkness light will take you to the other side,
And find me waiting there you'll see if you just close your eyes.
~Just Close Your Eyes, Story of the Year.
She closed her eyes many times; she figured that if he was going to come into her dreams, he would do it on the nights, or night that she was thinking of him. He would pop in at the right time, wouldn't he? After all, he never missed.
He never did come, though. The promise of forever that she had wanted so badly, though she never told him, was a lie. There was no always- the words they'd spoken to each other were meaningless now, as life would be if she didn't have their daughter to worry about. The child whimpered softly in its cot next to her bed, but she knew she would fall back asleep quickly and decided to remain immobile. Without two legs to hop up on, she wanted to avoid the hassle anyway. She reached her hand into the cot and let her child grab a hold of her finger- there was no threat among them. They were safe, and now that her daughter was quiet, she could be alone to her thoughts.
She dreamt of that night often. She couldn't say she had nightmares, because she didn't. Cherry did not have nightmares. She was strong, and a survivor- nightmares had no place in her mind. But she did see him, all over again in her dreams, lying on the ground. Fog blurred her vision and cushioned the blow of him dying in her subconscious almost every night. It didn't bother her, though. He had died, and it was reality. She still got up every morning, and took care of their daughter; took care of everyone in this semi-quarantined town. She was glad she had yet to forget him, and she hoped she never would. Cherry glanced out the window, smiling as she saw Dakota walk into her home, shutting the door behind her. She knew that just behind that door, she was bolting many locks and hiding keys in various drawers. Though their little town here was safer than what they had experienced a few weeks ago, the reality of it all was still fresh, and there were still those who were infected roaming the streets. Those who had made it out alive as they could be were lucky, but Cherry easily took care of them. They didn't face a different fate than the others who were infected: they would hurt the un-infected population and they had to die. It simply had to happen.
Cherry liked looking at life that way. Some things, most things, you cannot control, and it's easier to just let them happen than fight them. This piece of wisdom slapped her in the face as her daughter cried loudly, and she rolled her eyes, throwing off the covers before standing up, focusing her weight on her good leg, and not the one that could shoot a hole through the floor.
"What's wrong with you?" She asked softly, lifting the child and falling back into bed.
She immediately quit crying, nestling her head against Cherry's chest. Cherry leaned her head against the pillows and let out a loud sigh.
"I'll never understand kids," she stated, moving a light brown curl from her daughter's eyes. "All you do is whine, don't you get tired of it?" She inquired.
Of course, the child said nothing, and Cherry just closed her eyes, feeling her child's heartbeat fall in tune with her own. Cherry had laid very often with him like this. He would rest his head against her chest, or they would lie side by side and she could hear his heart. She didn't want to come off as sappy, so she wouldn't say his heartbeat sounded different than any other, but she did love it. She loved those memories even more now, since him alive next to her, was all she could ever want to complete her life now. It would always feel like something was missing, but she had learned how to fill the hole temporarily, and it worked for the time being. She'd chant to herself in her head: "Eighteen hours left of the day, Cherry. Five hours left. New day. You made it through another without him, and you two are fine."
Cherry was glad for the last moments she had with him. She had wasted enough time at the hand of her pride and expectations. She felt sorry for always stomping him under her, and making him feel like she deserved better. She doubted he cared, and she knew it didn't matter now, but sometimes she wondered…Wondered what he had thought the day she left. She wondered what it would have been like really marrying him. Truthfully, though, Cherry had been too scared to fix their broken relationship. Perhaps if she had, he would still be alive. Maybe they would have ditched that town and never been involved at all. But she couldn't think too long on the maybes, because those were what got under her skin the most. He used to tell her that she had to stop blocking things out. An idle tear rolled down her cheek and before it fell onto her daughter's forehead, she wiped it away furiously. She laid her baby next to her in the bed, and pulled the covers up to her chest, closing her eyes. Maybe he was right- maybe, if she just stopped blocking out the pain, the numbness, or the disappointment; she would be able to feel him.
Maybe, she thought as she fell into sleep: Maybe he would be waiting for her. Maybe, if she truly closed her eyes, he would be waiting on the other side.
Author's Note: I am actually really happy with this one-shot! I was so nervous but when I got to writing, it ended up just flowing. Please review and let me know what you thought. I hope to write more for Planet Terror soon!