She wept for Carol. She wept for herself. But most of all, she wept for the undead girl, now dead in front of the barn with the others.
Jen felt a hand grab her arm, pulling her up. "Hey, are you alright?" Dale asked, still holding onto her arm. She pulled her arm out of his grip and walked back to the camp as quickly as she could. She was trying to hold back as much as she could, even though she could feel the tears falling down her face. She hid inside of the tent she shared with Carol, and she let loose. She cried. Not the quiet, gentle crying, but the ugly, loud, hiccupping crying. She heard the tent open, but she didn't feel like turning around to see who it was.
Carol's voice came from behind her. "How did she die?" Carol was still crying, and Jen wasn't sure why she wanted to hear her story. Jen took a deep breath, gathered herself, and looked up at Carol. "I want to know. I want to know that I'm not alone."
Jen stood up and embraced Carol. They both cried, Carol more than her. Jen just held her and let her cry. Carol was so distraught that she could barely stand, so Jen led her to the bed and sat her down, not once letting go of her. Jen knew what she needed, and she needed to cry. She needed to grieve for her daughter.
Carol's cries became quieter, and she loosened her hold on Jen. She sat up, and looked Jen in the eyes. Her voice was slurred from the crying. "How did she die?"
Jen brushed her hand across Carol's face, and Carol rested her head on Jen's shoulder, still crying. Jen told her her story.
Jen sat at her desk. She was on the phone, booking another appointment at the law firm that she worked at. She worked the front desk, not the most exciting job. She hung up the phone. It was the end of the day, but Jen had to stay late and file papers.
"See ya tomorrow, Jen," said John, an assistant that she worked with.
"See you," Jen replied, waving bye as he walked out the large glass doors at the front of the building. Jen glanced at the television muted in the waiting room, and saw a panicked news reporter on the street talking very fast. Jen quickly grabbed the remote on her desk and unmuted it.
"There seems to be some sort of attack," the reporter said. "People eating other people. Get a shot of it!" The camera panned to show a group of five or six men crowded around what appeared to be another man. Expect those men didn't look like men at all. Their clothes were ripped and covered in blood. One of them only had one arm!
Jen called out to whomever was left in the building. She kept calling until her boss, Eileen, came running down the hall into the waiting room. Jen looked back at the television, and Eileen did the same. They watched as the news reporter continued to document what was happening.
"Oh my god, Phil," the news reporter said, talking to the cameraman. "We've got to get out here!" Just as the reporter said that, a woman came up behind her and took a bite out of her neck. Blood poured down her body as the woman knocked her down and kept biting chunks out of the reporter. The cameraman dropped the camera and ran. They could only hear the screams of the reporter as she was eaten alive.
"What the fuck is going on!?" yelled Eileen.
"I've got to get home," Jen said as she grabbed her bag and took out her cell phone. She dialed her house as she ran outside and to her car. She held the ringing phone to her shoulder with her head as she fumbled with her car keys, looking around for any sign of those monsters. She finally got the right key and unlocked the door, got inside, and slammed the door shut. She immediately locked the doors and put the keys in the ignition.
"Hi, you've reached the voicemail of-," Jen screamed and threw her phone into the passengers seat. She started the car and drove to her house as fast as possible. She wasn't the only one trying to get home; the streets were full of cars trying to get home to their loved ones. No cars were moving, and there were even cars on the side of the road. Jen honked her horn repeatedly before she decided to get out of her car and run. Her house was only a few streets down, and she ran as fast as she could to her husband and little girl.
Once she reached her house, she ran inside calling out their names. "Kyle! Alice!" She ran through the rooms in search of her family. "Kyle! Alice!" she yelled louder. She ran up the stairs two at a time and looked in every room frantically. They wouldn't leave without her, she knew that. She looked into her daughter's room and found her husband crouching on the ground. "Oh my god, Kyle."
Her husband turned around and looked at her. His eyes were white and lifeless. His face and shirt were covered in blood. She looked down at the floor in front of him and saw the remains of what was once their daughter, before she was ripped open and gutted. Jen screamed and ran out of the room. She could hear the grunts and hisses of her husband following her, and she continued screaming.
Jen ran to the kitchen and grabbed the largest knife from the knife block. She turn around to face the door of the kitchen, waiting for her husband. Her heart was pounding in her chest, and her brain was calculating a hundred possibilities. She heard the growls outside the door, and he appeared, limping his way into the kitchen. She felt her legs give out underneath her, and she held onto the counter for balance.
"Please, Kyle," she tried to communicate. "Please don't make me do this." She pleaded with him, but she knew that he couldn't hear her. She knew this wasn't her husband. He continued to limp towards her, his arms outstretched. Once he was close enough, he grabbed her shoulder and lunged towards her. She raised the knife and sunk it into his head with a sickening thud. She watched as the body of her husband fell to the ground, the knife still in his skull. Jen fell to her knees, screaming. She was covered in blood, her husband's blood and her daughter's blood. She began to cry along with her screams. She knew that she was alone now. She was alone, and she had no idea what was happening. She just knew she had to survive.
Jen stopped there, not realizing that she was crying again. Carol was still crying, quietly though. She didn't say anything. How could she? What was she going to say? "I'm sorry"? Carol knew that an apology wasn't going to help. They sat in silence, grieving for their lost children.
Jen heard someone approach the tent. "Jen?" Maggie asked. Carol sat up from Jen's shoulder, and Jen got up to see what she wanted. Jen opened the tent, and looked at Maggie. "Have you seen my father?" She asks, panicked. "Beth's gone into shock, and we can't find him anywhere."
"Oh my gosh, is Beth alright? I haven't seen your father since…" Jen stopped there. After all, Carol was still in the tent. Jen looked back at Carol who gave her an approving nod. Jen left the tent and began walking towards the house with Maggie.
"She just collapsed. She's got a fever, and I'm just not experienced like my father. Would you mind watching over her for a little?"
"No, I wouldn't mind at all."
"Thank you," she said as they walk into the house. Maggie leads her to the bedroom where Beth was at. Beth was lying in bed, frozen, staring at the ceiling. She looked ill, but she had just watched her mother die. There was a chair in the far corner of the room, and Jen quietly walked over to it. She sat down and stared at Beth. She watched her chest rise and fall and her eyes blink, but everything else seemed so distant. She hoped they would find Hershel soon.
After a while, Maggie returned to the room, and told Jen that Rick and Glenn had gone into town looking for Hershel. She wanted to sit with Beth in private, so Jen walked outside and looked around camp. Everyone was depressed, which was understandable. She spotted Daryl sitting alone in the distance and decided to go talk to him.
Her footsteps were loud against the grass, but Daryl never once looked up to see who was there. Jen stopped in front of him and watched as he made arrows for his crossbow with sticks and a hunting knife. He didn't look at her.
"I'm sorry," said Jen.
"What ya 'pologizing to me for?" He continued his work.
"I don't know. You spent so much time looking for her." Silence. "It's hard… for all of us."
Daryl sunk his knife into the ground, irritated. He stood up, and yelled at her."Listen here, lady! You don't know nothing about me or Sophia or this group! Don't come over here actin' like you feel bad. You didn't know Sophia. You don't know the shit we went through to find her. You don't know nothin'!"
Jen was surprised and a little hurt that he yelled at her. "I was just trying to be polite. I felt bad…"
"I don't need your sympathy! None of us do! Stop actin' like you're a part of this group! You're not!"
Jen took a step back, appalled. Didn't he fight for her to be in this group? She understood that he was upset, but that didn't give him the right to be so rude. Jen felt angry, but she wasn't going to start something by yelling back.
She turned on her heels and began walking back to camp. Daryl didn't say anything as she walked away, and she didn't care to look back. She was hurt, she'll admit it. She couldn't remember the last time someone yelled at her. When she walked back into the tent, Carol was gone. Jen stepped back out to go look for her, but then decided against it. Carol was a grown woman who had to do what she needed to do.
Jen laid down on her bed and grabbed the book that was lying next to it. She stole it from the house, but she figured it wasn't a big deal. She opened the book and read. Except she wasn't really reading. She was reading the words, but her mind was elsewhere. Daryl was a complicated man. First, he gives her a chance to be a part of the group, and then he tells her the opposite. If the walkers in the barn were there without us knowing, then how many could be around us in the woods? What if we get attacked? I haven't learned to shoot a gun yet. Rick has more important things to worry about right now. If I have to, I'll just use a knife. I've done it before. Jen decided that it was useless to think about that right now, and she actually began reading, completely unaware of the world about to unfold outside of the tent.