Daryl was ignoring her now. The only person he spoke more than two words to was Rick, and that was only when he had to. It seemed as if he was retreating back into his own sullen ways. Carol had thought they were getting somewhere in their fragile relationship; he slept in her room every night and was always near her. But clearly she'd been wrong about that. Oh, he still slept in her room. But on the floor instead of in the bed. And they never spoke to each other. Ever. The silence between them was disconcerting. To her, at least.
Tonight was a particularly cold night, and Carol was having a hard time getting to sleep. She sat up in her dark room and glanced over at Daryl, who had taken to sleeping in the rocking chair the past couple of nights. Rolling to the other side of the bed, she quickly got up, wrapping her cardigan around her, and headed downstairs. The tiny flashlight she had stowed away in one of her cardigan pockets was the only light she had to go by. Needless to say, she took the stairs very, very slowly.
After what seemed like forever, she was finally able to make it downstairs and made her way into the kitchen, in search of a bottle of water. She walked into the dark kitchen, bobbing her tiny light around the room and nearly screamed when she saw the figure leaning against the counter. She quickly relaxed, though, when she saw that it was only Morgan.
"What on earth are you doing in here, standing in the dark?" Carol whispered, still clutching her chest, trying to calm her pounding heart, "You scared the hell out of me."
"I'm so sorry," Morgan said quickly, coming to her side to help her get to a kitchen stool, "I've just gotten so used to being in dark places…I didn't think that anyone would be awake…I knew I should have carried a candle in here or something'."
"It's okay," Carol assured him as they both sat down on stools, "I'm just jumpy."
"Rightfully so. Can't say that I blame you. I shouldn't have been standing around in here like one of those things. Guess I'm just lucky you didn't have some kind of weapon with you," He chuckled darkly.
"Yeah, I guess so," She replied, taking a sip from the water bottle that Morgan had gotten for her.
"Tell me about yourself, Carol," Morgan suddenly blurted, turning toward her, "What's your story in all this? I already know Rick's. It would be nice to get to know someone else."
"Mine isn't exactly a story worth telling," She said, shifting uncomfortably in her seat. She wasn't sure if she was ready to share what happened with Sophia and Ed to a complete stranger.
"Hey, I understand," Morgan replied, "You don't have to tell me anything. I still can't talk about my wife with my own son without bursting into tears."
"She was bitten?" Carol asked, her heart sinking.
"Yeah. I failed to protect her and those, those things, bit into her like wild animals. When she turned, I couldn't bear to put her down. God knows how I tried. But each time her eyes would find mine and there still seemed to be some of her left inside, you know? I just couldn't do it."
"I understand," Carol said, wiping tears from her cheeks, "My little girl, Sophia, was bit. We found her in a barn where Hershel was keeping walkers. When I saw her come shuffling out of that barn…that was the worst pain I've ever experienced. I just wanted to die. Sometimes I wish Rick would have put a bullet through my head too."
Carol blushed and looked away from Morgan. She'd never told anyone else that, even though most of them probably wouldn't blame her for feeling that way in the first place. Carol grabbed her half empty water bottle off the counter and got up off her stool.
"Sorry to be such a downer," She laughed, trying to lighten the mood. "I think I'm going to try and get some sleep. It was nice talking to you, Morgan. Good night."
She turned to leave, but was stopped by a hand on her shoulder.
"I'm sorry for your loss," Morgan whispered. He stared at her for a moment longer before backing away and exiting the kitchen.
Carol stood in the darkened kitchen for several long minutes, suddenly feeling as if she were wide awake instead of dog tired. With a sigh, she made her way out of the kitchen, and that was when she ran right into Daryl.
Author's Note: Sorry it's taken me so long to update. I hope this chapter was worth the wait. Leave me a review and let me know your thoughts! Thanks for reading!