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Hearts of the Past and Present

Long Overdue

Chapter 4 - Long Overdue

It was dark and damp in the forest today. The dew of the morning still fresh and hydrating all things green, the leaves, the grass, and the moss.

In fact, the cool but moist air was nice on my face, it kept me at a suitable temperature as I walked through the wilderness after Daryl with a jacket and a pretty heavy backpack on.

I made sure I kept my distance, but at the same time, to keep Daryl in my sights and on top of that I had to keep quiet so I didn’t blow my cover AND watch out for walkers.

I kept my knife and gun in my jacket pocket, a place that’s easily accessible.

I couldn’t stop the leaves and twigs on the ground from crunching and snapping under my foot, I couldn’t stop those noises, but I tried my best to keep as quiet as I could while moving but stepping on large masses of moss and leaf-less patches of grass.

It was way too early for me to be doing this sort of exercise, I was tired already and had to concentrate on not breathing too loudly as I panted, it was tough keeping up with Daryl who seemed to float through the forest, he passed through it effortlessly. I guess he knows the route.

As I walked, I began to think of the possibility that Daryl IS seeing Bella in the forest. What will I do if I see her? Do I hide and watch the pair of them or do I show myself and call out Daryl?
I will most definitely, and officially, will be heartbroken if so. I will completely cut Daryl out of my thoughts and have nothing to do with him. My trust in this man will be broken and unfixable. My future with Daryl, our future together, everything relies on the outcome of today. And I am petrified.

Time had little meaning but at the same time it meant everything. Time was precious and it flew by so it was difficult to estimate how long I had been following Daryl for.

I glanced up from my moss covered and wet boots to find that Daryl had been engulfed in bright light. Had we came to the edge of the forest or had Daryl been abducted by aliens? I suspect we had run out of forest.

I would be seriously difficult to stalk Daryl out in the open, there’s no large tree trunks to hide behind if I stood on a large branch that made a loud snapping sound. Or if I stumbled over my own feet, the leaves couldn’t hide me.

Daryl had disappeared out of my eye sight, the sunlight shining down was too bright but I continued forward to the largest tree trunk at the edge of the forest. Beside the forest was a road.

Daryl had crossed the road and looked out onto the lake. The lake.

It’s the lake from before. It’s mine and Jake’s lake!

Why Daryl had come here? Was this where he was hiding Bella? It would be a logical thing to do since she had a nearly, never ending water supply.

He stood with his hands on his hips with his back to me, “Are ya going to come out of the trees or what?”

Damn it. He knew I was here, and he had probably known the whole time but led me to believe that I was a good stalker and as quiet as a mouse.

I sheepishly stepped out from the old oak tree; he turned around to meet my guilty eye.

“Why were ya following me Lily?” He asked.

Daryl didn’t sound angry or upset; it was just like he was asking a normal question. He should have been asking it like he was confronting a cereal stalker who had just got out of prison, which I almost was – I was just the last part.

“I just wanted to know where you went on your walks.” I replied, and it was true, I did want to know where he went on his walks, I wanted to know if he went to see Bella.

“Ya could have just asked.” Daryl said, as if everything was cool.

“You’d have said no.”

“How would ya know that? Ya never asked.” He was being all clever with me, for the first time it seemed like Daryl was being the mature, adult figure and I was being the young, almost foolish kid, I had always felt like Daryl was the same age as me for some reason.

“I hardly felt like it would have been appropriate to ask you Daryl, we haven’t exactly been the best of friends have we? You’ve had your way of getting to terms with things and I’ve had mine, it’s just a shame we haven’t done it together like we promised.”

Daryl looked down at his hands uncomfortably, “Do I have to have this conversation with you across a road?”

“DUCK!” Daryl suddenly shouted before I could even think of my reply.

And without and hesitation I did so, I threw myself onto the ground. Daryl, in lightning speed took his cross bow off his back and shot a walker in the head with an arrow.

The stinking body landing on top of me, I screamed then borked at the smell. I rolled over and pushed the walker off of me.

Daryl jogged across the road and helped me to my feet, “Thanks.” I said as I took his hand.

“Ya welcome.”

I brushed the dirt off of me and Daryl and I walked side by side over to the lake. We walked down the hill, and passed my car were I realised how bad things really were outside the walls of my house.

I sighed.

Daryl looked at me, “Is this too hard for ya?” he nodded to the half sunken car.

“No, it’s just I wished Jake was here with me. He would have outlived this mess. He was tough.”

“Like his dad.” Daryl added.

It was nice for me and Daryl just to talk without it being super awkward. I had missed his company, hell I’ve missed his presence.

We walked half way around the lake then sat down. On my third visit here, I managed to take in the full beauty of this place without the influence of heat, dehydration or shock affecting me. I sat crossed legs and took advantage of my surroundings. This time round, I noticed a banked rowing boat, it was a few meters down from us and in the middles of the lake, which I also missed before, was a wooden barge.

“I swam out and brought it in,” Daryl said as he followed my gaze to the boat. “I was fucking freezing afterwards.”

“I’m guessing it was the day you came back to the prison looking blue.” I laughed as I remembered his return, it was his chattering teeth that annoyed me this time!

“Yeah, I was frozen inside an’ out!”

I rubbed my hands in an attempt to warm them up, the breeze was chilling. “So is this where you’ve been coming to escape it all?”

Daryl nodded, “Yeah, pretty much. Just here and in the forest, it keeps me calm, it gives me a break.”

I chewed on my bottom lip.

“Lily, am sorry I haven’t been around and helped ya. I just couldn’t face ya. Just the look of ya, the sound of ya voice, it reminded me of Carol, of Bella and everything that happened to ya.” Daryl began the long overdue apology. “I don’t think ya understand how hard it is for me to hear ya cry out on a night ‘cause of ya nightmares. It drives me insane knowin’ I helped create them and I can’t stop ‘em.”

Daryl sighed deeply but continued, “I’ve always done things on my own, am not use to bein’ close to someone and sharin’ my problems. I sorted them out myself, even when I was a kid. My dad and Merle were no use, my mom left and I don’t blame her bein’ married to a man like my daddy. But yeah, I don’t know how to work things out with someone; I just deal with it myself and am pretty good at it since I’ve been alone for most of my life.”

“The nightmares drive me insane, I nearly shot one of you last night! You’re not the only one suffering Daryl, and you can stop them. They went away every night you came in to check on me, when I saw your face I knew I was safe and I had nothing to worry about. And you’re not alone anymore Daryl, I’m here and you need happiness and light in your life” I paused before I got to the upsetting bit, to the part where Daryl gave up on me. “But, Daryl, the first night you didn’t come to see if I was okay, it was the worst night I had ever had. I cried myself to sleep because I knew you didn’t care anymore. You need to step up because you have lots of relations in this group now and they care about you, they love you.”

“I will never not care about you.” Daryl replied. “I’m sorry Lily, I’m sorry for everything.”

“I’m sorry too,” I whispered.

Daryl took a chance and reached out to my hand that was resting on my knee, I interlocked my fingers with his and rested my head on his shoulder. I think this is the beginning of our new, better friendship. We are starting again.

We spent almost the full day at the lake, Uncle Pete’s backpack I lugged around with me did come in handy, and it gave me and Daryl our lunch.

We ate our lunch in the boat, with an paddle each, Daryl and I pushed the boat our into the middle of the lake before we tucked in. It was such a peaceful and quiet day, the world almost felt normal. I didn’t see a single walker but not that it mattered, I was safe with Daryl.

The conversation flowed easily, even for Daryl who was quiet; I really brought the chatter box out in him. It wasn’t awkward or uncomfortable like it had been for the past 2 months. Things were looking up.

I was so thankful that Daryl and I could have a normal conversation, for the sake of the others in the prison. I’m sure they could taste the awkward tension and I’m sure they’d be getting irritated by it, probably Carl with his shortening fuse.

Even though the day was cold, it was the most heart-warming one I had experienced in a long time. I had forgotten the feeling you get when you made a new friend, and that was what was happening with me and Daryl, we were getting along. But I couldn’t rush this, we needed to take things slow and let things play out however they should.

Daryl suggested that we should head back to the prison as it would be dark soon. We brought the boat back to the lake side and hopped out. Daryl, being the gentleman he truly is, carried my backpack for me.

We crossed the long and lonely road and entered the forest, after 5 meters of greenery, Daryl’s hand found mine once again and it didn’t let go until we arrived back at the prison.


Is this the start of their friendship or the beginning of a relationship or is everything too good to be true?

Hope you enjoyed this chapter! x


Girl, its been like 4 months since u last updated.

ElyseStyle ElyseStyle

Girl, its been like 4 months since u last updated.

ElyseStyle ElyseStyle

Love it, Lily and Bella bonded how sweet anyhoo great chapter can't wait to read more update as soon as u can :)

MoMo_chan92 MoMo_chan92

thank you! :D

walkingrosie walkingrosie

Hahaha thank you so much!!! X

walkingrosie walkingrosie