Sleepless, restless, useless, helpless, hopeless... just less
’’You gonna clean that mess?’’, I ask Merle when he walks in. He looks me like I’ve lost my mind. Okay, I swallow my comeback. I can do this - for Daryl. Daryl left like two hours ago. I let Merle go around the house. Now it looks like somebody had broke in here. I’m not a neat freak but.. I don’t want to stumble on thing if I have to leave with hurry. I sit downto still whole chair.
’’Actually it’s nice that you are here. It was so silent in here’’, I tell him, ’’And it’s nice to finally meet you.’’ He walks around the room. Picking stuff and putting it back.
’’How did ya two meet?’’, he asks. It’s nice to know that Daryl haven’t told my sad story. He looks around like he would find something.
’’I was in bad situation and he helped me out’’, I tell Merle. He nods like he can see that happening.
’’Yeah, sounds like him’’, Merle says, ’’How long have ya been here?’’ 33 days.
’’Over a month’’, I tell him.
’’Why aren’t ya in the prison? Kicked ya out, did they?’’, he asks and smiles. I laugh.
’’No, nothing like that’’, I tell Merle, ’’I chose to come here’’.
’’Didn’t want them to know ’bout that?’’, he asks and stares my belly again.
’’Can you stop staring it? They know about it’’, I say.
’’So, where’s the daddy?’’, he asks. It feels like a punch in the face but I try to mask it. I don’t feel like talking anymore.
’’He died’’, I say and even in my ears it sounds cold. Merle rubs his chin. He noticed it.
’’Okay, nice chat’’, I say and get up, ’’There is one room downstairsand two up. You can go eighter one of them’’. I walk out of the room without looking back. It’s even harder to get sleep now that a stranger is in here. I know Daryl wouldn’t leave him here if he would be danger to me but it feels strange.
Next morning I wake up when there is racket. First I’m paralyzed from the fear and then I remember Merle. I get up and go see what he is up to. Almost all the furniture is in pieces. I try to calm my breathing. I walk around the house and find Merle one of the rooms.
’’What the fuck are you doing?’’, I ask more tightly than I intended. Merle gets up from the bed he is putting to pieces.
’’Non of your fucking business’’, he tells me. I get angry and it feels weird because it been long time sense I got angry the last time.
’’Merle’’, I tell him, ’’This isn’t going to work if you act like this. We need to..’’ He cuts me off. He starts to walk towards me. Holy shit my heart starts to hammer in my chest. He is even more hostile than Daryl.
’’We need to what?’’, he yells, ’’Work together and sing kumbaya?’’ He makes me little nervous. He is bigger than me and he has fricking knife taped to his hand. I take a step back.
’’Listen’’, I say and lift my hand, ’’We don’t need to be pals. It’s fine by me. You don’t have to take care of me. I’m not looking for a provider. I just want little pit of piece. I’m not a neat freak but I can’t be stumblingall this stuff in the dark. You understand?’’ He stares me a long time. ’
’Fine’’, he says tightly.
’’Good’’, I say and lower my hand. I turn around and start to clean the fucking mess he made.
Daryl walks in the forest silently. Hunting should be relaxing but it ain’t today. All he can think is Raya with his brother. He loves Merle but sometimes he can be real dick. That is not something Raya needs. She needs to come to them and not be all alone. But Daryl knows he can’t force her. She needs to make her own decisions. Maybe Merle can be dick enough to sway her to come to them. It’s not what he intendedbut there is a plus side to it. Not that she’s going to be happy about it but at leasthe could see that she is safe. Maybe shooting some wild life will relax him enough.
’’Merle Dixon, what the fuck are you doing?’’, I practicallyyell. I just got back from a run. I thankfully found some cans to feed us. And I find Merle...doing God knows what. He turns to look at me.
’’What?’’, he yells back to me. There is big hole in the front yardand he is pulling bathtub. It looks like makeshift water heater/bath.
’’Why the fuck there is a huge hole in the yard?’’, I ask not so nicely.
’’I’m gonna wash myself’’, he tells me. I hope I’m not going to see his naked ass.
’’In the middle of the yard?’’, I ask. He straightens.
’’What’s the fucking big deal?’’, he asksand seems agitated. I rub my sour back. My legs scream from the pain.
’’Nothing’’, I say and take my back bagoff. I rummagethru it and take the can from there. I toss it to him and he catches it effortlessly. Go figures.
’’There’’, I say, ’’It’s all I found’’. I walk back to house. I need to rest. Hours later I see him bathing, smoking and drinking in the front yard. He’s making my head hurt.
I cry in the middle of the night. I had one of those dreams again. This time it was about Roscoe. He stabbed me in the belly. Said that I didn’t deserve the baby. I flinch when my door opens.
’’Can ya fucking cry in your pillow or somethin’. I’m tryin’ to fuckin’ sleep here’’, Merle yells at me. ’’Go fuck yourself’’, I yell.
’’Well maybe I will. Rather me that ya’’, he yells and slams the door. I continue crying.
’’Can you fucking stop that screamin’?’’, Merle yells. I wake up to his shout. My heart is hammering. I wipe my face and it’s wet. Another bad dream. It’s been two weels non stop nightmares.
’’I can’t fucking take it if ya yell every night’’, he yells at me. I feel like crying still and tears fall to my cheeks.
’’Oh, come on. Stop being such a pussy’’, he yells me. I get up and try to push him away. I can’t stop crying.
’’GO’’, I yell, ’’GET OUT’’. Merle takes a hold of my wrist and shakes me hard.
’’Don’t fucking think that I take this kind of treatin’ ’’, he yells to my face. I cry harder.
’’Quit the fuckin’ crying’’, he yells. I let my head fall. I can’t take it. He lets go of me.
’’Fuckin’ hell girl’’, he says and leaves. I fall to the floor and continue crying.
I stare the yellow car. Today was a good day. We found cans that should be enough for the rest of the week and I found this yellow beast that works.
’’Merle’’, I say to him when he comes out of the house. He walks to me.
’’We don’t have to walk back’’, I tell to Merle and smile. Then I turn towards the car.
’’Well, hell girl, ya did good’’, he says and opens his palm to me.
’’I drive’’, I tell him and sit in the car. He comes in too.
’’Buckle up buttercup’’, I tell him and start the car. He doesn’t do anything.
’’No, seriously. I don’t want to see you fly thru the window if we crash’’, I tell him. He furrows his brows. It’s nice change to drive. I love driving.
’’Fine’’, he says. I start to drive but it’s little bittwitching.I push the gas more and the car lurched. I sail from one side to another and the car keeps high speed. I try to change the gear but I can’t. Merle is looking me like I’m insane.
’’Where the fuck did you learn to drive?’’, he asks. We almost hit a dead man.
’’Dad’’, I tell him. I again try to change the gear but it only makes weird noises.
’’Stop that’’, he yellsat me.
’’Shut up, I’m driving’’, I yell back.
’’My five years old neighbordrovebetter than you’’, he yells back. I turn to look at him and step on the brake.
’’What the fuck?’’, Merle asks.
’’You can walk back if you want’’, I tell him, whenhe doesn’t do anything I push the gas. Car lurches again. Just before our gates the car stops and smoke rises from under the hood. Merle gets out.
’’Ya fuckin’ moron’’, he yellsto me. I get out too.
’’Me?’’, I yell back. I see dead one behind Merle.
’’You’’, he yells and stabsthe dead one in the head, ’’Ya drive like a lunatic’’. He huffs and goes to the gate and climes over. I kick the car. Stupid Merle.
Daryl paces around the prison yard. All he thinks it Raya. It’s been again weeks sence he saw her. He walks to Rick. He can’t take it anymore.
’’I’m gonna go for run’’, he tells Rick, ’’Try to find somethin’.’’
’’Okay’’, Rick answers.
’’I’m gonna stay the night with Raya’’, he says.
’’Okay. Is Merle still there?’’, Rick asks.
’’Yeah’’, he tells him. Rick nods to him and he leaves. Daryl hops to his bike.
I stare the falling leaves from kitchen window. Fall is coming fast. I need to find myself warm clothes. I’ve always thought fall was sad time. Now with my hormones running wild, I can’t prevent tear fall down. Just then Merle walks to the kitchen. I don’t turn to him. I hear him stop.
’’Not again’’, he says. I wipe my face. I can’t wait the time that I don’t cry this much. Everything feels so sad. I turn to look at him.
’’What now?’’, he asks impatient.
’’Nothing’’, I say and wrap my arms around me as much as I can. I hear him huff.
’’Ya’re making me fuckin’ crazy’’, he yells when he leaves the kitchen. I turn back to the window.
I hear a bike roar. I run out and see Daryl park his bike there. He walks to the gate.
’’Gate work yet?’’, he asks. I shake my head. He climes over and then turns to look at the gate and then back to me. I can see him thinking.
’’It’s fine’’, I tell him. I rub my arms.
’’Let’s go in. It cold in here’’, he says to me. Inside I insist that he eats. He doesn’t want to but I know he needs to. He is just thinking that I need it more. Daryl goes to find Merle. He is with him quite some time and then he comes back. He sits on the table and looks me making food.
Raya is making food. Daryl don’t need it but she didn’t take no for an answer. He watches her and bite his lip. She looks healthy. Her belly has grown a lot sence the last time. In a little girl like her, it looks even bigger. She should come to the prison already. Daryl curses himself of coming with his bike. He can’t take her with him. He is not risking her with a bike. Daryl eats while Raya tells him about the car, they found. Merle already told him about it but he doesn’t say anything. Apparently she drives like a crazy. That makes him smile a little. He hopes Merle got good scare about it.
’’How’re feelin’?’’, Daryl asks when he is done eating. She turns to look at him and shrugs.
’’How’s the baby?’’, he asks. She smiles.
’’It moves around a lot’’, she tells Daryl.
’’Good. C’me on. I have a job for ya’’, Daryl says and gets up. He wants her to feel useful. Little job for her will take it a long way. They walk outside and Daryl gives Raya woods to sharpen.
’’How you didn’t end up like your brother?’’, I ask knowing it’s really personal question. Daryl slowly turns to look at me. Wrong question.
’’Sorry. Your brother haven’t really been the nicest person’’, I say and turn back to my task.
’’He’ll come ’round’’, he says. I turn to look at him.
’’I don’t think so. We fight every day and night. He yells at me if I start to cry and unfortunately I do it a lot’’, I tell him.
’’That’s a good sign. If he stops fightin’ ya then ya’re in deep shit’’, he tells me and takes the sharpened wood from my hands. I dust my hands.
’’Well, thanks for the heads up’’, I tell him. I watch as he lines the woods on the gate. I massage my belly. It’s quite big already. I should think about going to the prison with Daryl.
’’Does the car work?’’, he asks. I look at the yellow car behind the gate.
’’No. Your brother blames me about it’’, I smile. Daryl turns to look at me.
’’Well, you were drivin´it’’, he says and I laugh.
’’Yeah, I was’’, I say proudly and continue laughing, ’’I don’t think he’ll ever come with me anywhere if I drive’’.
’’How’re still alive?’’, he asks. I turn to look at him.
’’Roscoe used to ask that too. He would rather drive with his ex, that was total bitch than with me’’, I tell him.
’’Sounds like a wise guy’’, he says. I sigh. Daryl sits next to me.
’’In his own way. Before all this, he was always so careful. He though that everything would kill him. I was the one that was always in trouble’’, I tell him, ’’He changed after. He came to get me from home. Our parents were somewhere. I can’t even remember where. Roscoe took charge. I asked him what happened, but he didn’t tell me. He was so cold and distant. He made all the decisions. I tried to fight him, buthe didn’t give an inch. After a while, he mellowed down or hid it better. Sometime he still had this expression. Something happened’’, I realize that I’m blabbering, ’’Oh my God, I’m sorry. I’m totally blabbering.’’
’’No, it’s fine’’, he tells me. I’m silent. I haven’t really thought about Roscoe awhile. I try to keep myself busy. Thinking might just kill me. Now that I have all these hormones, it’s harder.
’’How’s things in prison?’’, I ask. I need something else to think.
’’Good’’, he answers.
’’How’s the baby?’’, I ask.
’’She is fine’’, he tells me. I strech my back. It’s sore from all the moving around, climing and lifting.
’’Back hurt?’’, Daryl asks. I turn to look at him.
’’Yeah’’, I say, ’’I think it’s normal’’. He comes behind me. Gently he starts to rub my back. I grunt.
’’Does this hurt?’’, Daryl asks and stops.
’’No. It feels amazing. Please don’t stop’’, I say to him. He starts again even more gently. I cover my mouth and try to subress any noise coming from my me. It feels amazing.
’’Ya’re makin’ me retch’’, I hear Merle say and look behind us. He is standing there and then he leaves. Without thinking I lean myself to Daryls chest. We are silent. He is so warm and solid. The baby moves around. I take Daryls hands and place them on my belly. The baby moves around while we are silent. Both lost in our own mind.
’’So, what ya kids been up to?’’, Merle asks. Raya is stirring beans to all of us. Daryl turn to look at him brother.He knows his brother. And from the look of him, he has something in his mind. Raya turns to him. She looks guarded. Things hasn’t been easy here. Daryl looks them both. Merle is arrogant as always. He carries himself with power. Raya straightens her back. Daryl smiles a little but covers it as soon as possible. Her spirit hasn’t been crushed.
’’I’m making beans to all of us’’, Raya says to him.
’’Good. I’m starving’’, Merle says and sits next to Daryl to a broken couch.We eat in silence. It’s not awkward but it’n not easy eighter. Merle gets up when he is done.
’’Ya kids be good’’, he says and disappears. Daryl helps Raya to clean up and then they go to the bed room. Raya walks to the master bedroom. She turns to Daryl at the door.
’’I moved another bed here but if you want there is the other bed in the room we were last time’’, she tells Daryl.
’’It’s fine’’, he says. Daryl walks to the single bed and Raya grawls to the big bed. Daryl takes his vest away and lies on the bed.Raya blows the candle. Daryl hears Raya sigh.
I cry. I wrap in a tight ball to silence my crying. I know Merle hates it and I can’t deal with his yelling. I feel arms wrap around me. First I tense up butthen I remember that Daryl is here. I push myself to him as much as I can with the big belly I got. He is solid and warm. I cry to his chest. He is there for me. Raya is shaking in Daryls arms. She is not as fine as she seems. In a moment she calms down. She is layng in Daryls arms. He doesn’t want to let her go. She is so small. She curls up to Daryl and they lay in the big bed. Merle told him that she is screaming every night. She is not sleeping well. Atleast she is eating. Daryl doesn’t know how far the pregnancy is but it can’t be long time till the birth. He just wants her to come to the prison.
He is so calm. I want to crawl to his lap. I feel like can’t get close enough but I try to think him. Maybe he doesn’t want me here. He needs space.
’’I’m sorry’’, I tell him and try to move away. He doesn’t let me go.
’’Another nightmare?’’, Daryl asks still keeping me securely in his arms. I just nod. I don’t want him to know that I have them every night.
’’You remember it?’’, he asks me. Unfortunately yes.
’’Yes. The man was in it. I was tied and he opened me up and took the baby away’’, I tell him. I know it doesn’t sound so bad but it was. Daryl squeeses me little pit.
’’You should come to the prison’’, Daryl says to me. I lay my head to his chest. His heart is beating steadily.
’’I know’’, I say, ’’It’s a long way to walk’’.
’’Nah, I come get you’’, he tells me. I smile a little.
’’Next time?’’, I ask and look to him. He looks to me.
’’Yeah, next time’’, he tells me. After that we are silent and I fall to sleep.
Took me longer than I wanted. Sorry about that. What do you think?