Ten years ago Daryl had sworn himself that he won't ever come back, that he won't ever take a foot in his home town again for the rest of his life. But now he still found himself on the main road, which was leading to the city he never ever wanted to go back again.
His grip on the steering wheel was the same since he had started the car, tensed and sweating. Supporting his left elbow by the door, Daryl was biting nervously on his thumb. It was a bad habit, which he had since he was a little kid.
He was smoking his cigarettes almost in a rough, because he was so damn nervous and maybe also a little scared. He never wanted to even see his home town from far away in his life again, but now he was really doing it. Because his old man had somehow managed to close his eyes forever.
The people from the nursing home had called him last week. And because he was the only one who had picked up the phone, it was his job now to signature some documents, taking his less heritage and move out the few useful things from the old, stinky hut his father was living the last years, where he was also maintained the last time, when he wasn't that good any more.
Daryl hated himself for picking up his phone that day, he should had never done it. He was the only one who had picked up the phone, of course, because there were just two people who his old man had left, Merle and himself. And Merle hadn't spoken with their father since he had moved out, when he was fifteen.
Of course Daryl could have said no on the phone, but the lady just talked him into it and so he was driving on this sunny spring day to his old home town, without his will.
The first hour he wasn't listening to the songs on the radio, but still the sound annoyed him, so he finally took it off, because his thoughts inside his head were already loud enough. They were almost screaming and best Daryl wanted to turn around the car and get back to his unwelcoming, old flat in Atlanta and live the stupid life again he was used to, but something inside himself didn't let him do this.
The roads were almost empty, of course everyone had something better to do on such a nice Saturday, instead of sitting in a hot car and sweating all the time. Daryl tried to concentrate on the road in front of him, but somehow his thoughts began to drift off..
He knew that you just couldn't imagine about your first couple of years in your life, but the first thing Daryl was still able to remember was, when his bigger brother Merle came home from school and told them the news that their neighbours, the Greene's, will get a third child. His school friend Shawn, the Greene's first kid, had told it him that day.
Of course no one really cared about this news, Daryl's father was already damn drunk again, even when it wasn't even noon. His mother was high from some stupid, cheap drugs and Daryl himself didn't know what he should think about it, because he had never seen a baby in his life before.
Eight months later Merle came excited home from school and said that Mrs. Greene gave birth to a little girl yesterday. And again Daryl just didn't know what to think about this information.
Of course, Daryl also knew the Greene family, even well. Shawn and Merle were in the same age and also school class. Shawn's little sister Maggie was going with Daryl together in the nursery school. Daryl didn't like very much, she was always so loud and commented everyone.
His father and Mr. Greene were good friends, before Mr. Greene had stopped drinking alcohol, because their kids were born, he and Daryl's father were often together drinking at some old, stinky bars.
Finally they ended up with becoming neighbours in this village and even when his father and Hershel Greene weren't that good friends any more, Daryl was always welcomed in their farmhouse.
After three days Merle had told him that Anette Greene had given birth to the youngest Greene, Merle said to Daryl that afternoon, that they were already at home and he will go over to them now to take a look at the little baby. When Merle asked Daryl if he wanted to come along, he first didn't know if he should, but finally he agreed and the two brothers headed out to their neighbours.
Automatically Daryl reached for Merle's hand, because even when Daryl was old enough, he still had problems with going sometimes, because he never really learned it. Most Merle was teaching him everything, instead of his parents, who should do it, and maybe because he was feeling bad for his little brother, Merle always took his baby brother's hand, when Daryl was reaching for his.
Hand in hand they entered the Greene's big farm house and soon they could hear Shawn's and Maggie's voices from the living room. Somehow Daryl got nervous, because he had never seen a new born before in his life. He didn't know what he should do or what he should say, because he just never was good with words, even when he was still little. What if the baby will start crying because of him?
Maybe if his older brother wasn't still holding his hand, he would have just turned around and went home again. As quiet as possible the two boys entered the bright living room. The whole Greene family was standing around a little grip in the middle of the room.
Like always Anette welcomed the two of them lovingly and Hershel moved his hand kindly through their soft hair. "Are you coming to take a look at the new Greene?" Hershel asked them with a bright, proudly smile. After nodding Maggie and Shawn made some place, so the two brothers could take a look.
With widened eyes and an opened mouth Daryl was looking at the little, sleeping baby. He had never seen a new born before, but this little girl in front of him was looking like one of the dolls the girls in the nursery school were playing with. Or like the perfect babies in the fairy trails Daryl was skipping through from time to time.
She was looking so tiny, so sweet and so clean. Her skin was as pale as porcelain, her nose so tiny like Daryl's thumb, her cheeks a little rosy. The little baby girl was just perfect.
Soon Maggie, Shawn and Merle were leaving the room for go playing in the garden, because they quickly got bored from the sleeping baby. But Daryl didn't leave, he just couldn't.
His little fists were clasping the grating bars of the grip, while he was looking through them with big eyes and an opened mouth. Daryl just couldn't look away from this sweet baby. He wasn't nervous any more, instead he was even curios about this little human.
Suddenly the baby began to move and Daryl took a step back, because he thought that he had done something wrong and she will probably start to scream and cry soon. But instead the baby just moved his head, so she was facing him now.
After seconds of watching the perfect little face, Daryl could see how the baby slowly began to open its eyes. The second thing he had never seen in his life before, till this day was next to a baby, such big, light blue eyes like these from the sweet baby girl.
They were looking into each other eyes for seconds, till Daryl slowly lifted his right hand and waved to the baby's direction. "Hey I'm Daryl." He told her with a smile in his face, but the girl just kept on looking at him.
Suddenly Anette placed lovingly her hand on Daryl's shoulder and said "I see the two of you already got friends." He just nodded his head then, because even when Daryl knew the Greene family since the beginning he was still very shy sometimes.
"Her name is Beth." Anette told Daryl with a big smile in her face. And the only thing Daryl was thinking at that moment was that Beth was a fitting name for this beautiful baby.
Since that day Daryl visited little baby Beth every day, even when Merle wasn't coming with him, before he would have never done it, but now he just had to go there to see the sweet baby again. To make sure that she was okay.
While the other were playing together Daryl was always sitting next to the grip and watched little Beth inside. He was feeling so proud, when one day Hershel placed the baby girl into his arms. With her big eyes Beth was looking up at him and finally stretched her little hand in his direction.
Daryl placed his index finger into her fist then and could feel how she was pressing it. Little Beth even smiled back at him, when Daryl said her name and stroked protective over her soft cheek. Soon Hershel and Annette were calling him lovingly Beth's little chaperone.
And he really was, Merle was sometimes teasing him about that, because Daryl spent so much time with the little girl that he was calling him stupid names. But Daryl always defended himself and Beth, because he was having fun with being near to the baby, to watch her.
Daryl was there when Beth said her first word, he was there when she was crying, he was there when she made her first steps and he was there when she was laughing. He was just always there for her.
Daryl got even more protective, when Beth began to come along playingwith Maggie, Shane, Merle and himself. She still couldn't really say his name, but he didn't care about that, because he knew that 'Dadyl' meant Daryl.
He always took her hand when they went up- or downstairs, he stayed back by her side, when she couldn't run that fast like the other or he just carried her protective in his arms.
Beth was everyone's little sunshine, because she was so damn cute and well-behaved. Her long, light blond hair, her sweet snub nose, her freckles and her big, light blue eyes contribute to that. And especially she was Daryl's sunshine, like she was his worship.
They spent every day together, not even one afternoon they were apart. Daryl always waited after school to pick her up from the nursery school, so they could go together back home. Daryl had taught her how to ride a bike, they were swaying together, he also taught her how to swim, they were just doing everything together.
They got even closer when Beth also started to go to school. It happened more than once that Daryl got into a fight, because someone was teasing Beth. No one was teasing her without getting into a fight with him. Daryl didn't care about the admonished words from his teacher, because he was always the culprit, don't matter what he was telling the adult.
But Beth always thanked him with a sweet thank you and a quick kiss on his cheek. That was enough for Daryl to do it again the next time. Sometimes Merle was teasing him that Beth was his little girlfriend, but Daryl didn't care about his words, because he would do anything for his friend.
Not only other kids were teasing Beth, because she was still so tiny and thin, her brother and sister were also doing it sometimes. And Daryl always cradled her in his arms and comforted her, when she was crying because of their words.
But Beth did the same, when Daryl was crying on top of her bed, because his parents were fighting again. She always stroked lovingly his trembling back, while he was hiding his face ashamed into her pillows. Because his father had always told him, that only weak men were crying and if he would be a real man he wouldn't cry even one tear.
So Daryl always held back his tears, till he was alone with Beth and he could let them out, because she was the only one who knew everything about him. Every secret, every bad thing his parents had ever said or done to him.
With Beth he was feeling almost normal, he was feeling comfortable. She always listened with her whole heart to his stories and never laughed at him. She was his best friend and he was her's. They just couldn't be without the other.
But then there came the day when Beth and he came around the corner, which was leading to their houses after school and they saw the big, grey smoking cloud. Daryl was in shock, while they were watching how his house was burning down to the ground. Finally Beth took his hand and leaded them to her house.
Merle was still at school, his father at some random bar drinking like every day and his mother had died in the middle of the flames. Even when Daryl was never close to his mother, he had cried his eyes out, because she was still his mother.
Till they got a new home, Daryl and Merle were sleeping by the Greene's and even when everything was so sad, Daryl enjoyed these few days. Because they were all so kind and nice to him. They got breakfast, lunch after coming home from school and even a warm dinner and before they got to bed Hershel and Anette placed a lovingly kiss even on Daryl's head.
These days he was sleeping together with Beth in her bed. She was always telling him that his mother was in the sky now and was watching down at him, was protecting him. Even when Beth was younger than him, she was very clever and brave for her age.
One time she got into a fight at school, because of him. Stupid Tom was teasing him with calling him redneck and that his mother was dead, because she was even too stupid to smoke. Beth was always there for him, especially when everything got worse with his father, after they got a new home a few streets away from the Greene's house.
It was more an old, stinky hut than a house. Daryl hated his new home and his father cared even less about the two brothers. But the worst thing was that he started beating them with his belt. It wasn't the first time his father was beating Merle and him, but since their mother was dead, he was beating them harder and more often.
And again Beth was the only one who was comforting him, while his back was hurting badly and his heart was broken. She was also the only one, who had ever seen his bare back and the deep scars there. Daryl wished for a family like the Greene's, they were always respectful and kind to each other, but he just couldn't change his situation.
But Beth tried to make him happy every time they were seeing each other. She was always smiling that beautiful, sweet smile at him, her big, blue eyes were shining, while they were playing together. How she took his and in hers and told him that everything will be good again. Sometimes Daryl didn't know what he would do without her.
In the summers they went camping somewhere on the Greene's big farm and told them secrets the whole night long, while they were watching the stars above them. They were telling each other what they wanted to become, when they will grow up and Beth never laughed about his crazy ideas of becoming the best mechanic in the whole country.
Beth was everything for Daryl. He could tell her just everything, he could show her the feelings he had to suppress the rest of the time. He was feeling accepted and even comfortable around her.
Next to camping they loved it to go swimming in the Greene's little pond, riding bike are just laying somewhere on the meadow and enjoyed the sunbeams.
In the winter they liked to go ice-skating on their frozen pond, making as many snow men as possible and going to toboggan. Beth easily got sick in the winter months and when she was so Daryl never left her side for even one second. He was reading out loud from books for her, they were playing cards in her bed or he was just sitting next to her, while she was sleeping.
Daryl's life changed a second time when his brother Merle moved out after a big, loud fight with their father. Daryl was still a shy, unsure kid then. Merle didn't take his hand any more since years, not because Daryl needed it for supporting his steps, sometimes he just had the need to, because next to Beth, Merle was the only one Daryl was trusting completely.
He also wasn't comforting him any more, when Daryl was crying after their father had beaten him again. Instead, Merle was telling him, just like his old man, that he shouldn't show his tears. So Daryl held them back, sometimes even hours, till he was with Beth alone and he could cry them finally out of his body then.
Even when the two brothers weren't that close any more since a long time, Daryl missed Merle so much, when he was gone. Daryl was feeling so alone and betrayed from his brother, because he let him alone back by their dangerous father. He was begging him to take him along, but Merle just said that he couldn't watch out for him, he had better things to do.
Daryl's father finally even stopped with getting some food home, so Daryl spent even more time by the Greene's. He was there every day and just got home to sleep, but this also only during the week days. On the weekends he was continuous by Beth.
One day Beth told him, that she didn't have time for him next afternoon because she was meeting some of her school friends. Daryl didn't know why he was so sad, but he had cried that whole afternoon, because of that. Maybe he was afraid that he will lose Beth or that she didn't want him any more.
Daryl didn't have any other friends than Beth. All what he could do was waiting till she will come home. But soon he got to know that she hadn't forgotten about him, because from next day on everything was like always again.
He got used to, that Beth was sometimes meeting her other friends from school and because Daryl didn't know what to do with himself, he spent these afternoon with Merle and his stupid friends...