The Lies I Tell Myself (Depression)

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       Continuing on away from everything is beginning to take a toll on me.  I haven't been able to escape all of the hell of the world, and now I'm surrounded by the worst monsters and the absolute destruction of the world I once knew.  I was about to leave across the border of Texas when I noticed a man in work overalls and a buttoned up shirt, sleeves rolled up, and obviously looking for a ride.  His right thumb was held outstretched towards the road, hoping that I would stop and give him a ride.  I didn't plan on giving him a ride after my experience with Murdoch, or whoever he was, that was until I saw his face.  His face didn't have a smile, nor a frown.  There was no sorrow, no regret.  It was the face of a man who wanted to leave Texas, just as much as I did.  I let him sit on the passenger side and continued on.  He wasn't a person for small talk, but I figured I would ask him what his name was.  "I don't want to bother you too much, but I'd figure that I'd ask what your name is."  He remained silent for a few minutes after, and then   he spoke.  

       He spoke with a voice of a person who had lost everything.  That wasn't unusual for me to hear out in this broken down world we were surviving in, but his was different.  He had an air of relief or I suppose aloofness to his attitude.  "My name is Free, miss."  His name unnerved me.  For a man who called himself "free", he seemed to be weighed down by a lot.

       "Do you mind me asking where you're heading?"

        "I'm heading West miss.  I want to see the seashore before I die."

        I supposed it was his dying wish.  We continued on in silence for another twenty miles before he spoke up again.  "I left all of my past behind me, and would like to take my final bullet and end myself along the seashore."  If everything was normal, I would have tried to convince him not to try to kill himself, but I continued on without mentioning a hint of disapproval.  I didn't want to see him die, but at the same time, I didn't want to remain there arguing with him while more zombies followed us.  We continued on for another hundred miles before I had to pull over the vehicle and start filling it with gasoline.

       "There's plenty of gasoline in the back, but I need time to fill up the tank."  I handed Free a bowie knife that I had found earlier for protection.  "Can you cover me while I fill the tank?"

          He looked the blade over and tested the sharpness by sliding it over his arm hairs to see if it would cut.  After being satisfied with the results he looked up and nodded.  I immediately went to work on removing one of the larger canisters that weren't completely full and began to empty it into the tank.  There were a couple of zombies that were walking towards us, but Free looked more than capable of dealing with them.  As I was nearly done emptying that canister into the vehicle, I saw Free make quick work of one of the zombies.  He took the blade and sliced the head of one of the zombies clean off in one strike, beheading the creature.  I went to the back of the SUV and grabbed another canister and began to empty it into the tank as Free began to stab the other zombie repeatedly in the chest until it fell over, infected blood spilling out of its open gashes.  Free proudly walked back to the SUV, an open gait and air of relief encircling his otherwise gloomy exterior.  "Took care of the walkers out here.  Hopefully, that's enough gas for us to make it all the way to San Fransisco."

          I gave a half smile and responded.  "We should have more than enough to get to San Fransisco and even head out if things become too dangerous."

          Free chuckled at that response.  "Oh!  Don't worry, miss.  As long as I'm here, we'll be fine.  He hopped back into the passenger's seat and off we went back onto the road.  Another fifty miles passed by as we passed through two small town areas, zombies littered the empty homes.  As we continued on down the road and night began to fall, I took notice of Free staring at me like he was trying to read my facial expressions.  "You look like you're carrying a lot on your shoulders there, miss."  He adjusted his position in his seat so that he was facing me.  "What might you be carrying on your shoulders?"

         I bit my lip in frustration of having to answer him, but I figured that I might as well.  "I witnessed my ex and his friends get swallowed by a massive zombie.  I also killed two men who had tried to imprison me."  I began to feel tears welt up in my eyes as I recalled the torture I endured.  The torture of Mr. Keen and Murdoch brought tears to my eyes.  The memories of being held captive and the feeling of being thought of as less than human to those men instilled sadness in me.  Through my gritted tears, and the silent gaze Free was giving me, I noticed a guy, who couldn't be older than 18, on the side of the road, who was covered in blood.  He was near a camp and rose up a hitchhiker's thumb to indicate to us that he needed a ride.  I looked over at Free who had already taken notice of the guy and decided to ask him for his opinion.  "Do you think we should take him with us?"

        Free tossed an intrigued smile in my direction and shrugged,  "Why not?  He could be hurt and survived this long.  Besides, he's alone, and nobody should be alone out here."

        We pulled over on the side of the road to allow him to hop into the backseat.  "Thank you both very much for stopping to pick me up instead of just shooting me."

         Free was first to respond, "Don't give us a reason to, and we should be just fine!"

         I spoke next, "Where are you heading?"

         The guy spoke with a soft voice as if he wanted to keep this a secret between the only three living people in the desert.  "San Fransisco.  I need to go to a medical research facility so they can take blood samples from me."

          Free and I exchanged a confused look at each other, then looked back at the guy.  I spoke up again, "What for?"

           This is when the guy, who had been looking down and avoiding our eye contact had lifted up his head to meet us with a grisly gaze from two bright green eyes.  "I need them to develop a cure for the zombie plague out of my blood.  It'll save what remaining humans are left."

           Free began to laugh at this comment, "Really kid?  What's there left to us to save?"  Free pointed at me and back at himself to emphasize his point.  "Her?  Me?  Even if we did find a few more people, we'd never survive our entire lives in this world.  It's a fool's errand!"

           The guy got irritated now.  His tone changed as he spoke, "First off, the name is Eli.  Second, too many people have died to try to get me to San Fransisco  for me to just give up.  Call it what you want, but I WILL be going to that facility, alive or dead."

           Free wanted to aggravate Eli further, but I put an end to it.  "Free, that's enough!  I think Eli's mission is a great one, and we'll have plenty of time to do it once we get there."

           And with that, we mostly fell silent for the entire duration of the trip, only having slight remarks between each other on what we would do after we reach San Fransisco.  I still wanted to head North, Free planned on roaming the Alaskan north once we had left San Francisco, and Eli said that he would stay there if it was safe enough, and if not head north with us.  We arrived in San Fransisco four hours later, just as dawn was starting to cover the empty city in a beautiful shade of purple and red.  We continued on driving through the city in search of the research facility, avoiding zombie encounter after zombie encounter until we noticed another large, monster zombie eating something in an alleyway.  Eli began to scream at me, "Speed up!  Speed up! Speed up!  MOVE!  Don't let that thing catch  us!"  Something in Eli's eyes caught my attention as he began to scream, and it drove me to speed off quicker than he could have told me to.  There were now a second pupil and iris within his left eye that was staring directly at me.

           Free was in agreement, "Floor it!"

           I heeded their demands and began to speed up my the vehicle to over seventy miles an hour, mowing down any zombies that got in the way.  As I sped through the streets of San Fransisco, darting in between intersections and trying to avoid the monster that was chasing us, I could still clearly see it in the rear-view mirror.  Both Free and Eli were giving me verbal cues as to whether or not the monster was behind us or closing in.  I left one of the intersections and drove onto the highway, darting in between stationary cars and driving for the exit that led to the medical research facility Eli needed to go to.  But it was then that the unthinkable happened for us; the monster caught up to us, and flung our vehicle from its back tires, sending us flying through the air, off of the highway, and send the SUV in a tumble across the asphalt.

          Free and Eli were screaming in protest, I ended up bursting into tears.  The vehicle hit the pavement hard and rolled across the ground.  The airbags in the vehicle went off, and we ended up crashing through what appeared to be a fence.  By the time we had come too and were slowly emerging from the rubble of the SUV, the beast had already caught up to us, and let out a triumphant roar to indicate that he had caught his next meal.  Eli was the first to emerge, but not quite as Eli himself.  He was different.  His veins were popped, his eyes were a bloodshot greenish-red, and his body had already healed up from the impact.  He let out a roar of his own that sounded eerily similar to a zombie and lunged at the beast.

         Eli would be no match on his own, so Free got out of the SUV, pulled me out in a hurry telling me "We've gotta help him kill that thing!", and proceeded to whip out his revolver and start shooting at the beast.  Eli had the beast in an arm lock, trying to slash at the beast's face and cause harm, but the beast simply lifted Eli up and threw him down on the ground like a basketball, making Eli's body bounce on the pavement.  His body left out a gasp for air, as the force had knocked it out of him...along with some blood.  Free kept shooting at the beast's head, hoping to lodge one in its skull, but to no avail.  I was in tears, wondering why this had to happen to me, why I was likely gonna die at the hands of this beast, and wondering why I was left to die like this in the first place.  Who could have caused all of this?

         And it was then that I noticed it, there was a shotgun that I had scrounged from one of the abandoned towns I drove through and it was loaded and laying on the ground.  I knew that they would both die if I didn't act.  I moved my body as quickly as I could to grab the shotgun, sat upright against the SUV, and began to fire at the head of the beast.  The first shot got its attention and peppered its face.  The second shot pierced its leg when I fired again by accident due to the recoil.  The beast began to walk towards me and lifted me up with its hand.  It opened its mouth, ready to eat me whole.  But then Free struck a blow that toppled the beast.  Free tackled the beast's wounded leg, screamed "No you don't!", and caused the beast to topple, releasing me from its grip as we struck the ground.  As the beast tried to get up, Eli straddled the neck of the beast and placed his hands onto the beast's skull.

         "No one does this to Jericho!", he screamed at the beast in a voice that I did not hear him make before, and it filled me with fear as I witnessed Eli rip the beast's head in half with just his bare hands.  Free pulled out another bullet from his back pocket, one that he didn't carry in his regular ammo pack.

            "Well Jericho, this looks like the end.  Unfortunately, since you're a zombie who'll likely kill us both, I'm gonna have to kill you."

             Jericho didn't like this one bit.  He lunged at Free, tackling him to the ground and forcing him to drop his revolver.  Free did all he could to block the punches from Jericho and resist the massive amount of pain that Jericho was inflicting upon him.  It was then that my emotions truly hit home.  No matter what, I was going to die out here.  It was all just a matter of time.  I closed my eyes, waiting in anticipation of who would win.  It was a long fight between the two of them, and I dreaded every second as I waited for the outcome.  I couldn't stop them without killing them both, and I was overcome with the sadness and my emotions as they hit me like a massive wave.  I gritted my teeth as I waited for the outcome.  I wanted neither one of them to die, but I knew it was too late to prevent that.  I spoke aloud to them, hoping my voice could be overheard during their fight.  "Come on!  Just end the fight!  End it!"  I continued to wait, tears still pouring down my face.  And I screamed when I heard the bullet ring out.

(I can't keep doing this anymore.  I just have to accept my fate.)

End of Depression



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