I sat there in the window with my knees tucked into my chest. Strands of my black hair hung over my face. Through the broken view I stared at the city laid out before me. The street’s below have crumbled away from neglect. Dirt in place of concrete—the earth was finally beginning to take back what belongs to it. Broken bridges and long-forgotten signs from survivors to their loved ones connect the buildings by what once were just windows.
The ground is too dangerous.
A loud engine roared in the empty, quiet streets from overhead. I bent my neck to follow the Zephyr with my eyes. My hopes of getting out of the walls were starting to wain. Birds cluttered the narrow spaces between the buildings. Not beautiful birds that caused the ache for freedom, but the scavengers, hardened and weathered by surviving, like me. The desire was barely there. We all used to wish for the rains to come and fill the streets, washing away all the death and evidence of broken dreams.
I was the only one left.
I traced his face on the dirty window pane.
“He has to be out there somewhere, I feel like I would know somehow if he was dead,” my voice came out hoarse from thirst and being rarely used.
Tola, a large black cat, sat directly in front of me. Her wide yellow eyes stared back at me.
Well, not just me, I still had Tola.
She found our first camp and has stuck by my side ever since. I slept better knowing a rat wouldn’t get into my portions.
“He’s still out there,” I whispered into my knees.
It was that night I was woken up by a warmth passing over my body. Tola? I thought then allowed my eyes to close. The sensation of someone laying next to me startled them back open.
My surroundings were pitch dark, something I had grown accustomed to, but then it was only a reminder how slime my chances were. Silence filled my quarters. I sat up, my heart beating hard in my chest.
Did the hunters find me? I thought. No, they wouldn’t be quiet or discreet. There was no have the hunters found me? Once they spotted you, that was it. Game over. There is no seeing them coming. Still, the world only has those willing to do what it takes to live. I readied my hand; my palm glowed purple. My touch on command can paralyze a person for a few hours, not kill. I hadn’t allowed myself to go that far. The catch was the danger needed to be right on top of me in order for me to stop it. Those trained are harder for me. I wouldn’t train to kill. Now, I’m prey.
The warmth suddenly wrapped all around me. A familiar sensation traveled up my spine and into my heart. Flashes of Caleb’s hands on me rushed past in my mind, then the nights in his arms took over entirely.
I laid back down. When I looked through I could see the rain beating down on us. Our hands each clutched an umbrella. We passed at first not recognizing each other. The corner of our eyes lingered longer. A warmth we knew, the element that had been missing reached out connected to the source.
The puddles around our feet turned to a deep indigo. Stars I had only heard rumors of spread across the water. We linked hands not knowing the future would be different.