I Hold On
Concerns and Thoughts
"Hi I'm Beth. My daddy owns this farm. Your sister Ellie told me you'd be over here. She also told me you two have been on the road for awhile. Could I interest you in a shower and some clean clothes?"
Ariel looked up from the rock she had been intently staring at for the past hour. Her deep blue eyes then became fixed on the small soft spoken blonde who looked no older than Ariel herself was. The brunette then turned away and started staring at the same small white rock that layed just a few feet in front of her. She wasn't interested in a shower or clean clothes. Hell, she wasn't hardly interested in anything.
Her mind was pretty much gone, having been lost in her depression and thoughts of suicide which only seemed to have gotten worse since she had been pinned down by the flesh eaters in that barn. All that was left of her was the shell of the person she use to be and she knew it. She doubted anything was going to change her or her mind. All she wanted to do was die. There was nothing left in the world for her or Ellie to hold onto. Society was gone. So what? They found another group of survivors. Soon enough, they'd be gone too. It was only a matter of time.
Beth stood there confused, not sure what else to say until Carol who was still sitting next to Ariel chimed in.
"Don't mind her. She's a bit depressed. I don't know what happened while she and her sister were out there or how long she's actually been like this but it seems to have affected her more."
Beth nodded and frowned a bit. Ariel could feel the blonde's eyes watching her while her own eyes continued to bore invisible holes into the stone she was still staring at.
"Come on Ariel. Beth and I will help get you into Hershel's house so you can take a shower."
The brunette felt Carol take her left arm gently and stood up, trying to take her with her. Carol then motioned to Beth who cautiously approached the broken girl and took her by the other arm and helped her stand up fully. The younger of the three didn't fight back and pretty much let the two woman pick her up. That was when Beth must have noticed Ariel's wrapped ankle.
"What happened to your ankle?"
Ariel didn't respond. Instead she just walked as best she could towards the house where Carol and Beth were leading her to since she didn't seem to have a choice in the matter. It helped that the two were helping her stand and walk though. She didn't think that even if she was keen on taking a shower or getting into some fresher clothes she'd be able to. Her ankle still hurt but not as bad as yesterday. Either way, she didn't mention it and continued on staying silent.
"She twisted it when Ellie and Shane went to go get her last night. I was told they were staying in an old barn not to far from here."
Beth nodded just as they reached the front steps to her home and both she and Carol pretty much carried the stoic Ariel up the steps and into the house. Once inside, Beth quickly turned to shut the door, only to have her father who was just about to go out, begin to question things as he approached the three women.
"Beth, what's goin' on? Who is this girl?"
Ariel looked up upon the elderly man speaking. He had white hair and wore suspenders and a clean white dress shirt along with brown work boots and a pair of wranglers blue jeans.
"Oh daddy, this is Ariel, Ellie's sister. I thought maybe it'd be a good idea to get her in the shower too since we let Ellie take one."
The man nodded at his youngest daughter and glanced over at Ariel, giving her a small smile while his blue eyes studied her with a weary look.
"It's nice to meet you Ariel. I'm Hershel, Beth and Maggie's father. I see Beth hasn't forgotten our Greene hospitality, even in these times. I can't help but notice, your ankle is wrapped up."
Hershel nodded to the brunette's ankle and she continued on not speaking so Beth stepped in.
"She sprained it on her way here."
He nodded and continued to smile kindly but even Ariel was aware that something else was going on behind his soft blue eyes. Hershel then turned to Beth.
"After she showers, make sure to re-wrap her ankle in a clean bandage. If you can, offer her some fresh clothes as well. It wouldn't be smart to let her wash up and then have her go back to wearing the same clothes she's been wearing for awhile now. I'll be out in the horse's shed if you need anything. Patricia is in the kitchen starting on supper and I also believe Maggie is out with that Asian boy on a supply run so she should be back soon."
With that, Hershel gave a nod to the three women and left, closing the inside door and letting the screen door shut behind him. Ariel heard Carol let out a long sigh of what sounded to be relief.
"I don't mean to sound rude, but I don't think your father is happy to see we have more visitors on his farm."
"Daddy is just a bit nervous is all. He isn't use to having so much company. Since the sickness, we hardly had any visitors. It was just him, me, Maggie, Jimmy, Patricia and Otis for the longest time. You and your group are the first people we've seen in awhile. To have all of you come to our farm at once is putting a strain on Daddy's nerves but don't take it to heart. He means well."
Beth smiled softly and Carol nodded, the two of them both turning to Ariel at the same time.
"Well it's settled then. Best not to waste the man's hospitality."
Carol attempted to start a conversation with Ariel but she went on acting like she didn't hear the woman. The older of the three just shook her head and bit her lip, trying her best to hold her composure and not frown.
"Can you help me take her upstairs Beth?"
The blonde gave Carol a smile and nodded, both women carried most of Ariel's weight up the stairs. The youngest Lavelle was sure it wasn't easy for either woman to practically carry her up the stairs seeing as both Beth and Carol were fairly thin like herself, but that didn't stop them from actually getting her upstairs. Once they reached the second floor, Beth turned to Carol and the woman who was intent on playing mute, pulling away and taking a step back so it was only Carol who held Ariel up.
"The bathroom is right here, second door on the left. You can get her settled in there if you like while I go get some clean clothes and a couple of towels for her."
The youngest of the three smiled sweetly before heading to another room down at the end of the hall and disappearing from sight. Ariel thought that Beth was being too nice, too sincere. This farm was secluded from the truth of the terror that lurked in the world now. It was that kind of comfort that would end up getting them all killed should a horde pass through. The brunette knew better though. There wasn't a single place out there that was safe anymore. Eventually there would be no more living and only the dead would inhabit the Earth. It was just a matter of time.
"Come on. Let's get you in there."
Ariel snapped out of her thinking, cold dead eyes meeting Carol's concerned hazel hues just before the older woman helped her hobble to the bathroom. After getting inside, she was sat on the edge of the tub; she felt like a child that couldn't take care of herself but continued on acting like she was helpless.
"Are you going to be okay by yourself or do you want me to stay?"
Again, with the sincerity and concern; it made her stomach turn with grotesque disgust. She still stayed quiet though and didn't even glance up from the rug she was now staring at which was a soft coffee brown color and smooth on the soles of her feet.
"You can't stay like this forever. It's no way to live. Do you know how worried your sister is about you? Even I'm concerned."
Carol's words were simply a dull noise in the background, like the annoying buzz of cicadas in the summertime.
"It's going to be okay. You don't have to be scared. It's safe here Ariel. You aren't alone anymore. You don't have to keep contemplating suicide."
That's when Ariel felt something snap in her brain, like the breaking of a hinge or the bursting of a dam. Slowly she lifted her gaze from the floor to meet the older woman's eyes. Her voice came out cold and thoughtless.
"Is that what you keep telling yourself when you think about your daughter whom you've lost? That it's going to be okay? That you don't have to be scared? That she's going to be found and you don't have to worry about being alone? You don't get it- none of you do. It's so much easier to give up. It's so much easier to end it by your own hand instead of waiting around for those flesh eaters to come around and do it for you. This farm isn't safe. It will fall like every other place has. You should join me. We could end this together. Who knows? Maybe you'll see your daughter again-"
Whack. A sharp sting and a fierce burning sensation across Ariel's right side of her face shut her up. Her face went blank and expressionless. She couldn't even look at Carol she was so shocked.
"You're naive and rude. How dare you speak to me like that. My daughter is alive and out there somewhere. I know she is. If you want to end it, fine. I told your sister I'd watch over you but I can't change your decision and I don't want to be around when you do what you think you have to. If you have any common decency left you'll do well to remember who you're leaving behind to face the world alone. Ellie loves you. I know she's given more than her fair share of herself just to make sure you stay alive. It's only fair that you think about that before you carelessly throw away your life."
With that, the older woman stormed out, brushing past a wide eyed Beth who must have heard everything. The brunette just sat there, unmoving and unresponsive, mulling over Carol's words. For the very first time there was no pretending; she really had no idea what to do or say. All she knew was suicide was no longer an option, but neither was living like this.
I finally updated! Any comments, votes and subscribers are much appreciated!