I was looking up at the stars. The night was quiet aside from the crickets making sounds here and there. It’s been months since the boat exploded, since we got home, since we’ve been safe.
“Hey Vi.” I heard and looked over to Clementine and I smiled a bit.
“Whatcha thinking?” She asked.
“Lots of things, mostly the boat and you.” I said as I looked at the stars.
“It’s close to summer time.” She says and I nod.
“Yea…. Yea it is…. I use to love the summer.”
“Oh? Use to?” She asked and I nod.
“Yea… the dead started walking in the summer time so it’s gonna be nine years since all this happened.” I said.
“True, I told you about what I did when all this started?” She asked and I chuckled.
“Yea, you would draw, and kick a soccer ball around, you only told me the good times though.” I said.
“It’s better to remember the good, than the bad.” She says and I nod.
“Yea…. I use to play at my grandparents home during the summer.”
“I never knew my grandparents, to young when they passed, but my dad.”
“Took you to baseball games.” I said when she went silent and she nods.
“You still hate baseball?” She asked.
“Yea but you make it seem cool.”
“Damn right.” She says and I look at her as she leaned back on to the roof and closed her eyes.
“Tennessee has grown up.” She says.
“So has AJ.” She says and I nod.
“You raised him for so long.” I said and she laughed a bit.
“Did I tell you about the time AJ pulled my hair when he was younger?” She asked and I nodded and we both laughed at the thought.
“Yea He was trying to grab your cap.” I said.
“He found it you know.” I said and she nodded.
“Yea…. I’m glad he did.” She says and I look at the group as they laughed at one of Louis’s funny gestures.
“I’m sorry for what happened to Louis.”
“Does he?” She asked.
“I think he knows.”
“I should tell him.”
“You can… when you can talk to him.” I said and she nods and closes her eyes a bit as she relaxes.
“You wanna know what I really like about you?” I asked.
“Hmm my personality?” She asked and I laughed and nodded.
“I love your eyes…. Amber colored, hard yet soft, seen many things yet still hold that shine.” I said.
“I’m surprised though.” She says and I smile a bit.
“I love it when you sing….. why don’t you sing more?” She asked.
“That’s a one time deal.” I said.
“You have a beautiful voice though.” She says and I blush.
“Th-thanks.” I mutter and she laughed a bit.
“You’re strong, very strong, even when the world throws hell at you, you still stand.” She says.
“Ah yes, but I was doing it for AJ.” She says.
“It’s not bad though.” I said.
“Sometimes I feel like I didn’t raise him good enough.” She says and opens her eyes. To see her amber eyes just makes me smile.
“You did, god Clementine you did an amazing job.” I say.
“Yea…. And now it’s up to you and the others to help him.” She says and I look at her.
“You’ll still help though.” I say and she laughed and nods.
“Of course.” She says and I smile a bit.
“….. god I miss you.” I mumbled as I closed my eyes.
“You’ll never be back.” I said.
“I know…. I’m sorry.” She says and I wipe my face.
“It’s all her damn fault, fucking Minnie…. It’s all her fault, you….. she fucking did this.” I said and looked to Clem to see blood on her like that night many months ago.
“Don’t…. just forgive her for me.”
“How can I? She took you away from me… from AJ…. How can I forgive her for taking you away from me?” I asked and she sits up and looks at me. I see the blood on her face now and she looks down at the group of kids.
“She’s gone Violet, you saw her die, you saw how broken she was.” She says and I shake my head.
“She took you from me.” I said.
“I know…. But the delta broke her, and what we did was the final straw.” She said. I looked to her as I saw the blood drip from her face and saw her leg which was cut from Minnie’s axe.
“She hurt you.”
“I got a few swings in.”
“She killed you.”
“It was my time.”
“No it wasn’t.”
“Clementine…. I can’t…. I never told you I loved you.” I cried.
“You can say it to me now.”
“But you’re not here.”
“You helped AJ bury me… my body is here yes, but I’m here.” She says and pokes my chest.
“And here.” She pokes my head.
“But you’ll never really hear it.” I cried.
“You’ll never dance with me again.”
“I don’t sing anymore cause you’re not here to hear it.”
“I…. I don’t want to live anymore.” I tell her and look at her as she was back to normal, no blood, her hat on her head, smiling at me gently.
“Don’t say that…. You gotta take care of AJ for me…. He looks up to you the most.”
“He talks about you a lot.”
“I know… you tell me all the time.” She says and I rub my eyes a bit but the tears wouldn’t stop.
“He misses you so much.”
“He always wears your hat.”
“Suits him don’t it?” She asked and I stayed silent.
“He has dreams about you.”
“And you have dreams of me too.” She says and I nod.
“Yea.” I mumbled.
“I can’t teach him like you did.” I say.
“I never wanted you to, you raise him your own way, it’s better than what I did.”
“You did a great job Clementine, you went through hell for him…. That’s more than any of us ever could do.”
“You’d do the same for him.” She says and I watch AJ as he played tag with Willy, Tenn, Louis, and Aasim.
“You’re watching him right?” I asked.
“You’re…. you’re watching all of us right?” I asked and looked to her as she nods.
“Mostly you and AJ.” She says and I breath a bit shaken and wipe my tears again.
“I’m making all this shit up in my head.” I say.
“Trust me when I say this but, it’s true though. Even if you made it up in your head.” She says.
“You remember that night before we got to the boat?” I asked and she chuckled.
“Yea…. You sang to us, told me your past, we danced again when the others went to bed, slow jazz playing in the background.” She says and I close my eyes.
“It was peaceful.” She said and I nodded.
“We told each other we’d all come back safe.” I said.
“I’m sorry.” She repeated and I cleared my throat.
“I…. I want to hold you again…. Kiss you again…. Sing to you again.” I said.
“You can… up here, where no one can bother you…. You always talk to me up here.” She says and I nod.
“I’ll….. Yea…. One day.” I say.
“One day.” She repeated and I looked at her again but to see her gone. I cry again and hold myself as I lean into the tower and just remember the time I had with her.